Classical Mythology is going incredibly well! We have been doing art projects galore this week and it’s only Wednesday! Expanding upon creativity, working with mixed medias, crumpling paper and smiles from ear to ear is how we are getting work done. I’m sad to be wrapping up this last week of our full-time inquiry but excited to see the kids perform their skit across the three mythological realms and really bring everything to life. Today we finished painting and adding details to our busts of their chosen mythological figure. They turned out pretty awesome! We also finished the construction of the three mythological realms. There are columns and puffy white clouds hanging from our ceiling and the River of Styx is flowing along the way.
So until last weekend I was unaware of the difference between Greek/Roman Mythology and Classical Mythology. Apparently Greek Mythology and Roman Mythology is grouped under the heading of “Classical Mythology.” Either way I love mythology! I love the gods and goddesses and everything about the topic. We introduced this topic for a two week, all day inquiry topic on Monday. The kids literally cheered and screamed in joy over the topic. What better way to motivate a teacher and give her a pat on the back? We dove right in with a Reader’s Theatre performed by us teachers. (Sorry we forgot to take pictures in our costumes). We have been reading lots of literature from reader’s theatres to research notes to a daily myth/moral to picture books to informational texts.
The kids chose their own god/goddess/monster/creature to study and basically become, in a sense. We wrote a bio poem today about our character and started planning on building a bust of our characters. To prepare ourselves for this life-size art project we viewed a “virtual” museum of busts from Ancient Greece. The kids were a little intimidated at first but I know they will take this on without any problems or frets.
We also discussed stars and constellations today and how they relate to Classical Mythology. We read a little bit about stars and then mapped out the related constellations, such as Heracles, Pegasus, Perseus, Hyrda, and Centaurus. We are truly working towards being a STEAM school every single day, pushing full STEAM ahead.
Had some troubles uploading this before and it finally worked. Sorry for the great delay.
Going along with graphing, I introduced glyphs to the kids. Glyphs are an innovative way to collect and represent data. Many times glyphs use pictures or objects to represent the data. You can find glyph outlines online or in books. Over the weekend I created a groundhog glyph to complete with the kids as a wrap up from graphing and to celebrate the holiday. The kids had a blast making and decorating their groundhogs.
We ended the lesson with the true definition of Groundhog’s Day. The groundhog did in fact see his shadow so there will be 6 more weeks of winter. As sad as that is, these groundhogs turned out really cute.
“Where children choose to write is best to support.”
You need to make it known that we are writing for a purpose. Whatever research, lecture, or conversation that’s been had leads up to some big purpose. There’s nothing wrong with writing just to write. However it’s up to us teachers to motivate, encourage, and support the students’ learning. By motivating students, through the various resources we’ve provided, gets them to willingly choose to write which in turn becomes the best support in forming young minds.
You can use writing focus lessons to motivate students and introduce them to a plethora of writing styles. We did such in the classroom when we wrote a school newspaper. This type of lesson transformed not only our writers but the whole classroom.
We want to assess for growth in development, next learning goals, gearing up or gearing down; we want to assess with intention. Does this lesson/activity have a purpose? Are the questions I’m asking effective and efficient in figuring out where students are at exactly? Is this purposeful? Then again we may have good intentions but let them fall by the way side. It’s been helpful to me to make a list of my objectives for the week in order to write my lessons, but also to reflect on why I’m teaching this. This leads to a more purposeful evaluation of my teaching as well as a key evaluation of their growth–their learning.
Now that’s something to mull over if you feel as though your ideas, topics, or lessons are in a rut. Chew on some self-evaluation…yum!