We are at the end of our unit studying bears. Over the last few days the students have been working in pairs to demonstrate their knowledge on a specific bear. We used one of our favourite apps, Popplet, to create mind maps that contained images, pictures, and words. Below are some examples of the Popplets my grade ones created.
For the most part I am happy with what we did; however, there are a few things I would do differently. I began by leaving the activity very open-ended. I encouraged students to pick a bear and then to use all the different resources in the classroom to add all the things they knew/we had learned about that particular bear. As my students are in grade one and French immersion, they were having trouble writing the words to go with the photos and pictures they had drawn or taken. This made it difficult to interpret the Popplets.
After the initial phase was complete we all sat down together and discussed the Popplets and decided things we liked and things that we needed to revise a bit. The students decided that they needed to add some words to explain briefly the pictures and they also decided on a list of criteria that should be included in their Popplet like; what they eat, where they live, habits during different seasons, information about hibernation, their appearance, etc... After these revisions the Popplets provided better evidence of learning. As you view the Popplets please keep in mind that they do still require the voice of the student creator to explain their connections and some of their images. This oral language component is so essential for students to develop-especially in a French immersion classroom :)