The Maker Movement can be a great way to approach literature study by using meaningful, high interest problem based and project based learning. As Teacher-Librarians incorporate Maker Education activities into the Learning Commons, there are endless opportunities to use literature to facilitate this hands-on learning.
Reading can spark interest and provide context for projects in the same way that Maker activities can create enthusiasm for further literature explorations. It is not the case that designated time spent in the elementary Library Learning Commons must be either literature based or have a Maker focus. The two can be complimentary and interwoven.
Here are a few book titles and projects that might help to spark ideas:
Wondering if building a clear plastic green house might speed up bean germination? Does the shape or size of the structure affect the rate of growth? Using recycled materials such as clear plastic cartons or create a frame with popsicle sticks and kitchen wrap.
This week every class K – 2 had a refresher lesson in the Learning Commons about health. Something about story time draws little ones to touch their faces. In an effort to remind students about hygiene we talked about germs, nose picking and hand washing. This is particularly important on the days we use the iPads, although we all share the books, door knobs, railings and table tops. We also took a look at some images of germs under a microscope.
We read ‘Sick Simon’ by Dan Krall which helps children visualize the germs and encourages them to understand how sickness can spread. We also sang along with a catchy little tune in a video called ‘ Picking Your Nose is Nasty’.
Other titles in the Vanier Library collection include:
With simple, straightforward text and adorable illustrations, this book is a great go-to resource for parents and caregivers to help young children easily understand what acts of kindness are all about. Continue reading
Red is miserable. He just can’t be red, no matter how hard he tries! Finally, a brand-new friend offers a brand-new perspective, and Red discovers what readers have known all along. He’s blue! This funny, heartwarming, colorful picture book about finding the courage to be true to your inner self can be read on multiple levels, and it offers something for everyone.
Get your toes tapping and take a look at some of these music resources available in the Vanier LC. Learn about the lives of musicians, styles of music, inspiring biographies, musical jobs and enjoy some great lyrics and picture books.
Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler. The most fun you’ll have reading a story aloud. Great rhythm and fun rhymes encourage children to join in this classroom favourite. Continue reading
With the new school year just around the corner, it’s a good time to highlight some of our favourite books to ease back-to-school jitters. Reading about and discussing a character’s nervousness or anxiety can help ease a child’s worries during this new and exciting time.
MakerSpaces can be a great catalyst for the growth of social-emotional learning. Facilitating a maker culture can give students a venue for the development of the tools they need to recognize, understand and manage emotions and to make the responsible decisions that are critical to being a successful learner. These life long skills must be clearly articulated and deliberately discussed so that they become an intrinsic foundation for the emotional health of the student.
There are many excellent social emotional learning titles that can be used to encourage SEL development. However, a few of these also blend very well with a Maker mentality and build on some important tenants of social and emotional well being.