In the Schoolhouse Review Crew's Teaching Creatively Blog Hop, today's focus is Delight-Directed Teaching. This method allows students to learn, discover in detail, and dig deeper into subjects that interest them and stir their passions. This may happen intentionally by allowing the kids to choose a particular topic or course of study. It may also happen inadvertently. While learning about one theme a tidbit of information may spark an interest that can be further examined and explored. In the end, the kids are learning (even if it seems they are bouncing down one rabbit trail after another), and they are having a blast!
With seven and eight year old boys in the house, it is an understatement to say that talk of super heroes dominates all conversation in our household. For this Momma, it is both overwhelming and underwhelming at the same time. Seriously, does it look like I want the play by play commentary on every single super hero movie ever made? Do I really have a need to know every minute detail of the costume, weapon, and super power each hero possesses? Maybe the 1st time, but not so much the 347th! However, like it or not, I hear these things.
Then, a simple request from Caleb, "Mom, can I have a piece of construction paper?" changed it all. Construction paper, glue, scissors and about 15-20 minutes, and the kiddos had some great creations. Most recently, Caleb created all things Avengers... the characters, their shields, hammers, and whatever other artillery they wield. Jeremiah had an aircraft and warriors. Rachel had a tiger, spider, and various other animals. With these paper play things in hand, the kids weave together wonderful stories.
Introduce Story Crafting! Some days they narrate the stories, and I ask questions causing them to give more explanation and detail. Other times, I quiz them on their stories. What is the main idea? What was the conflict in the story? The resolution? Who was the main character? etc. On other occasions, they try their hand at writing complete with phonetic spelling (in one child's case very inventive spelling) and the overuse of exclamation points :-) With Rachel especially, she dictates the story and I write. Then, looking at the paper, we can have mini lessons on basic sentence structure, capitalization, and punctuation.
My happy, entertained, dare I say DELIGHTED, children are learning the elements of a story: beginning, middle, end, rising action, climax, etc. I'm hoping this "story-crafting" is laying a positive foundation. Rough and tumble boys are often reluctant writers. Their line of thinking: Why put pencil to paper and write about a super hero, when I can go outside and pretend to be in an epic battle of good and evil complete with loud explosion sounds and my own theme music? It's a hard sell, but maybe these fun storytelling experiences will make it easier in the future. Finally, I'm able to tolerate the daily onslaught of super hero talk if I can convince myself a portion of it is educational :) Boy moms, you understand! We've got to get creative :-)