25/01/2017

Story Elements – Read, Think, Collaborate, Create

Diorama based on the book Perfect by Danny Parker

This post showcases the amazing dioramas Year 2 created for the CBCA Shortlist Early Childhood Books. I wrote in a previous post about the project explaining how we started and the information the students were focusing on for each book.

In summary, after reading each of the shortlist books small groups worked on specific questions related to elements of the story:

  • Who is the main character? Are they human, an animal or an imagined character?
  • Are there supporting characters? Are they human, an animal or imagined characters?
  • Where is the story set? Is the setting realistic, magical, set in the past, present time or future?
  • The message or a lesson from the story is…
  • A symbol (object, action, or expression) in the story is…
  • The story made me think about…

Once we had finalised the reading and summarising lessons students were placed in small groups and provided with a shortlist book to focus on. The first task was to answer questions about the book and then allocate a job for each student, before they could start with the design and construction of the dioramas each group had a conference to ensure all were on task and had appropriate roles. A Diorama guide planning sheet was used to help plan work. To make life easier (I had four Year 2 classes complete this activity 24 dioramas in total) I purchased diorama boxes from Clever Patch. Crepe and tissue paper, cellophane, pipe cleaners, glue are required, as are pencils and textas, water colour paints – whatever you have in supply will work, a glue gun was very handy (teacher use only).

Below are work in progress samples and completed dioramas. Continue reading

13/01/2017

Read, Step Inside, Create

Step Inside ‘Flight’ by Nadia Wheatley

In this post I would like to share how Year 4 explored the Children’s Book Council of Australia shortlist Picture books. Each book was read and responded to using the Step Inside Visible Thinking Routine, for our purpose we stepped inside the main character. The Step Inside routine focuses on ‘getting inside viewpoints’ using three core questions to guide students:

  1. What can the person or thing perceive?
  2. What might the person or thing know about or believe?
  3. What might the person or thing care about?

Source: Visible Thinking Step Inside: Perceive, Know about, Care about

Sharing each picture with the class promoted Children’s Book Week and provided the students with the opportunity to compare and review a superb selection of sophisticated picture books. As some of the books were available though Story Box Library it was wonderful to have the story read to us and view the illustrations on the IWB.

By repetitively using the routine for the six picture books it became evident that students were able to provide deeper responses. Once we had reviewed each book students selected one of the books to respond to in more depth using illustration, written response and technology. Continue reading

06/01/2017

What site should I use? Evaluating websites

The final lessons in the online search skills series of lessons focuses on evaluating websites. There are numerous guides to provide to students, depending on age of the students the selection of evaluation terms is important. I found the 5W’s of Website Evaluation by Kathy Schrock very useful but made slight changes so that it matched the video clip on Evaluating the Web using the 5W’s.

To start the lesson we watched the YouTude clip Evaluate Search Results, this reinforced prior exercises and introduced new skills setting the scene for evaluation. At the end of the clip the class discussed what stood out.

We then watched the second video clip which is fast and exciting and it opened the door to the 5W’s of Website Evaluation exercises. Continue reading

06/01/2017

Search it! What do you do, what can you do?

Search it! This post is the third in a series of lessons to teach online search skills. When I last taught the lesson the grade were investigating Geography: A Diverse and Connected World so the search task was based on the major export items from Australia to a selection of countries. We looked at a chart from the Oxford Australian Curriculum Atlas Years 5-6 Professional Support that outlined the major countries Australia exports to, the students were then paired and provided with a country to focus on and a search task to find the top 3 export items from Australia to the given country.

Lesson One: What do you do? Continue reading

05/01/2017

Leading the way with Internet search skills

Over the years I have provided online search skill lessons to students in upper primary, there have been numerous resources reviewed, professional learning, experimenting with search techniques and tailoring lessons to share with students basic to extensive search techniques and applications. The series of lessons fit into the Australian Curriculum General Capabilities Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability – Investigating with ICT and are a key aspect of digital literacy. What I have gained from designing and teaching the lessons is that one should not assume that students know about online search skills, anyone can search and find something about a topic – Google has made searching easy, but we need to be mindful about the what sources we use. Another thing I found is that teachers who join the the class take note and have even joined in with the activities to extend their online search skills.
This post focuses on an introduction to a series of lessons that aim to assist students with ‘Investigating with ICT‘ planning searches, locating and accessing online information, and evaluating information.

Continue reading