Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Making Things Harder Than Necessary

Keep it simple. Adults and teachers especially want to keep it simple. With kids though, sometimes to do something cool, or something that will save them time, it pays to make an activity more difficult.

In our buddy class today, we learned about butterflies. I played a great video I found on YouTube:

I used MS Paint to teach students how to create pictures of butterflies using MS Paint. We could just draw a picture of a butterfly and print it, but instead I taught the students how to create a symmetrical butterfly. We first drew half of the butterfly; one wing and the body. Then we used the rectanglar select tool to select the wing. We copied it, by going edit -> copy, and then hit edit -> paste. Now we had two wings on the page, but the second wing was facing the wrong way. Then I taught the students to go Image ->flip/rotate, and taught what it meant to flip something horizontally, and what it meant to flip vertically, and what symmetry means. The kindergarteners we work with did the artistic drawing, but the grade 3's did all the selecting and flipping. All in all, it was a lesson that really "took flight!"

Samples of symmetrical butterflies to follow.

No comments: