Reflection: Lesson Planning How do You Build an Igloo? - Section 2: Activity


For this activity to be successful you have to plan ahead and coordinate with another teacher. I was very fortuante that a middle school teacher was willing to give up his students for 45 minutes to work with my kindergarten students. 

At my school we are encouraged to do as many cross grade activities as possible. This lesson provided us with the perfect opportunity to accomplish this goal.

The first thing I had to do was meet with the middle school students and set them up with guidelines to follow.

  • No telling what the kindergarten student what to do.
  • Question the kindergarten choices in an inquiring manner. For example, "Why are you putting the half cylinder there? What purpose does it serve? 
  • Write only the steps the kindergarten student tells you. Do not infer what you think they mean to say. 
  • Prompt using questions like, "What did you do first?" "Second?" etc. 

Then I had to make the pairing process look like it was random, but in actuality I had pre-organized who would go with who. I accomplished this by taping certain fair sticks together. I carefully held the sticks so the students would not see the taped end of the sticks. I needed to do this as I have some special needs students who only work well with quiet people, etc, and I had siblings who wanted to work together.

All in all the activity was a great success as the students worked well in teams and the kindergarten student was able to focus on the building steps without having to worry about the writing process. They dictated very clearly and some even had the middle school student repeat the words back to them to make the middle school student had written it right!  

  Teacher Tools and Systems
  Lesson Planning: Teacher Tools and Systems
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How do You Build an Igloo?

Unit 13: Polar Life
Lesson 10 of 10

Objective: Students will be able to compose informative texts where they explain what they are building and give detailed directions.

Big Idea: Want to know how to build an igloo? Let a kindergarten student tell you the steps to take.

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