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Annotations - Fables

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Saved by Mr McLean
on March 24, 2009 at 4:33:58 pm
What we did: We were already reading lots of Aesop's fables. This, through discussion, established that most fables have animal characters and end with a moral. The students already knew the school's four core values, as they are discussed here all the time. The students brainstormed possible characters and ideas in both Circle Time and drama (eg. Hot Seat interview) activities. Then we matched each animal (or group of animals) and potential storylines, to each of the four core value headings.
I challenged the students to draw some of the characters - the top illustration in each fable are the ones selected. These illustrations also inspired aspects of the unfolding narratives. We jointly-constructed fables underneath each picture, one per week, and edited onscreen as we went, rereading often.
Then, after all four fables were finished, the students drew favourite scenes and characters again, but this time in fine-point black felt pens (ie. with no pencil lines at all). I selected the most successful pictures, one for each core value. Some I photocopied and let the artist colour in the photocopy. Some were photocopied onto coloured paper, and cut up as a collage effect over the white paper copy. I scanned them all for the four finished wiki pages.
So the Aesop fables, and knowledge of our core values, inspired the discussions, which inspired the first drawings, which inspired the four core value fables, which inspired the new drawings.
Ross J Todd suggests:
  • Exhibitions, displays of products plus student self assessments of learning


  • Put up “the story” of learning, as well as the products of new learning


  • Let the “voices” of students tell the story. 
("Knowing and showing how school library programs help students learn", 2004)
So here goes:
Here's what Kindergarten (Early Stage 1, 2007) said about starting our Fables project:
Do you have the Internet at home?
Additional comments (scribed from oral).
| | | | |
1 x “Dad has the Internet on his computer.”
1 x “We have two; one is only for my sister to use.”
| | | | |
1 x “I don’t have the Internet at home, but Mr McLean does and we are here in the school library.”
Don’t know
| |
(A brief demonstration of how a wiki page works was required to illicite any responses worth reporting:)
Why are we using a wiki to write and publish our core value fables?
*     “I don’t know. It gets done quicker and you don’t have to draw the pictures again and again.”
*      “If you write letters wrong it’s quicker and easier to fix errors.”
*      “It gives us ideas.”
**      “It will help the new person to catch up on what he missed last week.
*      “It’s easier to just print the story when we are finished.”
**     “It’s quick to get the job done and so we become famous.”
*     “You told us to.”
*      “It helps us to learn.”
**      “If we look at the badge we know who it belongs to.”
*      “It’s really quick to write up what we are saying.”
What will we have learned when we have finished?
*     “We can talk about what we wrote.”
*      “How to be famous.”
*      “To write.”
**      “Which newspaper our photos will be in.”
*      “How to write and draw on the computer.”
*     “We can talk about what we did.”
*      “I don’t know.”
*      “We will know all the stuff we’ve done.”
*      “We will have learned to read.”
**      “We will be able to type things on a wiki, like magic.”
*      “We will be learning to read.”
*      “We can read stories by reading stories.”
Here's what Kindergarten (Early Stage 1, 2007) said about completing our Fables project:
Do you have the Internet at home?
Additional comments (scribed from oral).
| | | | |
| | | |
“It's Mum's."
"We play games on it.”
"We read our wiki fables on it and printed out my picture and we sent it in an email to our friends in Canada.”
“It's for Mum and Doug to use."
“But I don't use it."
“Mum and Dad use it."
“I showed Mum how to find our wiki." 
“We can play 'Cartoon Network' on it.”

| |
Why did we use a wiki to write and publish our core value fables?
*     “We use it to write stories.”
*      “We can show them to Mr Jackson [the Principal] and he can read them in his office on his computer.”
*      “It's easy to show more people our fables.”
*      “It's quicker. We can say what we want to happen and put it on there for everyone to read.
*      “If you make a mistake it's easy to get it off. Paper can't do that. You'd have to rub it out.”
*     “You don't have to write much [in joint construction writing activities] and your arms don't get tired.”
*     “We can share them at home.”
**      “It's quicker. Easier. And I'm famous! It's on the computer and it only takes one day.”
**      “Pencils run out of lead.”
**      “It grows. On the weekend the teachers can read it at their house. Mr McLean can make things ready to see on Monday. He puts the links in.”
*      “We don't have to stay in our classroom.”
What had we learned when we were finished?
*     “It gets faster and easier. You still have to learn how to make words.”
*      “Tanaka's zebra picture helped us to write the fable.”
*      “We can show Mr Jackson how to see our fables on the wiki.”
**      “We need passwords for Kindergarten so we can use the Internet. We have shown Mr Jackson how good we are.”
**      “It's quicker to write and easier to fix mistakes. Like pressing 'Rewind' on the video recorder.”
*     “It's quicker and you can use the computer at your house to read the wiki.”
*      “Wikis can be at everyone's house.”
*      “It's easier to be famous. Easy to fix problems. Easy to change your words.”
*      “I liked Daniel's idea of the cat and the ladder to write a fable.”


What will we do next?


*     “Write more stories. Make more drawings.”
*      “Whatever we want!!! Make a book!”
**      “More drawings! Make lots more fables. Make a book with page numbers.”
*      “Write lots more stories on the computer.”
**     “I'm going to another school next year but I'll tell Mum to bring me back every Monday and Thursday so we can do more work on the wiki."
*     “More fables and more wikis.”
*      “Put coloured pictures in the wiki for all the other countries to see.” 


In addition to the previously-stated Outcomes (English K-6 NSW syllabus - Early Stage 1), the following outcomes were also addressed by the project:


V4   shows confidence in using language in a variety of contexts


RES1.5   Demonstrates developing reading skills to short, predictable written texts on familiar topics (Moving towards... RS1.5 Reads a wider range of texts on less familiar topics with increasing independence and understanding, making connections between own knowledge and experience and information in texts).


WES1.12   Produces most lower-case and upper-case letters and uses computer technology to begin to construct texts. (Moving towards... WS1.12 Produces texts using letters of consistent size and slope in NSW Foundation Style and using computer technology.)



My conference notes and references for teachers about this project.



Penrith Public School Library Wiki © 2007 Penrith Public School, High Street, Penrith 2750, New South Wales, Australia. Telephone 02 4721 2158. Fax 02 4721 3466. No text or graphics may be reproduced without permission. All text and graphics © the original authors/artists of Penrith Public School. HTML by Ian McLean and Early Stage 1 students of 2007.

Library wiki first uploaded November 2007; this page updated October 2008.

URL: http://penrithpslibrary.pbwiki.com/

Main home page first uploaded September 2004; revised 2006, 2007.

URL: http://www.penrith-p.schools.nsw.edu.au/index.html

Email the Web Composer at: ian.mclean7@det.nsw.edu.au

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