We previously shared in our ML newsletter a great resource to teach geometric shapes but Sandra Garzon’s first grade class, at Northline Elementary, really took it to the next level.
“When I read the story Amigos I saw a wonderful opportunity to integrate multiple complex subjects like multiculturalism, interdependence, collaboration, friendship, values and, of course, teach about sizes, shapes and colors.”
Amigos presents brightly colored shapes: squares, circles, rectangles and triangles that are not allowed to play or meet others but those just like themselves; until some shapes defy these norms and discover the creative possibilities of playing with others.
This bilingual teacher began with “an interactive read aloud” where students participated by calling out colors and shapes. “We later discussed and described the story line and I was surprised to see that my kids were thrilled with the plot and seemed happy to understand that we can all be friends, regardless of how we look like. This was the perfect moment to talk about differences, friendship, contrastive analysis and connect it to our multicultural class environment,” said Mrs. Garzon.
After catching their attention, Mrs. Garzon grouped students and handed out manipulative material like 3D shapes, “which they used to create cars, boats, airplanes and even dinosaurs,” she mentions. “I tried to reinforce collaboration and the positive side of interdependence.”
Since hands-on learning is always a great way to engage students, her next step was “to design with them big scale figures which we later connected to real life objects,” (realia strategy).
Definitely, a great way to create dialog, acquire new vocabulary, make connections and most of all, learn while having fun!