In October and November during Library, second graders had an opportunity to participate in the Global Read Aloud, an initiative to promote diverse literature and voices to students. This year’s picture books were all by author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. Students learned about the author and analyzed inspirations for her stories and art. One book, Viva Frida, pays homage to Mrs. Morales greatest inspiration, Frida Kahlo.
After listening to Viva Frida and discussing Kahlo’s work and influence on Mrs. Morales, second graders headed to the makerspace to create their own original works. Kahlo is well-known for her unique self-portraits, glimpses of everyday life, and her imaginative scenes, and students were offered those three options to come up with their own piece using objects available in the makerspace. The following week, students typed up their inspiration for their art during Tech Lab.
The Library/Tech block allows for collaboration between the two spaces, whether to support a topic or information skill we are working on, or by supporting activities in the classroom. Teachers can schedule a time to come use the makerspaces with Lillian, and grade levels can work with both Kate and Lillian on bigger projects.
Recently, first grade completed a project on biomes. Students learned about five biomes in class, and then broke off into groups based on their favorite. During Library, students learned about using the online encyclopedia PebbleGo to find facts and information about their biomes. Each student found one unique fact and typed it in Tech Lab. Teachers also scheduled time in the makerspace for students to come and design their biome using shoeboxes and what was available in the makerspace. Groups had to create their biomes based on the information they had learned through classwork and their online research. The unique facts were then cut out and taped to the outside of their biome box.