A worthwhile exception
I cheated and watched a video today. It may be the first time all year. That should make you scoff, because it’s a half-truth. I have played youtube clips galore, recorded read alouds, brain break dances, trivia and much more. But this was the first actual half hour “show” that went on the big screen for kids from me.
It was worth it – I needed the mental break, the not shouting through a mask, the not feeling like I had to put on a performance for the 6′ x 6′ gridded audience. Turns out there is a lot less drama in class when a drama is playing on the screen!
Best of all, the video was totally connected to our lessons and themes of the week, and I brought the literature along to go with it. We have been doing inquiry and animals, including the wondering of who could be the new “ruler of the animal kingdom.” Today, we listed some more animals, and then I read from Graeme Base’ Animalia, which has long been a personal favorite. I have a ginormous wall mural that I usually show Kindergarten and usually hang on the wall (I did neither this year). The book is an alphabet walk through the animal kingdom with abundant alliteration to keep readers alert.
In 2007, creators also happened to make a short series of animated episodes about Animalia (from Australia, just like Base). As all on screen versions do, they took liberties with the source material, but there are certain themes that always rise to the top of the first two episodes. First, it asks what ifs like: “what if animals had human ability to communicate and use technology? what if humans were mythical creatures to them, like unicorns to us? what if something new is introduced to a foreign world? These are related wonderings for our inquiry, and also for our classroom community building. In fact, the library is the heart of Animalia, and inside is the core, a giant crystal that holds their powers of communication and community. As spores of the core break off and blast around the land, parts of the animals abilities to cohabitate peacefully erode as well. There would be much to gain from the whole series, but there was lots of engagement, discussion, and interest from today’s first (and likely last) episode.
This was, in my personal and profession opinion, a worthwhile exception!
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by!