Saturday, May 2, 2009

Looks Natural, Feels Comfortable

Our nonfiction studies have been sailing along rather splendidly these past two weeks.  

The purpose of investigating nonfiction in first grade is to achieve several goals.  Our objective rests with providing our students with an introduction to features of nonfiction texts (table of contents, diagrams, glossary, index, photographs, headers, etc.) and how to navigate them (unlike fiction, this material does not require linear reading from front to back).

After immersion in the reading of a wide variety of nonfiction texts we begin to explore how to write them.  

These days, as opposed to back when I was a child, there are many, many options related to how information may be accessed. Inquiring students can still search in books or encyclopedias but today's clever lads and lasses also have access to the Internet.  And make no mistake, they learn to click and search with jaw dropping agility.  

In keeping with the thread of using all available resources we could not neglect the importance of interviewing an expert in the field. So, we invited a makeup artist to come speak with our students. Charline arrived fully prepared to 'wow' our class and deepen their understanding.  She created a PowerPoint presentation outlining the purposes of makeup (everyday use, special occasions, to create special effects, performances on the stage), tools (mascara, blush, etc.) and how to apply it.  

A Q&A followed the presentation as well as a demonstration and hands-on experimentation. Kids covered in clown makeup giggled together while others blotted on tissue paper.  All in all it was a fun, educational afternoon.  

A huge THANK YOU to Charline for exceeding our expectations (a PowerPoint!) and for sharing her time and knowledge!


Barbara said...

How does that work when you have a guest speaker? Do you sign while the person is presenting? Or do your kids read lips?

What's interesting to me is your kids seem to be on or above grade level despite their hearing issues.

I was just thinking the other day that the encyclopedia companies must be going out of business. Who would bother to go to World Book when the Internet is so much more robust and current? The world is changing in so many ways.

Gary said...

Barbara - Fantastic questions. Before Charline arrived the students asked the same question about communication. Happily, Charline is very skilled in American Sign Language and was able to conduct her lesson/presentation using manual communication.

The majority of my students are either at grade level or above (mostly above) in literacy. This is due to the fact that they came to school with a strong first language in place before tackling written English.

Encyclopedias do seem a thing of the past but they have their uses still. For one thing they help children learn abc order. But, it is true, they enjoy using the computer so much more. Who can blame them?

Steve said...

"Matte" is a pretty sophisticated word for a first-grader! Once again, I'm impressed!

Barbara, if I can presume to jump in on the encyclopedia question: I think they have slipped out of favor and a lot of kids do go straight to the computer these days. But I still have my old encyclopedias from when I was a kid, and I LOVE them. I read them for fun sometimes! It's so easy to stumble onto something interesting while looking up something else -- I hope kids still get that experience somehow.

WAT said...

Yeah yeah man. I used to LOVE skimming through a book such as an encyclopedia or dictionary, or atlases, almanacs, always found that stuff fascinating, but you are so right, with the Internet it is all so amazingly available instantly, and I cannot imagine being so fortunate a minor in school nowadays having all this astounding accesss to this great info. and PORN! OOPS! No no, scratch that. PORN is only cool to 15 year-olds and up! WAIT! NO, THAT'S KIND OF WRONG TOO ACTUALLY! OH YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!

Reya Mellicker said...

Maybe that's why I love non fiction so much - because it doesn't have to be read in a linear way. Very cool revelation.

Sounds like a great lesson plan, too, Gary. Those kids will be great at fictionary!! YES.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a wonderful presentation. You always have such interesting speakers for the students.

Would have liked to attend the class. I must always admit to loving the topic of make-up. It's one of my favorite things!


Charline said...

Wow Gary that was really great. Thanks so much for the compliments and for posting that. I loved every minute of it and am glad the kids did too. And the pic of me isn't half bad either thank god...haha. You're a sweetheart...thanks again!

Salty Miss Jill said...

Oh, this sounds like fun. :)

Arielle Lee Bair said...

Oh Gary! I've been away from the blogworld for about a month... and I'm just now posting on my own blog and catching up on your wonderful one. So much always happens in my absence! But, as always, you continue to do and share great things.

:) Arielle

Gary said...

Arielle - I have been away from blogging for several weeks myself. Hopefully, I will also catch up with all of this over the long weekend. Hope things have been wonderful for you.

lettuce said...

so did you get a make-over gary?

Anonymous said...

kids still adore the DK Eyewitness Series of books, which are encyclopedic. They will sit with them for a solid hour--ages roughly 4 to 14.

Sebastien said...

Hehe, clown make-up sounds like a great time. We never did that when I was little, I feel I got short-changed, haha!


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