It is my job to create 4 lessons and I re-teach those all 4 weeks to a new group of kids each week. Since I have each class for one hour and 15 minutes each day, I can accomplish a lot more than on a normal school day.
The over-all theme of summer school this year is: America! So it was easy to narrow down my topic. I knew I wanted to teach some sort of a painting project. I'm going to share my basic unit plan for this experience with you, so that you can see how easily I was able to incorporate technology into the scope of everything. The main goal at the end of the week was to create a 18X24 painting of Abraham Lincoln.
On the SmartBoard, I had a Prezi ready to show them. The very first slide is a Tellagami video. If you have not used Tellagami before, (It was new to me before the conference in May), it is very easy to use, you can record your voice, make the avatar look like you and create a 30 second video. I even used a photo from my real classroom (since I am in a 'borrowed' room for summer school). I plan to use it to teach my classroom procedures and routines in August.
Here is a link to the facts that they read: Facts About Abraham Lincoln.
I call on a few students for each of the highlighted colors to show read what they highlighted, we put this page to the side, and I continue taking them through my Prezi.
If you would be interested in viewing my entire Prezi, you can find it here.
Then I say: I have 12 ipad minis for you to use today. And the entire mood of the classroom shifts into elated excitement.
I explain that there are 8 specific things on the iPads in a folder on the main screen called 'Summer School 2013 . As they complete each of the activities, they need to write their name on a chart at the front of the room.
For each of the activities that they record their name, they will be earning 'Lincoln Bucks'. Lincoln Bucks is something that I made up to incorporate a little bit of math into the unit. I explain that the more of the Abraham Lincoln activities that they do, the more money they will earn to spend in the 'classroom store' on the last day. I explain each of the activities, the first one is an animated video of the Gettysburg Address, another one is the Abe App, they can earn money on that one if they take the quiz at the end, etc. As they complete each activity, they record their name on a poster at the front of the room, to help track who has done what.
Here is a list of the apps that I had available to them:
Animated Gettysburg Address
National Geographic Kids: Abraham Lincoln Video
Bobbleshop - Bobblehead Avatar Maker (must make one to look like Abraham Lincoln to get points; might end up being your inspiration for your painting).
View Gallery of Lincoln images via Flickr
Skitch app (3 word search photos are in the photo gallery, if students open all 3 and attempt to solve them, they can count it)
*I also have a really great Pinterest board about Lincoln, but the school's new internet filter kept blocking Pinterest on the student devices, so I took the link off the iPads.
If students spend their entire time on the bobble head app, then they only get credit for one thing...of course, I'm sure they probably would have done some of the other apps without the incentive, but it was a really fun way to give them options. I could have lectured or walked them through each image and video as a whole-group activity, but this is a way that I can give them all of the information, and they get to choose what they view first, they get to be in charge of their own learning within the scope of my boundaries.
Then, I show them a Vuvox collage of images to help explain that the final goal of all the research is to produce a work of art. It can be serious or silly, but they must be able to defend their idea.
Once they have a sketch, they transfer their drawing (or the image they have selected from the booklet) onto a transparency with a sharpie. I show them how to use the overhead projector to 'blow it up big'. I explain that this is often how images are transfered to murals, including many of the murals in our school have been done this same way. They tape their big painting paper to the wall, trace back over their lines and VIOLA! they have a nice big drawing that is ready to be painted. If they finish early, they might have some free time today. I let them play games, draw, or use the ipads. I showed them the Tellegami app, so they could make their own Avatar videos if they wish.
1. Paint the skin (if hands are showing, or ears, make sure to paint all of those areas). This is especially important if you are doing a realistic representation, to paint the skin so that it can start to dry.
2. Paint the background. At least get a base coat, if you are going to paint a pattern or a flag or stars or something patriotic on top.
3. Paint the hair and beard. (Let the background and skin dry a little bit before doing this if you have time).
4. Save details for tomorrow.
Day 3 is pretty easy, as long as they clean up and put everything away.
You can view more pictures from our flickr gallery here.
At the end, we will shop in the store with our Lincoln Bucks.
I explain that their main goal should be to finish their paintings. I show them examples from other classes to get them motivated on how to finish up the background or add details.
On the first day, they had an opportunity to earn $$ for completing certain activities. Today, they can cash in that money and do some shopping. I explain that in the South, during the Civil War, money was not the same as it is today. Sometimes banks would print their own money, but if the bank went out of business, that money would become worthless. The value of money and goods fluctuated depending on demand. In our classroom store, we are going to simulate that idea. Things are not the same price they would be if you went to a real store and bought them. If students completed every activity and wrote their name on the chart, they would have $50 to spend in the store. If they only did a few of the activities, they have less money.
I found some little paper $5 bills at a party store. Students write their name on the back, and the value of the money they earned. Once their name is on it, they place the fake bill in a plastic Abraham Lincoln hat I found at a party store. Close to the end (after I have assisted everyone in finishing up their paintings), I draw their name out of the hat to come up and shop at the store.
In the store, we have notebooks for $40, pencils, crayon boxes, protractors, rulers for $30, trinket toys for $20, candy for $10. Students can leave with something tangible or edible once they cash in their money.