Pigeon Unit: This unit, designed around books by Mo Willems, is one of my favorites that I repeat each year because it is also a student and parent favorite. This unit encompasses literature appreciation, concepts of author vs. illustrator, sequencing, art and media creation. At the end of the unit we have some great "Pigeon Movies" that students love. Check out examples here.
Shoe Lesson: This lesson is a good example of how it is not all about books and technology in the library. Sometimes it is about going shoe shopping! Once every year second graders are asked to slip off their shoes, put them on the shelf and sit on the carpet. Then we go shoe shopping. After all students have selected new shoes, and without fail one kid has the teacher's shoes which are way too big, one has shoes that are too small and a little boy has some very fancy heals, we discuss WHY. This lesson really sinks in with students when you make the analogy that shoe shopping is just like selecting a book in the library. They have to find one they like sure, but they also need to find one that is not too big (or too hard), or too small (to easy), the words are not too long, the spacing not too close together, their are enough pictures.....ones that are just right and fit them. We discuss how just like how everyone has different feet, they read at different levels. Then students are asked to carefully select a book for their first CHAPTER book report. The lessons and concepts taught here are carefully reinforced throughout each and every book selection with the librarian.
Collaborative Book Unit: In this project 3rd graders learn and deeply understand the parts of a book, and how to read and use nonfiction books for many purposes in addition to email, word processing and other technology skills. Their 6th grade partners are the authors of the book, as they learn about Boolean and Internet searching, website evaluation and search engines. However the 3rd graders are the publishers and the cheers and smiles when these books are finished are priceless. This collaborative project only has gotten better over 9 years as the students themselves keep raising their own bar. I recently had 2 separate parents go out of their way to track me down to compliment this unit and my work on it.
Change the World Biography Project: Students master online resources from dictionary.com to online encyclopedias and databases in addition to comparing and contrasting with a general Internet search to learn about a famous person who has changed the world. Working with the art program, students create an art piece of their famous person that acts as a trigger image with the Aurasma app to prompt a video presentation. These hung on the walls during open house and Augmented Reality (AR) was a big hit.
Student Work Products
Communication with Families about AR
Information was also included in individual teacher newsletters, on library website, through e-mails to specific parents and via Facebook before school open house.
Dream Trip Project: After months of examining how search engines like Google really work and how to "read online" students are ready for some real world application of their research skills. Working with their friends they plan a dream field trip while learning online research skills, digital literacy, and how organize and share information using technology tools including Microsoft Publisher, spreadsheets, presentation software, and online blogs.
Big Deal: Big kids get to do all the cool projects! They get to write books for their third grade partner's, they get to research unsolved mysteries from Amelia Earhart to zombies, and they end the year with a big project that really is a big deal. Students are asked to identify one way that they can dream big, how can they change the world? Today. Students are asked to work collaboratively to brainstorm, research, create a presentation and present both a written proposal and persuasive speech with audio/visual support to their class. Students pretend that we are NOT a class of 6th graders, but rather project stakeholders (identifying these IS part of the assignment). This should be an idea about how they can make our school, community or world a better place. It does not have to be a HUGE idea, just a good achievable one.
View Student Work Products
Also see the 3rd grade project above about a collaborative project 6th graders work on each year. This project is one of my favorites because as students go from 3rd to 6th graders they remember this project and the bar keeps moving and the projects get BETTER each year! Parents and kids love it.
These are simply a few examples of the MANY MANY things I have and will teach. For more information about each lesson or to see more examples please contact me.