Monday, 13 June 2016

Percy's Complication

To round out last year, my colleague and I cranked out a unit of learning based on Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson The Lightning Thief. We covered a ridiculous amount of ground in the last couple of weeks, and the kids loved it.  Who am I kidding? I loved it.

So, when I found out that the history topic my current class needed to learn about was Ancient Greece, I could feel Percy tapping me on the shoulder. I quickly bought the ebook for my iPad and set to work planning.

The learning outcomes for this unit are quite different (and the kiddos are brand new to me) so our learning is, of course, very different. One thing I was super keen to keep though was a narrative project. The basic premise: choose an Ancient Greek god and write a narrative with the demigod child of that god as the protagonist. The god must be involved in either the complication or the resolution somehow.

And therein lay the problem or the complication.  I discovered pretty quickly that the class needed a review of narrative structure. (Ha! See what I did there? Oh dear, I'm laughing at my own jokes. That's sad.)

I gave out sticky notes and we used everyone's contribution to co-construct a shared understanding.

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Plot Mountain Anchor Chart by Markeeta Roeis licensed under a 
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Plot Mountain Anchor Chart Introduction Detail  
by Markeeta Roe is licensed under a 
Creative Commons License
Plot Mountain Anchor Chart Series of Events Detail
by Markeeta Roe is licensed under a 
Creative Commons License
Plot Mountain Anchor Chart Characters Detail 
by Markeeta Roe is licensed under a 
Again, the anchor chart has been a great scaffolding tool for many of the kiddos. They've also been working with a graphic organiser I created to mirror the chart. I've built the organiser into the project's assessment rubric and conferred during this pre-writing stage to offer 'feedforward' (rather than 'feedback').  As fate would have it, I happened to read a blog post (that you can read here) about this very idea over the weekend.
It was rather affirming to read, and a timely reminder to keep it up.

I'll update as the narratives take shape. I can't wait to see how the kiddos incorporate their inquiries into Ancient Greece into their narratives.

This relates to the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers:
Standard 1 Know the students and how they learn
Standard 2 Know the content and how to teach it
Standard 3 Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
Standard 7 Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community

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