Stacked in Our Favor

Thoughts about libraries, education, children's literature, writing, art and being connected

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Drawing the Caldecott Medal Contest

Small children may love books, but sitting for any length of time is challenging. So I needed to find an outlet for children to move, create and respond to what they were learning about the Caldecott Medal.

The first thing I did was make up a song and dance, which I will post once I have mastered the mechanics of my new recording tools.

Then I created a quiz/contest. Each child was given a piece of paper which looks like the one you see above. They were asked what they thought it was. Some say "it's a circle", some know right away from the context that it is the Caldecott Medal.

Next students were asked what was missing. Usually they recognize that the pictorial elements are missing. I allow them to tell me each item, but I ask that each child only identify one part so more children get a chance to participate.

Moving on to the text, I read what is actually written on the paper. Together we sound out and discover what the answers are. Only then do I send them to the table to complete the task.

What will happen to these papers?
1. The best paper in the school will be chosen to be on our website. It will be the emblem for our Mock Caldecott group.
2. It will also be shrunk down to medal size and affixed to the book that our student body chooses as their pick for the medal this year.
3. The reduced size medal will be run off in duplicate and laminated. Each student will be given one of these medals to place in the container next to the book they vote for. When the student receives their medal their name will be checked off. This way I can locate students who miss class for some reason and make sure they get a chance to vote during the week we vote.
4. The chosen medal will also be used as the visual in a graphing exercise in which students will compare the results from individual classrooms.

If you choose to copy my activity, please give me credit for developing the idea. Here are some pointers for making this run more smoothly.

1. Make sure you are clear about what your expectations are before you start. Students will surprise you with what they do with this project. If you aren't clear, you are likely to see a lot of princesses appear in the middle of your medals.

2. Be clear if you want the items to be in the proper locations. This is a great way of going over middle/center, top, bottom, right and left. If you are not clear, and even if you are, you will see some interesting juxtapositions. Why not have that goose riding on the horse?

3. Next time I will be sure to be clear that all the elements must be done in pencil before the crayons are touched. If not, you often cannot see what is drawn underneath.

The results were beautiful. I have two more classes to submit their papers, but have narrowed it down to about 30 at this point. I will be posting the result on our school website at the end of this week.

No comments: