Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Crayfish Projects Begin

Here is some dinner time chat for you! We began our crayfish projects this week. At the end of each science and social studies unit, we typically ask students to create a project to demonstrate all they have learned. To complete our crayfish study, we are tapping into the different learning styles and intelligences by offering the following project options. Students may present what they have learned by creating an:

  • iMovie
  • Book
  • Website
  • Dance
  • Visual Arts piece
Some students are choosing to work with a partner or a small group, while others are going solo.  We have been impressed by the creativity and excitement present during our Project Time this week.  
These projects allow our students to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the content we have been studying.  Along with presenting their knowledge and observations of crayfish in their project, we are asking our students to notice examples of the type of project they would like to create out in the world. We want students to look at authentic presentations in the world, a mentor, and say, "I like the Animal Planet clip about pandas, and I would like to create my iMovie piece with an interview and close-ups similar to that piece." or "I notice this website has five menu options and only uses one word for each menu option. I want my website to be like that one." While it is more challenging to find a mentor piece when it comes to dance choreography, we have managed to find one! Annie Dwyer, our wonderful dance instructor, will be taking the students who have chosen to create a dance piece to the Upper School this week to observe her Advanced Dance class.

Seeking mentor pieces/text is something the students are becoming familiar with in their language groups. We constantly ask them to notice things about the type of text they are trying to create. These mentor pieces/text become the models for students as they work to create a piece which grabs the attention of their readers/audience. Studying mentor pieces strengthens our students ability to communicate their ideas and their observation skills. 

We can't wait to see the outcome of their crayfish projects! We'll keep you posted. 

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