The first grade classes have been learning about George Washington Carver, and for most of the teachers my media center lesson introduced him to the students. However, due to scheduling conflicts, one teacher wasn’t able to get her class into the media center until the end of their study on George Washington Carver. I didn’t have another age-appropriate book handy, so I had to use the introductory biography that I’d used with the other classes. I didn’t know exactly what the teacher had used during her classroom lessons, but I knew there was a good chance that her students might already know most of what was in the biography. That would not make for an interesting media center lesson and would more than likely end up with a class of first graders who were restless and could quickly get out of control.
Thankfully, my creativity was working on the fly that day and I came up with the “thumbs up” and the “GASP!” Students were to show a “thumbs up” when they heard a fact they’d learned in class. The students were to dramatically “GASP!” when they learned something new. As to be expected, there were a few students who wanted to “GASP!” at everything they heard, but after a quick reminder from me and from their teacher, they quickly stopped being overly silly.
I admit that I was surprised how much the students enjoyed this activity and very grateful too! The students were engaged throughout the entire lesson and enjoyed discussing the new facts they learned in the biography I read to them. The teacher was so impressed with their enthusiasm she’s going to use this in her classroom. It turned out to be a more interesting and fun lesson than when I’d done the introductory lessons with the other classes.