Learning Curation Prompt
- How do I set up a learning commons in a brand new school that will become the “nerve centre of the school” (Leading Learning, p.6)
“Take a resource you really like and find multi-modes of text, forming a short collection. It can be any combination or grouping (picture book, graphica, novels, digital content, video, web tools, etc.). Tie your grouping together with a short rationale of its theme, big idea, the literacies it addresses and what you can do with the resource.” (LLED 462, Module 4)
One of the roles that I can play as the teacher-librarian is a curator of resources that would be useful for teachers and/or students. As this will be a new school, there is not yet a pattern or set way of curating resources. So, I began to reflect on what I would find most helpful as a teacher or a student.
As the curriculum hub of the school, what could this look like? How would I organize the resources for future units?
And so…began my quest for this learning curation.
My Curation Process
Topic: Food Chains (including roles of consumers and producers within an ecosystem)
Curriculum Tie: Grade 7 Science within the Big Idea:
Evolution by natural selection provides an explanation for the diversity and survival of living things.
As a small part of our study on changes within an ecosystem and the survival needs of organisms, I wanted to come up with a creative way for students to demonstrate their learning of food chains and the impact when a food chain is disrupted.
As reviewed in Module 4 (p.1), it is important to include multi-modal literacies such as written texts, visual images, graphic elements, hyperlinks, video clips, audio clips, and other modes of representation within my curated list. I appreciated the reminder within this module to view “literacy as the ability to interpret creative forms of communication that combine visual, written, digital, and oral texts”. (Mod. 4, p1) Teaching students how to decode and interpret various forms of communication and how to express their understanding in multi-modes is important. These skills “necessary for producing and consuming multimodal texts requires readers to navigate, design, interpret, and analyze texts in more complex and interactive ways” (Serafini, 2012, P.26). In this role, students will become more proficient “navigators (and code breaker), interpreters, designers, and interrogators” (Serafini, 2012, p.27) as they interact with and compose with images, sounds, videos and print. (Grisham, 2013).
I wanted to deviate from the traditional modes of presenting information (paper posters or hand-drawn food chain). So, I challenged myself and my students to use digital tools to create a multi-modal presentation.
To gather the resources:
- I searched through various online sites including com, Shelfari.com, and LibraryThing.com
- com was very helpful. I searched food chain picture books. www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/food-chain
- I then searched my public library to locate the books recommended to find my ‘perfect picture book’ to use as my hook
- Combed other websites and resources
- Created a list of resources for students to use
- Pictures and images (websites for free pictures)
- Picture books
- Links to videos about food chains
To curate my list, I created a word document and posted it on Google Classroom for all my students to access.
Craighead, J. (2008). The Wolves are Back. New York, New York: Dutton Children’s Books.
Godkin, C. (1993). Wolf Island. Markham, Ontario: Fitzhenry & Whiteside.
Reynolds, A. (2013). Carnivores. San Francisco, California: Chronicle Books LLC.
Graphic Non Fiction
O’Donnell, L. (2016). The world of food chains with Max Axiom, Super Scientist (Graphic Science). Minnesota: Capstone Press.
Digital (oral) Resources:
Crash Course Kids. (April 21, 2015). [YouTube video]. Fabulous Food Chains: Crash Course Kids #7.1. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/MuKs9o1s8h8
Free School. (Sep. 23, 2016). [YouTube video]. Food chains for kids: food webs, the circle of life and the flow of energy. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/hLq2datPo5M
Games4Kids. (July 12, 2016). [game]. Food Chains and Food Webs. Education video game for kids. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/h3leiLaaMnA
In addition, the students would have access to our school library and the host of nonfiction texts on the organisms that each chooses to represent in the food chain.
What will we do with these resources?
First, I will read the Wolf Island and The Wolves are Back to the class as read a-louds. The students will then share their thoughts in small groups using a “place mat” format.
Questions to think about as a group:
- Describe how food chains play a role in restoring balance or causing an imbalance.
- What possible causes can you think of that results in an imbalanced ecosystem?
Provide time for students to explore the various resources about food chains. Students will complete an Exit Slip by sketching an example of a food chain and defining the roles of producer and consumer.
Then, explain the group activity. As a group, sketch out a food chain. Each member of the group will take responsibility for one link of the chain. As that role, each member will write a short script (2-3 sentences), find an image online (of the animal), and use Chatterpix Kids app on the iPads to create a short voice recording.
As a group, the voice recordings will be linked together using Explain Everything app to create a visual food chain.
My rationale in using these two apps is to introduce my students to alternate forms of presentation and to build the skills needed to navigate, interpret, design and interrogate.
Well, the lesson didn’t go exactly as I had planned. I had an IEP meeting to attend right during my first science block. So, the TOC enjoyed reading the “hook” picture book after I explained the project criteria, goals and resources. When I returned to the classroom, the students were excitedly researching the organism they had selected.
I had created a sample of an orca speaking using Chatterpix Kid to show the class as an idea of where they were headed. However, when I attempted to mirror the iPad to my projector through AirPlay, it didn’t work. So, I had to quickly think on my feet; call the class to my reading corner and show the class using the iPad. After school, I contacted my school’s IT manager and he came first thing the next morning. As it turned out, the iPads needed to be updated and the AirPlay program needed to be reinstalled on my laptop. Ideally, I would have tested it out last week, but I simply ran out of time and needed to take home the iPad over the weekend to create my sample. (this was the first time this school year to take out the iPads)
The students continued during science block the following day. This didn’t go quite as smoothly as before. A few of the students were very distracted by the iPads and began taking photos of classmates and using the app to make the photos speak. Yikes, I needed to re-convene the class and explain how the iPads are tools for learning and a creative way to display their knowledge and not a toy to distract their peers or themselves.
Grisham, D. (2013). Love that book: Multimodal response to literature. The Reading Teacher. 67(3), 220-225.
Serafini, F. (2012) Reading multimodal texts in the 21st century. Research in Schools. 19(1), 26-32.
Serafini, F., & Youngs, S. (2013). Reading workshop 2.0: Children’ literature in the digital age. The Reading Teacher, 66(5), 401-404.
Chatterpix Kids app
Explain Everything app