#52project · In The Classroom · professional learning · RD Blog Group B

RD Program Lesson 5/6 – Group B

The following is a reflection on Lesson 5/6 of the RD Program that I have started in a Grade 4 classroom at my school. Read more about the program here, as well as my reflections on each lesson:

Due to time constraints and the similarities between lessons 5 and 6 of the program, I decided to pull what I felt was most important from each lesson and combine these into one lesson.

Lessons 5 & 6 focus on interdependence and on valuing diversity. Students are encouraged to realize that diversity is important and that we are all better together.

The plan for lesson 5/6 was as follows:

  1. As a whole group, select one of the intelligences and work through the following  question together:
    • What would the world be like without people who have strength in (insert name of intelligence)?
  2. Place students into heterogeneous groups and have them discuss the same question as in step 1, but this time in regards to a different intelligence.
  3. Share a description of a mock group project with the students. The project will include variety of jobs relating to the different intelligences. Students will then use the class profile of “smarts” to select and assign  appropriate jobs for themselves and for their classmates.
  4. As a whole group, discuss all or some of the following questions:
    • What would be the pros and cons of everyone being the same?
    • How do diverse “smarts” affect our lives?
    • Why is diversity necessary? How would your life be more difficult without diversity?

Step 1 went pretty much as planned. The whole class worked together to reflect on what the world would be like without “body smart” people. I wanted to work together as a whole group first, to see if they were able to think beyond the obvious answers (like that we wouldn’t have athletes). They demonstrated great critical thinking skills and after writing down all of their ideas on chart paper, I was confident that they were ready to tackle the other “smarts” in small groups.

After this whole group activity, I broke them up into small groups of 3-5 students and had them answer the same question, but in regards to a different “smart.” They seemed to enjoy this activity and added some great ideas to their chart paper. We wrapped up this part of the lesson with each group sharing what they had recorded on their chart paper.

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Although the above activities helped the students to see the importance of interdependence and of having people of all different “smarts” in the world, I wanted to bring it a little closer to home for them. Step 3 helped me do that.

For step 3, I shared a mock project with the students. The project involved researching Ancient Egypt, and then planning and putting on an Ancient Egyptian festival. I shared a list of potential research topics with them, as well as a few of the jobs that would need to be completed before and during the festival (creating invitations, decorating the room, acting out various skits on what they had learned about Ancient Egyptian life, etc.). I had them reflect on which jobs might be best suited to them, as well as to their peers. I didn’t put any restrictions or rules in place for this process. My only expectation was that they be able to justify their decisions. For example, they could choose a certain task for someone because that person had been identified as having strength in that area, or they could chose a specific job for themselves in an area that they wanted to develop. With the class profile of smarts in hand, each group got to work.

The students took this task on seriously. I loved listening in on their conversations and discussions and I was impressed with what they came up with. Although the rational behind their decisions didn’t always pertain to one of the multiple intelligences (example: Selecting a tall student to put up decorations.), it still drove home the same message, the importance of diversity.

As a closing to this activity, a few groups shared what they had come up with. I was so pleased to hear their ideas and how they had worked to include a variety of classmates, including those students who aren’t often chosen first.

 

We finished the lesson with a brief reflections on the importance of diversity and interdependence by discussing the following questions.

  • What would be the pros and cons of everyone being the same?
  • How do diverse “smarts” affect our lives?
  • Why is diversity necessary? How would your life be more difficult without diversity?

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Back to SRV Project Home Page

Katz, J. (2012). Teaching to Diversity: The Three-Block Model of Universal Design for Learning. Winnipeg: Portage & Main Press.

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