Saturday, March 7, 2015

Anything's Possible~Imagination and Inspiration Grab Bags!

Hello Friends!

It's Jennifer from Stories and Songs in Second here to share some Dr. Seuss-inspired ideas that I hope you'll be able to include in some of your upcoming lessons!

On Friday morning as I was getting out of my car and heading into school, the van from Toledo's Imagination Station pulled into the parking space next to me.  I stopped to greet the two educators as they began unloading their tubs of science supplies for what promised to be a wonderful morning of exploration and discovery. Thanks to a grant written by one of our 5th grade teachers, all of our third, fourth, and fifth grade students were going to benefit from a magical and hands-on learning experience, and get a much-needed break from our mandated state tests!

As I helped them carry some of their materials to our gym, the wheels in my own brain began turning.  Even though my second graders could not participate in the planned Imagination Station event, I could host my own right in Room #2!  All I needed to do was open the doors of my "junk cupboards!"  

Since my class needed to make some kind of Seuss-like trees for our afternoon assembly featuring a slide show and Read-In-The-Round of Green Eggs and Ham, I decided that chenille stems (aka pipe cleaners), Scotch tape, and brightly-colored paper were just what my little "imagineers" needed.   After a short demonstration on how to best twist and attach everything, I gave them these directions...... 
What ensued was 45 minutes of intense happiness and creativity! 

Granting my students unlimited access to pipe cleaners and paper of all colors was like handing them a golden ticket to Willy Wonka's candy factory.  

They were completely self-directed, very motivated, and uncustomarily quiet as they worked.  

I credit our reading of some of Dr. Seuss' more obscure stories last week for helping my group feel free to express themselves.  The whimsical and wonderfully different ideas and illustrations we enjoyed on the pages of McElligot's Pool, If I Ran The Circus, I Had Trouble In Getting To Solla Sollew, and To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street served as a great reference for my tree-makers, and inspired a fantastic and fabulous forest!

I can't wait to come back next week with STEM ideas from these two packets....

and put the "junk" I found at the Dollar General this morning 

inside these fun "grab bags" that I found this summer in the Target Dollar Spot....

and see what inventive contraptions and creatures my students come up with!

I also cannot wait to share this delightful story from Ashley Spires entitled 
The Most Magnificent Thing!  

It is a tale about a little girl and her dog who overcome frustration with perseverance and ingenuity.  It teaches a great lesson about "going back to the drawing board" many, many times before achieving success, and would be a great introductory read aloud for a unit on famous inventors or courageous American woman.

I hope that this post has provided you with some new ideas and ways to help your students' creative juices flow!  May this banner from my classroom be a daily reminder of Albert Einstein's wise and true words......

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

And may these lyrics from Anything's Possible remind you that unique and different ideas are sometimes the best kind!

Oh, the sea is so full of a number of fish!
If a fellow is patient, 
he might get his wish.
And that's why I think that I'm not such a fool,
when I sit here and fish in McElligot's pool....
It's possible!
Anything's possible!

Be sure to share this wonderful song from 
 with your class!

Continue to keep calm, teach on, be creative, and stay colorful!

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