This year I've teamed up with a second grade teacher where every Thursday afternoon I'll come into the classroom and we'll teach a lesson together (that normally includes something fun and unique). For the past few weeks we've really been working with the students on increasing their visual literacy and using images/illustrations/photos to expand their knowledge base and make predictions. This has been a lot of fun for the students (and myself) because we are beginning to see students understand how these ideas work together.
Students make predictions based on visual clues using Re-Zoom
I always preface these lessons by telling them that making a guess is not incorrect--they're using their own prior knowledge and visual cues to predict what would happen. It's always funny to see this in students since so many are hesitant to make mistakes. I LIVE FOR MISTAKES. Mistakes are the growth of understanding. We build upon them. (I'll step off my soapbox).
This week we continued our visual literacy/inferences journey using the book Re-Zoom by Istvan Banyai. If you've never used it before be warned: THERE ARE NO WORDS. It's all about looking at the details in an image and each page zooms out to reveal a larger image that surrounds it.
Bethany over at Hunter's Teaching Tales uses this book in the opposite. She starts in the back and zooms in on images focusing on details. From her blog:
I'm going to begin to teach my kids the five domains on Writing (Focus, Content, Organization, Style, and Conventions.) We will look at Focus. To do this I love to use the book Zoom by Istvan Banyai. I actually "read" the book backwards to my kids (It's only pictures.) When you look at it backwards it zooms in and has you focus on one thing-which is what I want my kiddos to do.Now, I read it straight through with the students allowing them to make predictions the entire time. Either way you do, it is great and this book allows you to use it multiple ways while working on a select skill for students to succeed with.
So what did we do...Well I had the kids grab their writing journals and I displayed the Re-Zoom through the projector. Students were shown the first image and made projections of what they thought they saw by raising their hands and telling. Then in their writing journal they had to draw or write what they thought the image would be if it zoomed out, based on details hidden inside the image.
This was definitely one of the better ways to differentiate with multiples levels of students because I had quite a few that wanted to draw their ideas, while a select few felt like writing out their predictions. This meant that everyone could join in and be successful--which is what you strive for in class.
Seeing kids react to their answers (right or wrong) is great. You see them with those AHAAA moments when a recognition is triggered. It's a beautiful thing.
We only made it through half the book so far and it appears that many student's minds have been blown. They begin taking some of the smallest clues to build feasible ideas of what the the next image is. It's pretty cool to see second graders stretch their ideas and imagination, but also make guesses they know could be wrong.
Student motivation isn't just about having a new
teacher come in once a week to mix-it-all-up.
It's also about asking them to take a chance.
Thanks to Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching for the Great Link-Up!