Thursday, June 4, 2015

Extending our Artist in Residency Learning with Curriculum Connections!

This is borrowed from Mrs. Rankin's Enrichment blog: Think, Create, Collaborate 

At the end of April our whole school had the great opportunity to dance with Jeh Kulu as part of our Artist in Residency.  We also took a whole school field trip to the Flynn theater to see the African Children's Choir.  At the same time the second graders were kicking off a social studies unit which focused on comparing cultures.  During this comparative culture unit, students were thinking about many big questions--

--What is culture?
--How is culture the different and same around the world?
--How does your life/culture compare and contrast with other cultures?
--What are the major land and water features on the globe? 

The Jeh Kulu visit was a great opportunity for us to make a connection to these essential questions by looking at what we had learned about West Africa.  I was excited when the second grade team asked if I would collaborate with students to create a digital book that shared student knowledge as they thought about culture and these topics.

Each class created a book using the iPad Application Book Creator.  I met with small groups and individuals as they created pages that represented the topics that they were interested in.  Students did a great job connecting to learning in their classroom about geography, sharing some of their knowledge and learning a new technology tool.  I had a great time meeting with students in small groups and getting to experience excellent conversations with them about culture.

Below is a book created by each class. You will notice that some format items are the same (the structure of the book) but that each book shares the unique perspective of the class and students. You will also find a lot of information that shows excellent critical thinking about the essential questions of the unit.  Students not only understood what the different aspects of culture were, but they were able to apply this understanding to compare and contrast this to their lives.  It was also great to hear students make connections to learning that they experienced in art, music and library classes!

Please take time to view these books (made into videos for your online viewing pleasure)