Cooks – Jen Weisphal
Learning Objective/Exit Outcomes:
- Students will engage in collaborative discussion.
- Students will be able to state an opinion and defend that opinion with their knowledge of the content.
- Students will be able to recognize group movement as a form of storytelling.
- Students will learn to think critically about other opinions.
- Students will recognize that all opinions are valid and should be treated respectfully even if the opinions differ from their own.
ELA & Dance
ELAGSE4W1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.
- Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
- Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
- Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition).
- Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
ELAGSE4SL1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
- Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
- Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
- Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.
- Review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
ESD4.CR.2 Demonstrate an understanding of dance as a form of communication.
- Use movement to express an idea or feeling.
ESD4.PR.2 Understand and model dance etiquette as a classroom participant, performer, and observer.
- Demonstrate attentiveness, full participation, and cooperation with others in the dance learning and performing environment.
- Demonstrate focus, concentration, and self-discipline in the performance of skills.
- Apply knowledge of appropriate behaviors and skills as an audience member and dance observer.
All open classroom space
Due to the spacing in the room, we played a version of Exploding Atom called Vote With Your Feet, where, instead of people moving to the center of the room to agree and to the outside of the room to disagree, we used an open space on one side of the room where students moved from wall to wall to agree or disagree. The teacher assisted the students in knowing which way to move by hanging up a green paper on one wall and red paper on the other.
The teacher led the strategy, which was used to get students to express their opinions on a statement given by the teacher. For instance, the teacher would give statements such as “My favorite subject is science,” “Cats are better than dogs,” and “Fall is the best season.” From the statements given by the teacher, the students would move to the green wall if they agreed, the red wall if they disagreed, or any variance between the walls depending on their level of agreement to the statement.
The PAIR Specialist encouraged students to take notice of what the movement of the class could tell them about the opinions of a group as a whole. As a movement strategy, it is important to derive meaning from the movement of the class and to create a story from that movement as a dance.
After each statement, the teacher would ask students to share their opinion and reasoning. Should someone else’s opinion sway another student, students were encouraged to move if their opinion was challenged and changed. This encourages students to really listen to one another and think critically about their own opinions. As students share their opinions, they need to give their reasoning why to make an effective argument for their stance. For instance, one student liked cats better than dogs because that student had a bad personal experience with their neighbor’s dogs. Another person said they liked dogs better because cats don’t care about their owners, but dogs are like best friends. Another player gave a counter argument about having a cat that waits at the front door for them to get home and loves to be picked up and held. As this collaborative discussion occurred, some people did change their stance on cats versus dogs.
From Vote With Your Feet, students then sat down to write an opinion piece on a topic given by the teacher. Having seen how many differing opinions exist in their own classroom and engaging in effective discussion to defend their opinion, students were then asked to write an opinion essay with as much detail as possible.