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K-2 | Social Studies | Simulations
Station KLCS in California
My Classroom Innovation
To illustrate my innovation teaching strategies, I chose to do a unit of study on Africa. The specific PBS resources used were Between the Lions: Trains And Brains and Rainy Plains and http://pbskids.org/africa/. The first project was a Language Arts based project the students completed after reading the story and then watching a WGBH video of the show. The students learned new vocabulary words, illustrated important parts of the story and then did a class Reader's Theater of the book. The project was innovative because I used multiple ways of sharing the story with my students while reinforcing the learning of the different regions on the continent of Africa. The Reader’s Theater allowed the children to orally retell the story and give them an opportunity to do a whole class project. The second project utilized the web based resource http://pbskids.org/africa/ for a social studies simulation activity. The web site was shared with the students and we discussed the use of masks during ceremonies in Africa. After watching the video of the masks being used in a ceremony, the children were excited to make their own. I printed the different types of masks and then had the children paint/decorate them. Finally, the students learned about the different movements for each animal and we had our own class ceremony. This project was innovative because the student were able to see the ceremony using the web site, create their own mask and perform in their own class ceremony.
How Students were Engaged
The students loved the projects because it allowed them to actively be part of the learning experience. "Bringing the Rain to the Kapiti Plain" allowed them to access prior learning about what/where the plains areas are in Africa, they developed new vocabulary skills after watching the video and they were engaged/challenged during the Reader’s Theater. The mask project allowed students to become part an African ceremony without leaving the classroom. They were able to learn about a different culture and create an art piece to take home and share with family members.
PBS Program/Content Used