Posted by Heidi Brizendine, Teacher of the Deaf on 11/13/2018
Reporting campus: Whitney Elementary
Date to post story: November 14
Story: Setting Sail
This Thanksgiving, we are about to take a voyage on the Mayflower. It is made of cardboard and has a mast and sails made out of yard sticks and sheets of fabric. why are we going for a sail? Because we want to get excited about writing! Writing can be a challenge, and finding the words to get started is at the root of it. Whether it is to create a story, or to record simple facts about what we know, the writing process can sometimes be intimidating. As students enter the room, I hope they will feel a sense of curiosity and excitement. Their first reaction may be "why is there a large boat in the classroom?" and that is exactly what I want them to ask. Once their curiosity has gotten the better of them, that is when the best learning can take place. They have made way to set sail on learning!
So many questions can come from just having something out of the ordinary happen, such as a strange object in the room: "What is the Mayflower?" Who traveled in it?" Where were they going?" What a great way to make connections. Students will want to to dig into books about Thanksgiving on their own, because they want to find the answers to thier questions. After imagining that they are pilgrims sailing in 1620, they will suddenly find themselves with a new voice for writing, and an excitment to express what they have learned! Students can post vocabulary words around the ship. like a live dictionary, to help them with thier writing endeavors. Students can make comparisons with life in 1620 and life now: comparing clothes, food, chores, and daily life. How important it is, in this day and age, to create experiences that reach beyond a computer or a TV screen to help bring learning to life.