Monday, August 22, 2011

Famous and the infamous

A reflection: It's funny how people start addressing women as Sir in India once they do something heroic!

A step by step process of my inquiry lesson. I think I'll keep updating the same post in order to keep this on one page!

23rd August

My class is learning all about heroes, and I have created a short but provocative video ( I hope! ) using Animoto. What a wonderful tool :)
Famous and the infamous

This was my provocation.

I decided not to tell the kids what they were going to inquire into. By carefully watching the video they will have to identify the characters they know. I posted a power point of the famous and infamous characters on the new class blog (The kids are absolutely thrilled and amazed to see themselves on it) so that they can go home and show their parents the ones they had trouble identifying.

24th August

The following day we made a Venn diagram. A three way one. I used to make copies for the students to do later by themselves and one huge one on the white board. What a hilarious time we had. The three well known figure we had were Sachin Tendulkar, Osama Bin Laden and Mahatma Gandhi! The kids may not be very great English language speakers, but they were finding some amazing connections between these very oddly matched characters!

The students are still learning how to blog. Today I showed them how to add an image. I let one child try it. I asked him to look for someone he considered a hero. He choose a Bollywood actor (shudder)  but  it was a perfect opportunity for me to help them distinguish a hero from an idol later on in the unit!

25th August

The students brought stories, pictures , Indian scarves (which were the colours of the indian flag) and lots of interesting pictures of people they considered "heroes."

The sorting out activity which followed helped me understand what they felt the word "hero" meant to them;  it also challenged them...they had to figure out which hero to put where. Do they put all the women heroes together or do they put them under some other category, such as leaders of the nation. Take a look...

The final outcome

All these sportmen are Cricketers!

Freedon fighters and leaders
I realize the students need more international exposure. It is clear that they have not drawn a line between heroes and celebrities.

What do I need to do now to solve these issues?


  1. Great job, and very reflective practice, congratulations!
    On thing that might help here is to prepare a mural where to collect "unknown heroes": people who did heroic actions but never become celebrities, silent heroes from daily life who will never be known...
    Reflection is involved: WHY are they heroes? HOW do they become heroes? WHAT is a heroic act?...
    It is also interesting to compare different definitions, and to find a picture in the Internet to illustrate them:
    ... ... ...
    Thank you for sharing this Ven diagram's activity with us! I'll try something similar with other topics!! :-)

  2. Thanks for posting this! I love how you decided to hold back the central idea until after the provocation. We often do that at my school and are really finding it powerful! Thanks for giving us a peek into how the inquiry is running in your class... it was great to see! I can't wait to read how the unit ends! What are you aiming at for a summative assessment?

  3. Great stuff, Naini!! We, too often have the students tune in to the concepts before sharing the central idea - it has worked really well. After the tuning in, we had the students do a 'bus stop' activity where they would visit the key words from the central idea (concepts & big ideas) and write down what they understood by these. We then brought this together and built the central idea collaboratively. This prolonged tuning in prompted great questions and was a wonderful start to our inquiry.

    I agree with the comment made earlier - have the students reflect on why they have included the individuals and prod with a guiding question, such as How do you know someone might be a hero? You could have them start listing the acts of the individuals and link these to the PYP attitudes and/or the learner profile characteristics. As students are sorting our their information, hopefully they will come to understand the difference between a celebrity and a hero.

    PS - Miss your laugh! The video brought back so many great memories!! You are an awesome teacher!

  4. My many great ideas coming from great teachers. I will certainly take into account all these suggestions. The kids determine how the unit will go. All i need to ensure is that they don't deviate too much from the CI. I posted the videos without listening to myself. I watched them later and cringed. I wish I was less talkative (i am normally !!) and it just made me reflect what to say and what not to say.


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