Sunday, January 12, 2014

One Little Word Project

What a week!  After a wonderful two week winter break, we ended up with a two day extension thanks to some extremely cold weather, we ended the week with an early dismissal on Friday thanks to another dose of winter wonderfulness.  Despite only being in class for 2 and a half days we did manage to tackle and complete our One Little Word Project.  The kids really had a positive response to this project and choose great words for their year.

To get this project started I shared the book The Quilt maker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau and Gail De Marcken. I asked the students to think about words they thought would define the king and the quilt maker's lives.  They came up with words like magical and generous for the quilt maker and greedy, selfish and mean for the king.  Next we talked about how the quilt maker made a difference in many people's lives, especially the king's so they determined that a couple good words for both by the end of the story were give or share.
Next I had my students look at our verbs list in their reading/writing notebooks.  I asked them to think about what they could do to make this year different.  After they checked out that list I told them I wanted them to pick one word that they could focus on for 2014.  To help them stay away from "weak" words like "nice" and "fun" we talked about the fact that this is the time people set new goals or resolutions for this year, so they should try to find a word that really meant something to them. I then shared the presentation that Jennifer over at Mrs. Laffin's Laughings {check out her post} created to share with her class.  It was great-as they were watching, you could literally see the light bulbs above their heads turn on as the idea starting to sink in.  To end this initial lesson I had the students write down 5 words that thought might be good for their one little word and I told them we would return to it the next day to finalize their word after they had a longer chance to think about it.

Day two of this project I had the students pull out their sticky note with their 5 words and we watched the Pep Talk from Kid President.  We had actually watched this video earlier in the year, but I felt like it was a good message to get them to think about how they could be awesome. (Plus it fit in with the my launch of Genius Hour (I'm planning to do a few posts on that topic later) that I had planned for the end of the week).  After viewing the video I had the class do a quick group share with their words--I knew I had a few students who could use a little inspiration from their peers before they made their final decision.  Next came the creative element---(we don't have an art teacher in my district any more so it is up to the classroom teachers to come up with art activities--thank God for the blogging community and all the artsy teachers out there or I would be in BIG trouble), so using Jennifer's idea again, students created a little word art with their One Little Word.  To finish up the project students had to write how the word they chose could be applied to their school life as well as their everyday life.  I have to say I was very impressed by some of the deep thinking many of my students put into this activity.  Here is a little video clip showing our finished project. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Love, love, love this!!! Thank you so much for letting me know about your project and I really enjoyed seeing everyone's word in your video. Amazing!!

    Funny story -- One of my student's OLW is "strive." On Friday, she was complaining about being asked to participate in the Battle of the Books competition at school because she is so "busy." I overheard her and reminded her that her OLW for the year was "strive" or to stretch to better herself. She thought for a moment, then changed her mind about participating. :)

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings