We have been developing our understanding of how crucial it can be to follow instructions very carefully and being able to reach the end product as planned. The students had a task of knitting a bookmark using yarn and knitting needles. Mrs. Sandhu and a helper in the group guided the students with their knitting project.
This is a project that enabled students to develop their listening and speaking skills as well as building on their fine motor skills. They could take the bookmark home with them when they were finished. The students were given instructions on how to begin knitting their bookmarks. They were given written instructions as well as demonstrations from myself and another student in the group, who also had knitting experience.
The students realized how the steps in knitting were repetitive but crucial to the production of the end result. Hand – eye coordination was important but sometimes challenging. Holding the knitting needles and controlling the yarn together was extremely difficult. However, although a few stitches were dropped… (we managed to pick them back up and continue knitting)… the students worked very hard on their skills and managed to complete the task adequately.
The students required a lot of support in the beginning, however, as they repeated the same stitch over and over again, they were able to continue independently. The students asked questions and shared comments throughout this project, which enhanced their speaking skills. They asked and commented regarding the procedure, the instructions, the problems they were having, how they felt about the project, what was easy or difficult, what to do next, etc. They also had to listen and watch very carefully when instructions were given or the next steps were shared. This was a fun but somewhat challenging project, especially for those who had never knitted before.
We all recognized how difficult it is to knit such a small piece (a bookmark) and how others have the experience and talent to knit hats, sweaters, scarves, etc. Well, with the help of each other, we managed to complete all the bookmarks.
And then I thought, okay, this is great! But we need to add more to this…
After the bookmarks were ready, we brainstormed ideas and feelings about how a bookmark would feel if it was a real character. We asked questions like; What do we do with bookmarks? What do we use them for? What would you feel or see if you were a bookmark? Lots of questions and ideas were raised during the discussion. We used the Popplet app on the iPad to brainstorm all the ideas, feelings, etc. (The iPad was displayed on the projector so that all the students could see).
I modelled sentences on the board, and the students began to write their own little paragraph about being a bookmark. They included many features that a living object would experience.
We then took the bookmarks and the students paragraph and combined them into a Chatterpix Video. Here are the results.
These videos were amazing and the students had a great time compiling this whilst developing on their English language skills. The students expressed their inner feelings as though they really were a bookmark. Great job!