Polka Dots

Monday, April 19, 2010

April Virtue: Cooperation

For April, we are focusing on the virtue of Cooperation. Since we are conducting our standardized tests this week, I have gotten a fair number of lessons completed. I'll have some more next week, but here are the highlights.

For Kindergarten, we read Swimmy by Leo Lionni. The students really liked learning about all of the different sea creatures Swimmy encounters as he goes on his journey. We discussed how each fish by him or herself were too scared to swim around and could not scare away the big fish, but together they were able to be brave and keep the larger fish away.

Each student then colored their own fish and I put them together to form a larger fish. The students are having a fun time pointing out their individual fish up on the wall.

In 1st grade, we discussed how bees work together to make honey. We then talked about the many ways that 1st graders work together to get things done.

For the activity, the class was broken up into groups of four students. Each student in the group was given a piece of paper with a school supply on it (Crayons, Scissors, Glue Stick, and Pencil). Only the students with the assigned supply were able to get those supplies out. Each student was given a bee body and wing and had to figure out in their groups how to cut out their bee body and wing, glue the two together, decorate the bee with crayons, and write their name on the back with pencil.

It took a little bit of frustration and discussion to get all of the group members working together. I heard comments like, "I have glue stick, but I can't glue my wing on because I haven't cut it out yet." So that prompted discussions on sharing the materials, using your supply and then passing it along, and asking to borrow something. By the end, each student had created their bee and glued it to the hive.

In 3rd grade, we made "Cooperation Faces". Each student was given a different colored piece of paper. Based on their paper, I asked them to draw the different parts of the face: Right Eye, Left Eye, Right Ear, Left Ear, Nose, Upper Lip and Lower Lip. Then, one by one, they came up to glue their pieces on the poster board. We made four faces and discussed how each student in class is an individual, but when put together they make their 3rd grade class.

In 4th and 5th grade, the students created spaghetti and mini marshmallow structures in small groups. The group with the tallest structure won a small prize.

After building, we had a class discussion on what went well and what could have gone better. Some things we talked about were: listening to each other's ideas, take turns building, being a leader and a follower, and brainstorming ideas. The students really enjoyed it and made some great structures!

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