Recently, a mentor posted on Facebook about the Banding Together project (here is his blog post from today). I have been looking for more opportunities to incorporate service learning into the classroom. Today, we had a “Project Friday”. During the project portions of our daily rotations, students created bracelets and rings using rainbow looms brought in by students. We also made necklaces with beads or created toys with craft sticks. All of these items will be sent to students in India.
To preface the lesson, I asked if anyone had ever heard of India. Hands were raised, but no one knew where it was. They all knew it was a different place from year. A global view, geographically speaking, is a difficult concept for kindergarteners to grasp. It all just seems far fetched that there are imaginary lines that divide continents, countries, and states.
We have become very interested in maps lately, so I went to National Geographic Kids to find a friendly link for us to research. This site did not disappoint. We saw a map, photos, and a video. We also read information together. A student asked how the items would get to India and so we learned about US Postal Airplanes, lay overs for long flights, and the oceans between our two countries.
From that mini lesson, we set to work! Students worked collaboratively using the looms. They showed such patience with each other. If a student said, “I want to keep this!” Another quickly reminded her, “These aren’t for us!” Such big hearts inside such little bodies.
After lunch, we read a popular trickster tale, Monkey. We compared the monkey to the fox in Gingerbread Boy. We wondered if students heard Monkey more than Gingerbread Boy since India is a different country. A student asked if we could Skype with a class there. That led to a lesson on time zones! Which was a great connection to our previous lessons on Earth and the sun.
Here are some of our creations from today:
How are you connecting your students learning?