After 4th graders finished reading the book Love by Matt de la Pena & Loren Long, Ms. Foretich (art teacher) and I asked them to think about the love that exists in their families outside of school. The book shows many ways that families show love to one another. We had several powerful conversations about images in the book such as the dad and daughter dancing on the trailer, the mom & dad fighting, the older sibling taking care of the younger sibling, and the new parents huddled over the crib. Each student had a different reason that a particular image resonated with him or her.
In the library, we gave students a chance to list out family members that they might be able to have a conversation with at home and what they might talk about in regards to how they show love to one another. Ms. Foretich setup a Flipgrid for families to record this conversation. The link was shared in Class Dojo by classroom teachers and Ms. Foretich also sent a printed set of instructions home with students.
A second piece of the 4th grade project was to also create an image of love. This was very open to student interpretation. They could create symbols, scenes, words, or any combination that spoke to them. These images were started in the 2nd session with 4th graders, and Ms. Foretich and I used this time to conference with each student about his/her plans for creating a recording with family members at home. We were trying to make sure each student had a plan and also had access to the tools they needed to record. I always offered the library as an option for students and families to come in and record.
After this 2nd session, Ms. Foretich continued having students create their images, and we waited on students to film. We had some other teachers check in with specific students in order to encourage them to record at home. In the final week before our author/illustrator visit, I noticed that many students had still not recorded, so I scheduled a session with each 4th grade class to come to the library and record their Flipgrid. This option left out the “record with your family” aspect but at least it allowed each student’s voice to still be included in the project. Students were able to talk about how their family shows love even if they weren’t with their family in the video.
Now, the 4th grade symbols of love are hanging at the entrance to our school, and our Flipgrid is continuing to come together.
Even as I write this post, I’m getting messages from parents asking if it’s too late to add their voice. I’m hopeful we’ll have more families add their voice even after our author visit occurs.
Please take a moment to listen to each family and student on this Flipgrid. You are welcome to leave comments for them on this post or react to their videos with the emoji reactions. If you find yourself at our school, take a look at 4th grades work as soon as you enter the building.