Active + Learning = FUN FOR ALL!
Ms. Dragoo's 3rd grade class at Parks Elementary went on an amazing journey exploring how stories are told through project-based learning!
The students were shown a Lego Movie promotional trailer. Afterwards, they were asked about the creation of the story. That's when the inquiry started! They asked questions that formed into skills they needed to know if they wanted to recreate something similar to the Lego Movie. We created a Need to Know Inquiry List which started the process of discovering and learning the information.
The students learned how to differentiate protagonists and antagonists in a story as well as understanding how a setting plays a part in writing and story telling. They also discovered every great story has the five elements and every author has a purpose towards their writing. Over the course of five weeks, the students analyzed books like Tacky the Penguin and The Big Orange Splot looking for exposition, conflict, rising/falling action, and resolution. They discussed how many great technology products like the iPhone, Playstation and XBox go through revisions (or versions) to have a better product which brought about connections during their writing process. Using 21st Century skills, the students created their own stop motion animation movie using iPads.
Several standards were embedded in the project as well. Presentation day was filled with their own version of a film festival where each group described the process they chose when creating the movie while explaining the key elements of their story. The audience had a chance to ask questions and probe deeper just like a film festival. At the end, each group reflected on how they could make the project better.
The students had their Ah-ha! moments during the inquiry process trying to figure out the best way to make the project effective. That growth happened during the process of learning and not when presenting the final product. Students walked away having a deeper appreciation of how books and movies are made and that's authentic real world learning!
If you are interested in learning more about the process, embedding technology within your curriculum, want to see more examples of stop motion animation or have ideas for implementing something like this in your classroom and/or school, please take a look at the Great Commitment's Instructional Strategies and/or contact your ETS Coach!