Friday, February 12, 2010

Have you Filled a Bucket Today?

Today's lesson is one in making others feel good about themselves and will fit well into your character education curriculum.

After reading the book, "Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids," the class brain stormed a list of personality traits. Students came up with words like: kind, nice, respectful, responsible, caring, friendly, helpful, and so on. Each student was asked to expand upon his or her sentence in saying something similar to, "Sally is respectful because she never interrupts people." Instead of just saying, "Sally is respectful." If you have time, I would recommend using a template which has each student in the class listed. Encouraging students to write something nice to say about everyone by using the description words from the brainstorming activity.

After editing sentences, students design their own bucket in a paint/draw program. The images for this particular project were created in Pixie. Whatever you have access to will work. Team with the art teacher in your building and have students draw a bucket in art class then scan the image into the computer. Or during a reduce, reuse and recycle unit, have students build and design their bucket by reusing discarded items like an empty milk carton. Then, use a digital camera to take a picture.

Hopefully, you have access to a student drive and can create a single folder to save the images to. If not, you might invest in a thumb drive for projects such as this. I think you will find uploading images to the internet a little quicker than going into each student's folder and uploading one at a time.

Upload everyone's bucket to Voicethread. Then using a microphone, record the students reading their positive comment about each of their peers. Thus, filling one's bucket.

***With Valentine's Day approaching, you could easily turn this into a holiday lesson by drawing hearts instead of buckets.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Word of the Day

     Have fun introducing new vocabulary to your class by incorporating digital storytelling techniques. Try this. Present a word and allow students to use the new vocabulary word in a sentence. For today's example, I used Microsoft Powerpoint to create a my vocabulary word as an image. Then, I uploaded that image to Voicethread. All that is left now is to have students record themselves using the word of the day in a complete sentence.