Our 5th grade Little Free Library Project is picking up speed. Thanks to the amazing collaboration of Rita Foretich and her student teacher, this project is really getting off the ground. In art, students from both 5th grade classes have been split into teams of 4-5 students. Each team has a lead designer, a task manager, a researcher, a writer, and a presenter. Each job has specific responsibilities which Ms. Foretich and her student teacher constantly check in on. They also give the task managers checklists to help them check in with each person on the team.
The student teacher is a Google Sketchup expert, so she has the lead designers using this tool to design a potential Little Free Library. Students have made sketches on paper and moved to Google Sketchup to create a model of their library. Presenters are putting together a presentation to inform our audience about each library design. We may end up having the principal choose 2 designs or we may move forward with a student vote.
The researchers and writers are working with me in the library to research the Little Free Library site for information about building the actual structure. As we research the many tips on the site, we are considering other topics that we may need to research such as reusing materials and green building techniques. We’re thinking of careers that we may need to research in order to identify experts to connect with or people to target for persuasive writing. The writers are writing persuasive letters to send to potential donors, builders, or collaborators on this project. They are also considering persuasive tweets they may need to craft for me to tweet out to target audiences for support.
I’m also working with the 5th grade classes on persuasive writing techniques. We used the Read Write Think powerpoint of strategies and thought about what information we might include underneath each strategy. I also showed them the research tool within Google Docs. The students (and teachers) were excited that you could search for a topic such as “reading statistics” to find quotes about reading in the United States and automatically cite the source within your Google Doc. I think this tool alone will spill over into many other projects now that the students know how to use it! All 5th graders are writing letters to businesses, builders, parents, students, and other groups in order to ask for money, labor, supplies, books, and a location for our 2nd library. The teachers are continuing this writing in the regular classroom as well as exploring the Little Free Library site for additional information. One student was even able to locate a Little Free Library from his hometown in India!
I can’t wait to see where this project goes because it is certainly exploring many of the standards that our 5th graders work on in a variety of areas.