Theory (Constructivism/Multiple Intelligences)
Concept Map (Organizational Outline of Unit)
Title: All About Me
Grade level: Grades 5-6
Subject Area(s): English Language Arts, Technology Education
Authors: Carrie Collins (carrie-Collins@hotmail.com)
Carla Brake (email@example.com)
Colleen Huxter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Brody Morrison (email@example.com)
“All About Me” is a thematic approach to achieving Language Arts outcomes from the Newfoundland and Labrador Curriculum Guide. This web based unit is designed for teachers as a resource to provide everything needed to implement in the classroom. This unit was developed for grades 5 and 6, though it can be modified to suit any grade level. The purpose of this unit is to provide an opportunity for students to learn more about themselves, each other, and to celebrate that learning with a special meeting of family and friends.
The ideas for our project came out of an online chat discussion our group had over two meetings. From there, we conferred and planned the rest of our unit through postings in our group space set up in the online discussion forum of our UCB 535 course.
Background to the Lesson
We have intended to provide teachers with everything they need to complete this unit within the suggested time frame. It is suggested that teachers use Photo Story for Windows before students attempt the program themselves. This will give teachers the practice they need to assist students with any problems they may have. Teachers should also know how to take digital pictures with their school’s camera, scan images with a scanner, and download audio files.
Teachers should also have an idea of the skills that students have before completing this unit. It would be ideal to do this project at the beginning of the year to learn about each other, however, if teachers are unaware of the technology skills students have, that will have to be determined before plunging into the unit. We suggest that students have previous experience of saving and retrieving files, using or listening to audio files, taking digital pictures, downloading and scanning images, and some word processing skills. A multi-age teacher would have this information already, if not, a teacher could conference with teachers from the previous year to find out about the students, or the teacher could conduct some technology activities to determine skill levels. Such tasks could include typing a letter, saving and retrieving the letter, inserting graphics, etc.
The trend in learning today is diverse with differentiated instruction and assessment. Learning should occur in different ways and content should be delivered multi-modally. Teachers now need to look at the individual needs and abilities when assessing material to be presented. The learners should be given many opportunities to acquire knowledge in a variety of ways so that instructional materials and resources do not oversimplify what is being taught. In other words, the materials and resources should not do the thinking for the student but instead, expand upon their knowledge. Finally, learning should be cross curricular; all information should be connected. When planning, consider the bigger picture, rather than components (Spiro, 1993).
The “All About Me” Photo Story essay allows students to construct their own knowledge, solve problems, and use traditional research methods and essay writing in a non-traditional way. The constructivist role of a teacher is to have students support their learning with personal experiences, to make connections to what they have learned in a classroom situation and apply it to other situations, and other learning contexts. The objective is for the learner to expand and build their knowledge base. Not only will students strengthen their research and writing skills, they will expand upon the traditional strands of language arts of by listening, speaking, viewing and representing using multi-media, in the form of Kidspiration, digital photographs and Photo Story for Windows.
We have attempted to appeal to a variety of learning styles in this lesson as the theory of multiple intelligences suggests several ways in which material might be presented to facilitate effective learning (Armstrong, n.d.). It is also important to recognize that the unit may be modified to include other specific intelligences not particularly covered in this lesson plan. We have specifically addressed the Verbal-Linguistic, Musical, Visual-Spatial, Interpersonal, and Intrapersonal Intelligences. These intelligences can be explained briefly as:
Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence: well-developed verbal skills and sensitivity to the sounds, meanings and rhythms of words;
Musical Intelligence: ability to produce and appreciate rhythm, pitch and timber;
Visual-Spatial Intelligence: capacity to think in images and pictures, to visualize accurately and abstractly;
Interpersonal Intelligence: capacity to detect and respond appropriately to the moods, motivations and desires of others; and
Intrapersonal Intelligence: capacity to be self-aware and in tune with inner feelings, values, beliefs and thinking processes.
The creativity of this unit surrounds the theme, “All About Me.” Children love to talk about themselves and share stories with others about their families. The unit involves many opportunities to integrate technology to help capture the interest of students and to appeal to diverse learners among the class. Right from the start, the teacher can model the final task involving a projector to feature the teacher’s autobiography in Photo Story for Windows. Students are often fascinated with learning about their teacher and in seeing them in a setting outside of school. Throughout the project, students will have time to scan images, take photos, download photos and audio, and add special effects to images. Each autobiography will be presented at the end of the unit in a special class inviting family members along to view the projects. The invitation itself is also an opportunity for students to use their artistic talents to create a software enhanced invitation for family members.
A detailed outline of this unit has been created in a concept map (Using Kidspiration) to clearly illustrate an organizational plan to assist teachers in the planning process. It summarizes the plan for this unit. Please see below.
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