I have said all year that my group of 3rd graders on Wednesday is a special group. They work so well together, and they are such great friends for each other. Today they showed me a lesson on creativity. Sometimes when I plan something out, they have a way of enhancing it with their creativity.
Today we are beginning our culminating project for our unit on bats. I am having them work with a partner where they will write an info-mercial where they talk about bats. They have to describe where bats live, what they eat, where they live, and other facts about them. They have to give some opinions of these bats based on the facts they are presenting. They will have 3 minutes to present the information in a commercial style format where they are giving this information as if they are Jack Hanna.
This class of mine, who always likes to modify some of my ideas which for 3rd graders is pretty good, wanted to blog about their bat with some added pictures. They want everyone to know what bat they like, and some of the facts about it and they have to include as many of our vocabulary words as they can into their writing.
I have a blog set up where I write challenging questions for them to answer, or just some ideas to think about some project or current event that is going on. Sometimes I give some up dates about things coming up for parents, such as parent-teacher conferences or parent meetings or field trips that may occur. But I have not thought about having a place where my students could add their work to this blog. So this is the first time I am allowing some students to guest blog. This should be fun, and exciting.
So we sat down and talked about what is a blog. How it differs from a news broadcast, and writing a book or subject report. We talked about how a blog can be in different forms, and written in various ways. But theirs, I told them, I want to see their voice in their writing. I want them to write it as if they are writing to a friend who wants to know what they have to say. This is their blog report. Their topic. Their bat.
So right now they are writing their blogs as a Word Document which we will cut and paste into the blog. I will sit with each one, and we will edit their work, and add some pictures to it.today.
Now they are working on their writing and they are writing not just for an audience of one, but for many.
This is the lesson that I learned today. Sometimes it is good to let students become collaborators in their learning and in the projects they are doing. I learned (over the past several months) that its ok to be flexible. Gifted students have a keen eye for being creative, and they know what will fit their kind of learning and fit their style of presentations. I was thinking small…they were thinking big and out of the box. Now it becomes an important writing assignment where they can be proud of it, because they not only bought into it but proposed it.
Great job class! Keep teaching your teacher, while I teach you.
I hope to have them up next week. So check back later.