Recently the world celebrated International Dot Day; a day where we celebrate creativity and making your mark in the world. A Dot Day celebration isn’t complete without a little bit of Discovery Education SOS and we were certainly not disappointed.
I found a strategy perfect for the day, filled with the curved edges of Dot Day and the comparison skills that my curriculum desired. Get ready for Get VENN-y With It! This simple, yet powerful strategy helps to bridge the gap between two seemingly different subjects and is perfect for any compare/contrast needs you and your students may have!
For this lesson, we were focused on comparing two very different characters’ approaches to solving the same problem. I turned to Discovery Education streaming and found the Magic School Bus episode, “Gets Swamped.” It fits in perfectly with our ecosystems science unit as well as the comparison skills we are building during literacy. In this episode, the town is building a mall and needs to know whether to build it on top of the local wetland or in a different location. Students were tasked to compare how Carlos and Janet chose to gather evidence to support their claims in front of the town board. We used the Get VENN-y with it strategy and made sure that we were focusing in on evidence to support our thinking. This strategy supports the idea that students must have reasoning for their answers to show that their thinking has merit.
In class, we have been focused on the idea of evidence since he beginning of the year. This is an idea that is being supported across grade levels and should hopefully be a skill that students are used to. In this activity, students must have reasoning for their answers. For example, in the picture above, a student wrote, “Carlos changed his opinion because he went down into the swamp to get info.” Usually students would write one word answers in their venns, but not in this strategy!
I also encouraged the idea of collaboration for this lesson. Many minds are better than one! Student groups were able to share their ideas and many times were able to support or refute each others’ ideas with their own evidence from the video. There were some powerful discussions!
The use of the Get VENN-y With It strategy is most certainly not limited to Discovery Education resources. It can be used in math class to discuss strategies, or social studies to compare cultures. The possibilities are unlimited! Just remember that the idea is evidence.
I can’t end this blog without sharing some of the other dot day pictures I took! The students were able to “make their mark” by constructing their own dots. They were incredibly creative!