Friday, December 13, 2013

The Giving Tree & The Best Christmas Gift

We read "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein and "Auntie Clause" by Elise Primavera a couple weeks ago.  Since then we have been talking about giving a lot, I especially wanted to focus on what we could do for each other at school.  We made a list of occasions when we were being giving.
  • giving respect when others were sharing their thinking
  • giving attention when others were talking
  • giving others what they want (sharing)
  • giving time and patience in line
  • giving kind words to each other
  • giving help when others needed
It was so great to see my students realize it didn't take much to give to others.  It was not all about toys and money!  When we were giving, it made all of us feel good inside.  We extended our thinking to home as well.  What can we give at home?  I'm pretty sure every parent will appreciate a simple gift of love, help, and kindness at home.  We drew pictures of our ideas using the app called Drawp.  

It was our first time using the app.  I like the simplicity and color options.  My students were able to create and save their drawings on the camera roll with ease.  To record their voice and publish on their blog, they used the app 30hands. (Some students drew pictures and recorded all in 30hands.)
**Click the image to play.

I got this project idea from my co-worker/team mate.  When I started brainstorming out loud on Twitter, Melvina Kurashige (@mkurashige) and Karen Lirenman (@KLirenman) joined the conversation.  I love collaborating with these brilliant ladies!! Melvina's sixth grade students made leaves for my students to display our ideas.  They also wrote what they are grateful for on the leaves and flowers to share with us.  My first graders were so excited to receive a package from Hawaii!



 Karen had a great idea of making this tree project more interactive.  I created a QR code for each student's blog post so that other students can view and leave comments.



We also talked about what could be the best Christmas gift from their parents.  What if they could not buy any toys?  After the initial devastation, they realized that they will still be happy as long as they have their parents' love.  We made a card that shows how much their parent's love means to them.

When flip open the present, this is what they see.

 We also made this project into augmented reality using the app Aurasma.  The gift picture is the trigger image.  The students recorded themselves talking about the best gift.  If the parents have a devise with the app, they can view the video on the card.  If not, they will still have this wonderful card!! I will also email the link of video clip.

If you have Aurasma app, tap http://auras.ma/s/HKP9Q to view my Aura.  Otherwise this is what you would see.


Pretty lovely, right?  Our classroom is filled with holiday spirit!!