Innovators and Inventors

Imagine if you will a group of third grade students who are looking at text features. Bold print, italics, captions, indentations...the same old boring presentation, year after year. Isn't there some way to make this live for them? Isn't there a different, fun approach to helping students understand the necessity of these devices without putting them to sleep?

Enter, if you will, one Mrs. Case...a crafty arts integration teacher with oodles of ideas and a knack for stirring up unlikely combinations to help students engage with learning. Text features, you say? Baseball cards, I say!
Innovation and self-expression give students an opportunity to access learning from different angles. Using visual arts as a pathway in, students analyzed baseball cards and trading cards, and even Poke'mon cards to learn how artists create emphasis on important information through deliberate use of color, symbolism, proportion, and image placement.
Students were then given the opportunity to research an innovator or inventor and create a trading card for that person. Basic biographical information was placed on the back of the trading card, and an image of the students' design was placed on the front. During the project completion phase, students were reminded that the use of symbols was encouraged as a way of communicating the important information to the viewer.
While the students started this project with a text (Have You Hugged an Inventor?), they explored other inventors with the assistance of the school media specialist who pulled pertinent source material from our collection. In addition, the students travelled to the National Museum of iAfrican American History and Culture, where they took notes on achievements of other inventors and innovators to add to their collection.
Unfortunately, this project was underway in March 2020, and was cut dramatically short before the students were able to complete their trading cards and present them at the planned parent night. However, student feedback about the project revealed that students were very excited about the project, and wanted to participate in another project that allowed them to combine their artistic skills with content knowledge.
I believe that TEACH:Climate Change Agents Institute is going to lay additional foundational work that will challenge me to present a real-world problem to those who would solve it- the future problem-solvers are sitting in classrooms, in living rooms, in beds and in cars around the world, interacting with their teacher and their classmates through a tiny screen. These children, so separated from each other, are going to be the ones who come together to collaborate as they recognize that they have the power to affect change.
It is for this reason that I am hopeful to go to the Institute next summer. I am excited for the opportunity to build a foundation that attacks the problem of climate change until a workable solution is found. Thank you.

Listing created Dec 15, 2020

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