Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Fish "On the Fly"

Do you ever wake up in the morning and think, "What are we going to do for school today?"

Perhaps just considering that freaks you out. Maybe you are a planner. I would like to be, but the fact is, I'm just not. So many mornings I wake up with this question. And you know what? It always works out for the best!
I opened up my son's language arts book and remembered that he had just read a story called "Fun with Fish" which had beautiful underwater photographs of all kinds of fish. He also has been asking to get his own fish, so I thought it might be a good idea to use this theme. We found a few resources that we have on fish, and read the information together.

The next day, I took that same information and put it into a chart. This is a great learning tool for visual learners who like to see information they have gathered in an organized manner. I was also able to phrase the terms I used with age appropriate words even though some of the resources were for older learners. We went over the chart. We also included my daughter, who is 4. (My son is 6). That morning I had seen our pattern blocks still sitting out, so I got the idea to create our own fish out of the blocks, and we could make up a story about them. The kids had so much fun!

Here is my six year-old's story and fish:

The Little Fish Gets Eaten

One day there was a HUGE shark. His name was Sharky. He had a little friend named Zoie. He and Zoie went hunting for fish. They didn’t catch any. So Sharky was so hungry that he ate Zoie. Then, he met another friend who was also a shark. Those two were best friends forever.

The End

It is important to note that before writing his story, he asked his sister what her fish's name was. You guessed it: Zoie. This did not go over well with the drama queen, who quickly fell to pieces upon hearing the story. I knew it would be a problem. But I couldn't decide...freedom of expression, or protect your baby's feelings? Hmmmm. Clearly I made the wrong decision. But I explained to my daughter that she could write her story about Zoie going to heaven and seeing our dog Jessie that just passed away. Instead, she decided to make Zoie a bigger shark who eats Sharky. And she changed her name to Melissa. Go figure! Here is a picture of her fish/shark, and her story is still in her head!

Notice the embellishments? Yep, she's all girl.

Anyway, we had a fun time with it. It was a good break from the normal day to day lessons that we do. And none of it was planned, so that makes it even better. I have learned that God plans everything, even the little "coincidences" of stories and lessons that are about the same subject or time period that are easily tied together. Really, you can't plan this stuff!

No comments: