Friday, December 16, 2016

Poetry, Making Inferences, and a Touch of HoLiDaY ChEeR!

 An inference is a conclusion based on evidence and reasoning. Making inferences is always a challenging task for students of any age and ability level, because it requires them to use higher order thinking skills. The concept is extremely important for students to learn how to do, because inferring skills are used across the curriculum.

After break, the 5th grade students will be starting their poetry reading unit. Throughout the unit they will be learning to infer the meaning of lines, stanzas, and the overall theme of a variety of poems. When collaborating with the teachers, they asked for advice on how to create a fun way to introduce the poetry unit. I created a design thinking lesson for the students to participate in that incorporated poetry, making inferences, and of course some holiday cheer!

To give you little background on design thinking, according to, "design thinking is a creative problem-solving process that calls for thoughtful solutions to real-world situations." It provides an engaging, stimulating, hands-on learning environment for the students. The method is becoming a popular learning experience found in classrooms, and incorporates students solving a problem through creating a project by using their preferred learning style.

The fifth grade students were challenged with the following scenario: Santa will be traveling the world for 24 hours. During this time, he needs to be able to have his daily needs met as well as be prepared for his experiences he will face during his journey. Design your ideal travel kit just for Santa and his trip. 

Below are steps to the activity the students participated in, as well as many pictures!

Step 1: Students began the activity by reading the poem, Santa's Difficult Voyage.

Step 2: I provided the students with a list of Santa's daily routines. As a class, we found evidence from the poem to support the inferences I made to create the list.

Step 3: Then, the students listed the experiences Santa had on his journey. 

 Step 4: The students then made inferences on what items should go inside Santa's travel kit that would help his journey go more smoothly. They used information from the poem and their own knowledge about Santa to make their inferences.

Step 5: The students created their ideal travel kit for Santa using a variety of items (Play-Doh, construction paper, Popsicle sticks, Legos, K'NEX, pipe cleaners, pom pom balls, doll rods, and much more)!

Step 6: The students shared their designs with another set of partners, and reflected on their work!




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