"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Friday, September 30, 2016

They All Saw a Cat inspires big thinking about perspectives


This week, this students and I have been reading They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel. You can read about the experience on this post: ReedALOUD: They All Saw a Cat.  On this post, you will find examples of the thinking the book inspired in the students. 

There is now a bulletin board outside the library showing second through fifth grade students' work with perspective taking: how they see themselves as learners and how they want others to see them as learning partners. After having a conversation, the first graders practiced drawing cats from an emotional/relationship or proximity perspective.
I connected They All Saw a Cat and this type of perspective taking to our work around our library rules, and after exploring the many amazing things about the book, I told the students that in order to take care of ourselves, our first school rule, they had to know themselves as learners... the reflection parts. I gave examples for how I see myself: enthusiastic, interested, creative. I added that in order to take care of others, they had to think about how others see them as members of our learning community. I then gave these examples for myself: flexible, curious, hardworking. For the younger students I play acted partners and thought bubbles. (I did something similar with Peter Brown's My Teacher is a Monster (No, I am Not) two years ago.)

This is our almost complete bulletin board. The first graders created the cat borders, like the one on the bottom and I have one more to hang up.

Fourth and Fifth Grade
I created a window and a mirror hoping to further encourage introspection and give the students a more tangible prompt.






Third Grade
I drew a cat and a pond, mirroring (no pun intended) the final pages of the book, hoping to help them better separate the type of perspective.







Second Grade
The second grade students shared a word that they hopes would be in a projects partners thought bubble when thinking about them as a learning partner. (The thought bubble is important because we always use a poker face when hearing partners and groups.)




They also drew cats from close up and far away (proximity perspectives) as well as tried to show how they feel about cats (emotive relationship/perspective).




First Grade
The first graders had a conversation, joined Emily Arrow in a sin-along song of the book, and drew a cat border for the bulletin board.


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