Grade Cluster: K-2
NETS-S: Communication and Collaboration
Students learned about a culture different from their own. In this case, the second graders researched and experienced Mexican culture and then responded to this new learning with a creative outcome (Animoto cinquains) and informational outcome (Voicethread fact book).
To get the students excited about their culture study, the classroom teachers gave five hints about the country and culture they would be studying, one each day for the week before the unit began. On different days, they showed Mexican money, spoke some Spanish, played some Mexican music, wore sombreros, and ate some taquitos.
The following week began with some Google Earth exploration as the students worked with the TIRE to learn where Mexico was in relation to the United States. Students also visited the library to learn about the online encyclopedia and how to use it to learn about Mexico. In the classroom, the teachers were reading books to build background knowledge about Mexican culture. In addition, students made Mexican masks, cooked and ate tortillas, hosted visitors from the high school Spanish II class to play some games using Spanish, and enjoyed a visit from a young lady of Mexican heritage who shared many cultural items from her homeland.
After building background knowledge, the students began two different writing projects. The first was a poetry project involving the writing of cinquains. Each student then accessed images from a collection created by the LMS, choosing particular images to illustrate his/her cinquain. Using the online tool Animoto, students set their cinquains to music, creating individual videos. A sample video is shown here:
The second writing project was a group report of facts about Mexico. After each child had written and illustrated a page of the report, the pages were scanned and uploaded to Voicethread, and each child narrated his/her page. One class Voicethread is shown at the top of this page, and the other can be seen at this link: http://voicethread.com/share/2023917/ The class was thrilled to receive feedback on their Voicethread from a teacher in another state!
Finally, the students held a Fiesta Night for their families where they sang songs in Spanish, displayed Mexican art work done in the classroom and art class, and shared their cinquain videos and Voicethread reports!
Student Standards: The following NETS-S are noted in the Scenario:
2. Communication and Collaboration--A, B, D
6. Technology Operations and Concepts--A, D
Teacher Standards: Teachers who teach this unit address the following NETS-T:
1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity--A, C, D
2. Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments--A, C, D
3. Model Digital-Age Work and Learning--A, B, C, D
4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility--B, C
5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership--A, B, C
Content Grade Expectations:
R2:12 Demonstrate initial understanding of informational texts (expository and practical texts) by locating and recording information to show understanding when given an organizational format.
W2:8 In reports, students organize information by using a given organizational structure (e.g., template, frame, graphic organizer).
H&SS1-2:13 Students analyze how and why cultures continue and change over time by identifying ways culture is expressed in their communities, such as celebrations, legends, and traditions.
H&SS1-2:16 Students examine how different societies address issues of human interdependence by identifying how the groups to which a person belongs influence how she or he thinks and acts.