tinker with text
Literacy-Based Maker Education
We made some spinbots in class this week. They're precursors to doodlebots (aka wigglebots) that don't need batteries or motors. It was a huge hit!
To start, we read Happy Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds. There's a line in the book that goes like this, "Sometimes, I'm a colorful dreamer ... painting my own path full of surprises at every turn." We linked this to our "I am" statements, which connect to the Personal-Social core competency that we've been focusing on. We reflected on these questions: Which kind of happy are you? What kind of a dreamer are you? What are your dreams? Which path are you on?
To make a spinbot, all you need is:
Then, the children wrote some of their attributes from their "I am" statements along a path on their abstract art. We displayed them in the hallway with a poster showing students how they can make their own spinbot at home. Our final step was to create a Wonder Wall for possible inquiry topics in the future. We plan to make a kit to loan out to other classrooms in the school and have some of my students demonstrate and assist.
It's an easy makerspace project that you could try in your own classroom. There are so many cross-curricular connections that could also fuel an interest in many related topics.
*Note 1: Most of my students have an SLD in reading and/or writing. I also honour and encourage emergent spelling.
**Note 2: When I asked the students, "What are your dreams?", one boy responded with, "My dream is to read." ... I just about cried. I've seen many learning miracles throughout my career. I have hope and believe in his dream.
Vicki Den Ouden is an Elementary Reading Intervention Teacher from BC, Canada. She loves to dream, learn, teach, and create.