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

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

These are the women with whom my fifth graders want to spend an afternoon

I would go back and do this part differently if I could.

That's an interesting way to start a blog post, right? 

Teaching is a naturally reflective practice and ten minutes into this last part of the fifth grade Women's History Month unit, I realized that I should have made a different choice.

I thought it would be interesting to have the students explore each other's projects - afternoons with women who inspire- and then choose three additional afternoons to join. I thought this would expand their knowledge and understanding of the contributions women have made. You can read more about the project on these posts: March Madness: Women's History Month Style and Which Women Would You Like to Spend the Afternoon With?  Just looking at each other's illustrations felt flat. Their excitement was lost in translation. I wish I had had the students show their illustration of their afternoon (using the ELMO) and talk about why they had chosen those specific women and the location.  The students engaged in the activity in earnest and part of my goals were met, but adding the public speaking component would have made it better.

After all the choices had been made, I went back and tallied the names of the women included in the most popular afternoons. The women most often included are: Michelle Obama, Amelia Earhart, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Blackwell, Marie Curie, and Sally Ride. Others who appeared in multiple afternoons include: Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, Ellen Ochoa, Mae Jemison, Rosa Parks, Harriett Tubman, Maria Mitchell, Clara Barton, Frida Kahlo, Emma Watson, and Mary Cassatt.

The most popular places to host this afternoon? My students would meet their women in these places: NASA, Hot Air Balloon, Starbucks, Living Room, Hospital, Operating Room Lab, Space, Civil Rights Museum, Airplane.

Here's another look at some of their finished art:

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