Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Looking for WOW!

Working to develop lesson plans or units with students is always interesting but it’s only occasionally that I get see how a student fleshes out a particular unit. It’s a bit of a thrill to know that resources I’ve suggested have enhanced the learning experiences for both MT students as well as for the kids they are teaching, too.
An example of this was just last fall and a student was teaching junior high students about plants. Did I know of any ‘interesting’ videos or DVDs that would excite her students? she wanted to know. I suggested she view a new DVD, The World According to Monsanto (363.19 WO 2008 DVD) which presents some pretty provocative information about this multinational company and its practices for developing and controlling seeds. Junior high kids love to get into issues that spark controversy. So there was potential here.
But an extra bonus was that about two weeks later I read a fairly lengthy article about Monsanto developing drought resistance corn in the local newspaper. Ah ha, a cross-curricular opportunity (science, social studies, current affairs, language arts, possibly even math) if there ever was one. Gotta love serendipity!
In addition, we gathered together some related books and kits but I found that few of these resources really wowed me. So what to do? I went looking to find something that would wow anyone.
Check out The Bizarre and Incredible World of Plants (580 StB 2009) that has some amazing photographs of plants, fruits, seeds often shown at the microscopic level. You would never guess what some of these images are. This is another strategy to help engage all sorts of learners of all ages: finding highly appealing, visual books or posters that show us things we think we know but puts a whole different spin on it. I love books like these as they have so much potential for grabbing the attention of almost anyone.


Template Design | Elque 2007