A few mornings ago, a child handed me a scarf and told me all of the things that they can do with a scarf including wearing them in the winter, putting on your head, dancing rhythmically with it and wearing it as part of your outfit. I mentioned that sometimes I will use a scarf if I am dancing (For those of you who do not know, I am first generation born in America. I was raised and taught all of the traditions of our Greek culture). I then explained to the children that many of the dances we dance include the use of a scarf. The children started to ask questions and we then brought up a few videos of several different dances. After watching the videos the children wanted to learn to dance!
A CD was located in the classroom that I had made. I then taught the children three traditional dances. We would start by labeling the dance and then watching it on YouTube. We then would try out each dance without music and then adding music to it when we felt we had learned the steps. After teaching each of the dances, I had to walk away to help a child. When I returned, a child was teaching other children each of the four dances I had taught with complete accuracy.
After sharing this anecdote with mom later that day, she shared her daughter taught her how to do it as well!
Please share any experiences you have from teaching your children things that are important to you!
The most important thing to remember when doing project work is that the best project is the ones the teachers learn from as well. My assistant and I are always really excited to find out what we will learn next! We have learned so much from our past projects and we know we will learn the same amount if not more from our Tree Project. We then have our own questions to add to the children’s web and when the children ask us a question, we can honestly answer. I don’t know, let us write that question down!
Tree Anticipatory Web
When the new project is determined, we spend time creating an anticipatory web. This web is what we anticipate the children to want to learn or have already told you they want to learn from the project. My assistant and I spend five to ten minutes brainstorming. We put each word we think of relating to trees on a post-it note. An example for this web was apple tree, leaves, stump, etc. Once we have stopped brainstorming ideas, we begin to put them in categories. After we place them in categories, we create a large web on paper. We then use each of the terms and add them under a heading for the category. We then add our curriculum domains and our curriculum objectives. We also add Spanish, Greek (my home language), and Sign Language to our web. We will then incorporate these terms in those languages in our classroom. We typically start off small by only having five words in all three languages. As interest persist, we will add more.
This web is a working document. You will add to it or maybe even change directions. For instance, you could have started a web on boats. The web might also have a category on fish. You might find out several weeks after webbing that the interest is actually fish. You would then re-web using fish as the middle.