Monday, June 11, 2012

A student, a stuffed animal and a camera...

We tried a new project in writing this year.  I had heard about using students favorite stuffed animal for a photo shoot of sorts.  Working with all boys can be challenging.  But having them bring in their favorite stuffed animal and equipping them with cameras lends incredible possibility.  It was intended to be a 3 part project, first in the fall, then in the winter and finally in the spring.

Our school happens to have an outdoor classroom area.  That was the perfect backdrop for the first set of pictures.  In fact, I was unaware that this class had actually planted some pumpkin seeds at the end of last year.  They were in full bloom and provided great fun.  Here are some of the pictures they took.  Don't you just love it! 

The students sent out in pairs and were to take 2 pictures of just their animal and one with them together.  I printed out their pictures and then the creative writing began.  Working with graphic organizers, they had to choose an order for the pictures and then write a simple story.  I did very little instruction but did provide an editing sheet encouraging proof-reading, check for capitalization and punctuation, and to read it out loud to themselves. 

Next I had hoped for lots of snow, and a repeat performance with the animals for a "snowy" story.  Sadly, there was very little snow this winter and we did not have the chance!  Hopefully, next year we can do that!

So we ended with the planned "adventure on the playground."  The boys were very excited to pose their animals in various places on the playground equipment...  It was a great way to end the year and to celebrate their writing skills.  The students were encouraged to use words like first, next, then, and last...  We had spent a lot of time on writing paragraphs and as a result the final products were quite good.

 This is definitely a project we will do again! 

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