Teachers Connect
Jul 13, 2015

Institute 2: Proposed Lesson Concept

As you think about your proposed lesson concept, what, specifically, do you want your students to learn through this lesson?  While there are many concepts that can be taught through a lesson, what is one on which you will concentrate?  What challenges do you anticipate?

16 Responses to Institute 2: Proposed Lesson Concept

  1. zell rosenfelt says:

    I want them to think about new ways of learning. I want them to see books not just as purveyors of information, but as something they can write and create by themselves and for themselves. I want them to be engaged learners and this is one way of engaging them. It does not have to be all pencils and paper and Smartboard and internet and screens and worksheets. We can use other materials or combine materials to make learning a creative and fun process
    I think Kathleen also asked us at the end about what to do when we and our students experience the fatigue and overload of too much work. I’d
    tell them that you get out of it just what you put in. You can’t do it all in the classroom. You have to go out and think about and re-view these concepts introduced in the classroom. How can we adapt them and integrate them? In that way you have a better chance of internalizing them and making them part of your frame of reference.
    Great class today, providing much material and ideas to support teaching in new ways.

    • Kathleen Anderson says:

      Thank you for your reflection. It does take a lot of thinking and internalization over an extended period of time. But as the concepts are internalized the lessons become easier for both teacher and students!

  2. Emily Shevell says:

    My lesson plan idea, as of now (before we learn about all of the different kinds of artist books) is for my students to learn about storytelling through music. Many of the pieces of music we play in class are pieces with a background and story. Many of these pieces also depict a picture or scene that a composer has seen or been in. I’d love to have my students make artist books to describe the composer’s story or maybe even a story they see in their own head while playing this music. When a student can tell the story he/she tends to play the music with a greater passion and therefore leading to more correct notes, rhythms, etc.

    Linking the music with the visual art will not be difficult at all. The students should be able to pick it up quickly while I incorporate music and visual art elements. The challenge will be time. There is a performance almost every month so I’m sure the schedule will be crazy.

    • Kathleen Anderson says:

      I like the link you are making – in Orff Schulwerk, that is an important part of the learning process. I’ll be looking forward to seeing your project!

  3. Gina T. says:

    I want my students to be able to think critically about how living things are adapted to their environment, how their unique features that we don’t always consider to be advantageous to the environment really impact their survival. I think I will concentrate on this concept- critically thinking about how an observed feature might help that organism to survive, since there is no way to predict what organism the students will be asked about. I anticipate students will struggle with the concept that anything could potentially be an adaptation for survival, so it will require lots of examples. I think having each student create their own book highlighting these things will help solidify the concept, but sharing and discussing them will really make a difference. I think even doing some visual thinking strategies to practice will help also.

    • Kathleen Anderson says:

      This is interesting, too, as it relates to human beings and their adaptation. Critical thinking is imperative and highlighting that will add to students’ ability to succeed.

  4. Mark Montgomery says:

    If my lesson centers around Alma Thomas and her life as an educator and an artist I would want students to consider her life’s context. I would want them to research and discover the fact that she became an artist with world acclaim after working decades as an art teacher in public schools, and this, despite all odds. The challenges she faced were that she was an African-American, a woman AND an abstract expressionist. In her formative professional experience Ms. Thomas taught in years of segregation and seperate school systems. Ms. Thomas also made her artwork during a time that very few African-Americans and women were EVER recognized for their creative contributions in visual arts. Finally, Alma Thomas became recognized for her seemingly simplistic, colorful lines and shapes, rather than realistic images of struggle. The context and timeline of her life is a triumphant journey with a remarkable payoff for her after giving so much to her students as a teacher.

    • Kathleen Anderson says:

      Thank you for taking the time to hold up this wonderful artist. Knowing about someone or something in depth is a great way to learn. I look forward to seeing your project!

  5. Mary Ellen Fink says:

    As fledgling readers and writers, I am hoping that my first graders will be able to include the 5 Ws and an H in the format of a pop- up book as they experience informational . I think that it will be important to begin the year with the media exploration lresson and work into this project by third quarter. I am used to third graders, so I will have to dial it down for first graders and create a good balance of teacher prep and student choice. My own project/sample may not be excessively elaborate, but I want to show the kids something that is not above their reach. The hands on aspect of working with the books should be great for the tactile learners and falls into the “student directed” learning focus of the building and CMSD. The project will also provide an opportunity for children to continue developing their fine motor control and skills since there can be a great disparity at this age and in the urban setting. Along with the project I will be using one of the Who Was/Is book series as a read aloud, so that they have an ongoing exposure to biographies. My biggest challenge is that this is my first year in the building and grade level, and I don’t really know what to expect classwise. It will be a fun journey finding out.

  6. Grace Hulse says:

    I’m with Emily in that I don’t feel I am ready to totally commit to plan just yet, especially on the format of the book. When I think about what my goals are for unit planning I try to consider what skills my students need to learn or build on, how the project connects to our visual arts standards, and how it fits the goals of our school. Our school is a Certified Green School so it is important to find ways to incorporate natural elements to encourage outdoor learning and discovery. Additionally we are a pilot school for technology integration with 1to1 laptops for all of our students. When possible I like to add pieces to my art units that make use of appropriate tech connections. The project I hope to develop would satisfy all of these facets and be an engaging multi level experience for students My idea for my students (3rd or 4th grade) is to have them create a book about a plant they find growing on the school grounds that is beneficial for wildlife or for humans. Our school has a native plant butterfly garden, a nature trail, as well as green fields that students could explore and collect specimens to research. After researching using online resources students would have to make decisions about how they would use drawings, paintings, or photos and writing to tell the story of their selection in book format. Usually it would be a problem for me to spend the amount time this would take on one project but I have been given the opportunity next year to see my students twice a week (for one quarter) in order to do more involved projects. I envision doing some short bookmaking technique lessons, interspersed with the research so students would have enough background knowledge to decide their own direction for creating their book.

    • Kathleen Anderson says:

      What a gift to have extra time for projects with students! It sounds like you are mulling ideas and they sound interesting and creative. Thanks!

  7. Julia says:

    I am still thinking about the lesson plan as there are many that would be fun to illustrate, my lesson would concentrate on learning the language in the lesson. This may be a paragraph, a list of words or a chapter. There is the visual image of the words themselves, but there is also the image that forms in the mind when we hear or read this story. Then there is the meaning of the vocabulary or expressions in the given context, that may also contain links to a time or a place in history. Culturally, how does this story affect us as global citizens? as humans? as students? as children?

    They are reading books to discover language, so it is all the more interesting to play around with paper, writing, colors, and other book formatting techniques to use them as a way to make the story their own.

    • Kathleen Anderson says:

      And the play with words within the book format – lots of questions and that’s what makes life fun! Thanks and I look forward to seeing the development of the project.

  8. Gina T. says:

    I think my students will have a hard time generalizing the concept that most observable features (and behaviors) are adaptations that allow a living organism greater survival in their environment. I think because a few things are named specifically (like camouflage or mimicry) they can’t generalize the concept to simpler things. Since there is no way to predict what organisms they may be asked about, I want them to really focus on thinking critically about why or how any particular trait is beneficial. So really, I’ll be focusing on the critical thinking aspect during this lesson, with adaptations being the second major focus.
    I think by having each student make their own book, working through the process of how to represent the traits and explain them will really solidify. Then, hopefully, as we share and discuss the books together, they will gain a deeper understanding as they begin to see how the concept applies to all living things.

    • Kathleen Anderson says:

      Nice first sentence – including human beings! I like your focus of critical things through the book form.

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