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Purple (contexts:multiple literacies)

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 8 months ago
I watched the grade one digital story telling video. In this, a teacher described an activity that she did in her classroom that catered to a multi-modal style of learning. The teacher read a grade one book to her class called Samantha Sandwiches. Based on reading this novel out loud to her students, she built a fun activity around it. The task was to make a 3-D sandwich. First as a class, they made a web drawing on the chalkboard and discussed as a group what kinds of neat ingredients they would put in their own sandwich. Imagination was encouraged, allowing for the kids to think of wacky ideas such as socks and peas in their sandwiches. Then the activity progressed into a visual arts activity, where they sketched out their actual sandwich. Then it turned into a short writing activity because they were told to write down all the ingredients they would want to incorporate into their sandwich. Again, the teacher made it a point to bring it back to a group discussion and talk about key concepts like ‘initiative’ and what it meant to take initiative in making one’s own sandwich. Once they had completed this, the next activity was to have a one on one meeting with the teacher explaining the ideas and ingredients they had brainstormed. Following this they got to share their ideas with their fellow classmates and get their opinions on their sandwiches. Once they had done this they created their own commercials. The teacher came in with her exciting commercial as an example of what the kids were to do. They spoke about what is meant to have a nice tone in your voice, body language and making eye contact. From here the children got to create their very own photo strory’s with the teachers help. They had their picture taken with their sandwich that they created and then recorded their commercial that they had written down, into the microphone. They got the experience of listening to themselves, and going back to correct their tone, or slow down and see what they may have done wrong and what they could do to make it better. When it was all done the children were so proud of their end results and the class as a whole had made remarkable progress.
I thought this lesson was one of the absolute best I have ever heard or observed. This teacher took a simple, basic book and turned it into an elaborate lesson plan that incorporated every style of learning to cater to too all learning types. She integrated visual arts, spelling, language, group discussions, individual work and technology. This multi-modal approach is in my opinion, the most ideal way to do a lesson. It was fun, it immediately caught the attention of the students and kept them interested. Finally by using a multi-modal approach it enhanced their learning for overall academic success. I will definitely be using this approach/lesson in my classroom when I become a teacher.
Lindsey Strong
The article, “Can We Act it Out?”, by Barbara Ryan Larkin, is about a teacher who was afraid to use drama in her classroom as a tool for literacy. She was in a grade one classroom and repeatedly had the kids asking her after she read a story if they could “act it out”. After being inundated with research that was in favour of drama in the classroom to promote reading, writing, and oral communication, she decided to try readers theatre.
I can relate to the idea of being scared to bring a new idea into the classroom. As a creative person, mainly artistic, teachers often assumed that I would like to help out when music or drama was taught in the class as a joint expression with a variety of subjects. I was nervous because I did not feel as comfortable with these forms of expressions and felt pressured to exceed at them. I do agree with bringing in the arts into the class and across the curriculum, I just need to overcome the fear of not being good at it. The students do not recognize good or bad when they participate in these forms of lessons, they only see the fun.
I still wonder how you can incorporate drama, art, music, dance into the classroom when you are not confident. The teacher let the children run with it, but will this always be successful and if it is not, will you be turned off from the idea even more? Considering childrens’ inhibitions, why is it that children feel so comfortable reading dramatically when they are not comfortable with reading in general?
Natalie Crompton
I think you made some really valid points Natalie, with regards to how sometimes teachers are afraid to steer away from the old and try new things in the modern world.  I think that I would also be afraid at first to try a new idea in the classroom that is not too popular.  However, I believe it is important that changes start to develop otherwise literacy is going to become boring and children will engage away from learning new texts.  After reading your question on how children feel so comfortable reading dramatically when they are not comfortable with reading in general, I came up with some possible ideas why they might have this boost of confidence.  Some children may feel more comfortable reading dramatically because it is in a larger group where everyone is allowed to make mistakes.  Drama is about exploring and taking on new challenges without sometimes even children realizing that a mistake has been made.  I really enjoyed reading your post; you gave me some good questions to think about for the future.
Jag Grewal

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