Thursday, December 23, 2010

investigators tell stories too

Here is an update on our animals in winter project. We have spent the last two weeks in phase two, the investigation phase and it has gone well. Each day we have used books and the classroom computers to look up questions from our initial web and many spontaneous questions. Beginning the project, I felt the primary goal was to encourage curiosity and inquiry and not so much retain some of the factual information about hibernation and migration but I found myself really wanting children to internalize some of the factual knowledge. With some trial and error each day, it seemed that they internalized the information most from creative movement. Needless to say we spent time each day stomping and climbing into dens like bears, waddling and caring for our young like penguins, and burrowing into the mud to hibernate like frogs.

To document the knowledge we were acquiring we created a mural, which I will have to photograph and put on the blog), many plays, and the dioramas below accompanied by their own voices to tell the story. We were finishing the storytelling part of this art project on the last day of school before the break so it's definitely rushed.

For the diorama project children first chose an animal to sculpt with clay and wire. We looked at images of the animal and each child was able to tell about how their animal lived in the winter. On the second day, children worked in pairs to create a habitat for the two animals. After the partners were all done, I sat down with them and asked them to tell me a story about their animals.

I do wish we had one more day to add more to the stories, perhaps even adding dialogue which we have been talking about, and practice telling the stories through a microphone.

Here are two dioramas and stories, one by A and V the other by H and C. Enjoy!

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