Saturday, 8 March 2014

Paper Tables, Improv Bingo, and The Dead Ringer

Lots of different activities this week!

Paper Tables: The Design Challenge

The ASPIRE class finished up the design challenge that they started last week.  The challenge was to build a table at least 20 cm high that would support a heavy textbook.  The trick?  Students only had access to 8 sheets of newspaper, masking tape, and one 8.5 x 11" sheet of card stock with which to build the table.  It was fascinating watching the students build their structures.  There were quite a variety of methods and designs implemented.  At times students were discouraged or worried that their design wasn't working out.  In the end though, success and lots of big smiles!  Below are photos of the different designs (link).

Improv Bingo and Funny Faces

The AIM class continued to hone their communication skills by playing Improv Bingo.  A character, place, goal, obstacle and object are chosen at random and small groups of students create skits incorporating all of these.   For example, one skit involved a rubber man at the library trying to cross the finish line but a book wouldn't open and he needed to use an egg beater.  One of the challenges is working together with others to agree upon a skit.  The students are getting quite good at positively sharing their ideas and compromising when necessary.

The Penticton grade 1/2 class played a different drama game, called Funny Faces.  It is very similar to charades and requires students to act out characters or activities while the rest of the class tries to guess who they are / what they are doing.  Students are getting quite good at using and interpreting non-verbal cues.

The Dead Ringer

The Penticton grade 5 groups looked into the story of the Dead Ringer.  In a previous class some students shared that they had heard a news story that stated the technician responsible for the Olympic ring that did not open in the Sochi Olympics opening ceremonies was killed by the Russian government.  This week we investigated this further.

Students read the original story (here) and discussed whether they thought it was true.   One student noticed that one of the witnesses in the article was Guy Lafleur of the Canadian bobsled team.  Wasn't Guy Lafleur a famous Montreal Canadiens hockey player?  Hmm.  Some other elements of the story seemed fishy too.

Eventually students started to search to see how this story was reported by other news agencies.  Other students decided to find out a little more about the agency that originally reported the story.  After some searching it was discovered that this story was a hoax and that the site that originally posted it, The Daily Currant, was a news satire site.

We discussed how easy it is today to forward on 'news' stories.  Often people do it without really thinking about what they are reading is true.  We talked about questioning the credibility of the source the story comes from.  We also talked about how easy it often is to do a quick search to find out if the story is a hoax or not.  It was a neat exercise in critical thinking that opened up a lot of discussion.

Radio Shows

Many of the classes continued to work on their radio shows.  Lots of students are finishing up their first show and starting in on a new project, whether it be another episode of their show, fake advertisements, logos etc.  Next week, members of Peach City Community Radio Society will be visiting many of the classes to talk about community radio.  We're looking forward to what they have to share!

Thank you for taking the time to read about what we've been doing... This Week In Gifted!

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