Research projects in kindergarten…no problem! Children at this age are naturally curious which makes it a perfect time to teach basic information literacy skills! I like to use a modified version of the Super3 framework. I love how simple it is for children to understand and how it can be incorporated into so many types of projects. When teaching the process, I focus on the components of plan, do, and review as well as providing opportunity to share. I know within the framework of the Super3 that sharing is incorporated into the “doing” part of the process. To me, sharing is such a big part of why we do something that it needs its own step.
One of the first units in kindergarten is a focus on manners. In working with the kindergarten teachers, they love when connections can be made across the various subject areas. Since I am happy to make these connections, I was looking for a project that could be incorporated into their unit. It came to me on a Tuesday morning as I checked my mailbox and received the Michigan Reads! Book for 2015 – 2016. Each year the Library of Michigan chooses one book, usually written by a Michigan author, to be shared across the state in the month of September and October. They send a copy of the book along with lesson materials to schools and public libraries. The book that was chosen this year was Do Unto Otters by Laurie Keller. This book incorporates various manners shared by three funny otters and Mr. Rabbit. Since it was a prefect curriculum connection, I decided to share it with the kindergarten.
As we were reading the children were really drawn to the speech bubbles that were part of the text. Speech bubbles are something they use in their writing as they work on labeling and adding details to their own stories. This was a natural connection and from it a project was born!
After reading the book the students created a list of all the manners they could remember from the story. This was part of my plan all along, but it became much more important than I initially thought. Additionally, we discussed ways that we could share the manners listed with others.
Here is an example:
Then during the next library session, we reviewed the list we had created and how we were going to use it. Each child chose a character from the story. The character pictures were provided in the resources sent by the Library of Michigan. Then students used the manners discussed during the planning part of the project to create their own speech bubble. Before completing the work I showed them an example of what the final product would look like as well as how it would be shared. Then the students set to work!
Here is an example:
Review and Share:
Students were reviewing their work throughout the process. The thing about the Super3 is that it is taught in steps, but we do many of the steps more than once while we work. During the next library session, the students reviewed what they had created and then recorded themselves saying the manner they chose to write in their speech bubble. They made their speech bubble come to life! Using an app called ChatterPix, they were able to take a picture of their project, add their name, and record their voice. This app was not on all of our school devices so students recorded with me individually. Their individual videos were then compiled into a class movie. This movie was shared with the class as well as the parents at their Manners Matter Party. This was the culminating event that happened in each classroom. After watching the video together the students shared something they liked and what they would change next time. Check out an example of the final product: http://bit.ly/1ifAMuc Please note: For the sake of privacy the children’s names have been removed, but their names were included with their project when created for the classroom.
Although, this was not your traditional research project it still fits into the framework of the Super3 and allowed students to start thinking about the process in which they work. Let’s see where it takes us next!
For more information about the Michigan Reads! Program please visit: http://1.usa.gov/1fXzums
Read more about The Super3:
Eisenberg, M., & Robinson, L. (2007). The Super3: Information skills for young Learners. Columbus, Ohio: Linworth Pub.
Author: Kelly Hincks
I am the librarian at Detroit Country Day Lower School in Bloomfield Hills, MI. I have worked as a school librarian for the past eleven years. I was a classroom teacher for four years prior to that. I have worked in charter, public, and private schools. My favorite thing about being a school librarian is the opportunities I have to work both with students and teachers. I love the co-teaching opportunities and connections I have been able to make! I have served on AASL committees as a member and chair. I currently serve as secretary of my state association, Michigan Association of School Librarians (MASL).