Sunday, October 13, 2013

Combine Content & Creativity

I continue to focus on social emotional learning. My third graders are creating projects which help them explore and internalize the Zones of Regulation by Leah Kuypers. Kuyper has developed curriculum that classifies and explains emotions for children.

I introduced the framework by playing the game (available as an APP) on our interactive whiteboard. Our first task was to create a drawing or a picture on that illustrated a character in the Green Zone. Students enjoyed using the art tools to draw their own images or creating a picture by selection scenes and stickers. Dialogue is typed into speech bubbles.

As we focus on each zone, we spend time defining each emotion, giving synonyms and brainstorming scenarios in which people exhibit each emotion. I do not assume my students have prior understanding of the vocabulary. The activities allow them time to explore an emotion of choice and use their ideas to show their understanding.

Students created movie scenes to show characters displaying yellow zone emotions. The Make A Movie feature allows students to program characters and objects along a timeline. Characters can move and display many special effects.

Students are currently writing stories with a character in the Red Zone. Red Zone emotions include angry, elated, out of control and terrified. Kerpoof's Tell A Story feature gives many choices for each character, making it fun to match face and body language with the plot. Students are having fun combining content and skill learning with the chance to use their creativity.

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