Thursday, December 18, 2014

Transportation, Recreation and Communication

This year, thanks to our wonderful District Library Instructional Coordinator and her love of social studies, our 1st grade research unit was kicked up a notch.  I blogged about this research project last year here.  The kids and teachers liked it, but this year was so much more fun.

The unit was designed as a Guided Inquiry project so we started off with by talking about the students.  How old they were, what was considered the past, the present and the future for them.  We used a strip of 10 blocks and had them number up to their current age (the present).  Anything before that was the past and anything after that was the future.  Then we glued that into a paper journal I had made.  The 10 strip was a great visual for them and I really think it helped to cement the concept. 

 They were shocked when I brought out my timeline and showed them all 42 of my squares.  You would think I was 110!  We talked about how my past is longer than theirs because I am older.  They of course wanted to know when on the timeline I was in 1st grade and when I became a librarian, etc.  
Then I showed them Discovery Education Boards that my assistant and I each had made about what transportation, recreation and communication was like when we were in first grade.  
I loved this because we could put our own pictures, or find some on the web and we could use a recording app on the ipad to read our writing and embedded that on the board to read to them also.  My assistant is 10 years older than I am so it was interesting for them to see the difference in that short amount of time.  

In the next lesson, I had picture cards for each group of pictures of communication, transportation and recreation items.  I told the kids they needed to sort the 12 cards into 3 groups.  They did need some guidance for that but once they got one of the groups, the could go from there.  Then I read them the book Hornbook and Inkwells by Verla Kay
and we talked about the different transportation, communication and recreation items that we saw in the book.  We took notes about the book in our journals.  

For the 3rd lesson, our district library services had bought each of us some items for the kids to explore with.  I had a slate and chalk, quill and ink(feathers and black tempra paint), clay to make marbles, ABC dice, wood dice with numbers, a ball and cup toy, a buzz saw and spinning tops.  The kids really enjoyed the hands on opportunity to get to use things.  More than once I heard from the quill ink station, "Boy am I glad we have pencils now!  This is hard!"  

For the final lesson, we took a lot at Pebble-go Social Studies and took some more notes on the Colonial Times and Now.  Then the students had to write a sentence or two in their journals about what they had learned.  Then they used the iPad to take a picture of an item that went with their sentence and then narrate the picture in the educreations app.  

I am so glad that we were able to have so much fun with this research.  It is a crazy time of year though and trying to fit this in right now with all the "other" stuff going on was a bit challenging, but I think the kids enjoyed it and have a better understanding of communication, recreation and transportation in the past.

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