Please share onwards.
Please share onwards.
Nice video clip from Education Scotland on some uses of the library at Beeslack Community High School .
Today in the Library pupils discovered:
Challenge X continues to adapt, mainly following on from pupils’ ideas and suggestions. Most recently it seemed that pupils weren’t looking beyond the first suggestion available to them so we’ve created a page to collate all of the websites we’re suggesting.
That caused an inundation of shark defence suggestions during which I suggested punching the shark on the nose (I know I read it somewhere). My puny efforts were mocked – how on Earth could you punch a shark? – when I remembered that Brian Blessed had punched a polar bear in his tent. So I told them that too.
Isn’t it lovely to hear children’s laughter? Hmm, time to get some work done methinks, so pupils are asked to check their log sheets, complete their last task and select another. Remember the purpose of this period was to expand their ideas? Congratulations, Jen, you’ve now got half the class researching sharks and most of the rest researching polar bears.
There are still one or two individuals. One girl called Natalie is looking for a short reading connected to her name. After drawing a blank on connected author (Natalie Babbit – Tuck Everlasting – is missing), I suggest a Christmas connection (since Natalie comes from Latin natale domini. She selects a book, reads for a while, then comes over,
Miss, did you know Christmas is Christ’s Mass? I can’t believe I didn’t see that before! Wow! That’s amazing!
See, finding things out for yourself is still one of the best feelings in the world 🙂
Meanwhile the shark hunters are getting on swimmingly (sorry) and want to know about sharks around the coast of the UK. So we look up basking sharks, and discover their size, their feeding habits and where they hang out. Pupils were keen to share locations they’ve swum on holiday, including the Black Sea, California and Greece. Are there sharks? Are they going to die? Will sharks attack beaches?
As head know-it-all, I am naturally assumed to have this information at my fingertips (!) but even though the point is to get them researching, I do suggest that while it’s rare, I have seen footage of sharks close to beaches and that maybe if a shark was hungry enough, it might not be able to resist a meal just waiting on the shore.
At this, one pupil drops her book, turns pale and asks in horror,
Miss, are we MEAT?
Now you don’t want to get into a conversation about cannibalism, but to be honest there aren’t many answers to that question.
At this point, the other wildlife squad appear to check ‘the name of that guy that attacked a polar bear’. They don’t believe me – how would he get a polar bear in his tent? – and want to confirm it for themselves, which is fabulous. So we find a biography of Brian Blessed, and I draw their attention to some of his adventures and they’re hooked. As they leave the Library, I can hear them quoting him.
Discoveries of all sorts, information checking and a new hero. One hour in the Library. Mission accomplished 🙂
Another 1st year class came to the LRC for a round of Viking research, and to improve my education in class management.
Quick introduction and review of existing knowledge and into the first task: watch the video clip and write down which activities or jobs took place in the Viking settlement of Jarlshof, using evidence from both the images and the voiceover.
Their first three answers:
It’s beside the coast.
They had fresh water.
The archaeologists are digging things up.
So we stopped. I pointed out that they weren’t asked to take notes on everything, just the possible activities in the Viking settlement of Jarlshof, and discussed with them what activities might take place because the village was by the sea. And I also explained what the archaeologists were doing (and when).
The rest of the possible answers pop up, along with a couple that weren’t mentioned – raiders! leader! – and we add in trade too.
Task 2: each person in the group is going to select one activity or job from your list, and find out more about it.
Pupils’ chosen activities:
archaeologist, raider, fisherman, bone comb, farmer, craftsman, writer, woman
Hmm. So we sort out the archaeologists, the raiders (already been vetoed since we’re talking about a peaceful village) and the women (!), and turn the bone comb into another craftworker.
I send the first three tables up to get logged into computers, and share out the books with the others, rescuing a pile of FOUR books from under one arm – one at a time please, let’s share. Everybody settles down to work, including the staff.
Well, up at the computers, pupils have found the school website. But now they’re stuck. So I show them where the links are on the page.
Pupil clicks on the first link, looks at the page and turns back to me
But where’s the information?
Because of course, it’s not jumping up and down shouting, “LOOK AT ME!”. Sorry, folks, but you do have to read.
A quick wander round the other webnauts leads me to explain yet again that they should be writing down information about their own activity, not Vikings in general, explain how research works, and persuade them that they can’t write powerpoints before they’ve got information before heading back over to the book jockeys.
Just in time for the usual plaintive cry,
There’s nothing in this book, Miss!
Have you checked the index? The contents page? Flicked through it? OK, so what do you think you should do next?
Change my topic!
I persuade him to check out a different book instead, and demonstrate how to look for the relevant information using indexes, contents pages and send him off with a page or two to peruse before assisting victim 2.
What does this say?
Poppo – says he was a priest.
So, what bit should I copy then?
Sorry, no copying, just write down anything that’s relevant to your Viking activity. What is your activity anyway?
? So why are you writing about a priest?
Oh right, I thought you just had to to write anything down from the book!
Miss, I can’t find anything about farming, it’s all about food!
Miss, I can’t find anything about fishing, but I found out what Viking women wear, so can I just find out about that instead?
Miss, he (points to member of group) won’t do the same as the rest of us, he’s researching games!
And as we expand our minds with lateral thinking, make allowances for personal interests, and reiterate the task outline for the umpteenth time, I ponder with the class teacher why enthusiasm seems to lead to selective deafness and an inability to think outside the box. Maybe I’ll have a cure by the time they’re back on Friday.
And if not, bring back the Vikings!