Teaching self-esteem and social skills are probably two of the most difficult concepts to impart. I guess, even learning these two can be tricky at times, what more for a tween or a young adolescent, right?
The movie The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, based on the book with the same title by Jeff Kinney, is a fun and insightful look into a middleschoolers world. It highlights issues and concerns that children between ages 10-16 face, especially as they navigate the tumultuous world known as school.
The struggle for autonomy and establishing one’s identity are two crucial issues that occur at this period of life. Often times, this causes a lot of stress and pressure to a young child’s life. It causes one to question who they are and what they will be in the society they live in. As adults, we tend to think that they are resilient enough to make it through this period, especially if they too went through similar experiences.
Watching that period of life through Greg and Rowley’s eyes, the lead characters who are best friends, reminded me of struggles I went through as a fat kid in 6th grade. I remember how puberty started kicking in then and I was not a very pleasant sight to behold! I recall being the butt of jokes to many of my prettier and slimmer classmates, and though I took it in stride, I realized that this had a long term effect on my life, both in positive and negative ways.
Although I haven’t read the book yet, I believe both the film and the book can be valuable resources for your tweens who are entering that crucial place in their life to help them learn to recognize the value of being true to yourself and loving who you are.
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid opens on April 3, 2010 in local cinemas.Read More
I’ve always maintained that movies are great springboards for classroom discussions. The flick Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is definitely one of these movies. The story revolves around a young boy who discovers he is half man, half god and is accused of stealing his uncle Zeus’ lightning bolt. Through the adventures of Percy one gets to appreciate Greek mythology and ancient history.
Whilst I try to avoid recommending movies over books, I realize that for some learners, the visual stimulation of movies really just works better. Through movies I find myself able to get the students in a more active discussion, compared to me just telling the story or lecturing about things.
A few questions I keep in mind when choosing a film, however, are the following:
1. How accurate is the information in the film?
2. Does the storyline benefit the discussion in class?
3. Is this of interest to my students?
Overall, I often pick more modern movies as compared to old documentaries because it is more able to capture the attention of the viewer. I am not discounting the value of documentaries and classics but sometimes, students are just not able to relate to them.
Here are some movies I enjoy using in my classes and it’s corresponding theme/topic for discussion:
- Human Development
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- Love, Relationships and Interpersonal Skills
- Love Actually
- Valentine’s Day
- The Story of Us
- Leadership and Self-Awareness
- Gran Torino
Every once in a while I chance upon an issue of the Wall Street Journal in the school I work for. Being a teacher, I don’t really get into the nitty gritty of business so I don’t really enjoy reading the paper since what it covers are things not that important to me. I prefer to read newspapers that have more lifestyle features and metro news. However, my friends who dabble in stocks and understand the Dow and Forex and those foreign-sounding words to me make it a point to check on what the Wall Street Journal has to say, whether in print or online. I browsed a little bit about the newspaper and I found out that it has a worldwide circulation of almost a million online subscribers.
I love how most publications like the Wall Street Journal and even local newspapers have gone digital. For one, it’s so much more accessible to me. I also love how, since it is online, my friends and people who know me get to send me links of articles that they think I would be interested in. However, when it comes to magazines, I still prefer a hard copy. I love the smell the glossy pages give out and the feel of it on my hands. I keep telling myself to stop buying issues one at a time and get myself a Magazine Subscription because it comes out much cheaper from the cover price. Whether it be newspapers or magazines, I believe that these are important tools to learning. Be it for fun or for business, these are definitely great resources for anybody.Read More
Teaching spelling can be a tedious task, especially since it is not always a fun task. However, with the Spell Quizzer software, struggling to get kids to sit and work on spelling lists can be a thing of the past! Check out the Christian Homeschooler’s review of the software and comment/join to win your own licensed Spell Quizzer software.
Technology has definitely grown leaps and bounds since the time of my childhood! I remember learning how to read and spell using computer games but I did not have access to something like this. While many teachers and parents point out that computers and technology can be detrimental to a child’s learning, I think it is just a matter of assessing the potential of a product that makes the difference.Read More
This January, the British Council launched their GO: Know More Do More Live More Campaign, a campaign that opens up exciting opportunities for Filipino students interested in the fields of Technology, Beauty and Fashion, and Business and Entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom. Dubbed Education UK, the project highlights the message that if you want something, GO for it! Here is, as they put it, “Your Future on Track”.
As part of their campaign, the British Council will be offering a series of activities that will allow interested university and post-graduate students to explore course offerings, find out funding options and interact with alumni from prestigious UK universities who will share their first hand experience of getting an education abroad. These events are all offered FREE OF CHARGE! Who knows, by next school year you can be pursuing a degree in F1 Engineering or some other amazing course in one of reputable UK schools such as University of Cambridge, London School of Economics, University of Oxford or University of Leeds
The events are as follows:
- Alumni Counselling Session. Slated for January 29, 2010 at the Makati Shangri-la, the session will showcase alumni from various universities in the UK. Alumni from top schools such as Oxford University and Cambridge University will be there to talk about their schools, their experiences as students and what it is like to live in the UK. Schools participating in this session are as follows: University of Birmingham, University of Bradford, University of Cambridge, University College London, University of Edinburgh, Institute of Education, University of London, Kings College London, University of Leeds, London Business School, Loughborough University, London School of Economics, University of Manchester, Middlesex University, University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, University of Wales Bangor, University of York, University of Warwick, University of London- Queen Mary and Westfield College.
- Funding Options Seminar. This seminar will help potential students explore scholarships, financial aid and other funding options available to them. This will be held on February 19, 2010 at the Top Shelf of Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street.
- Education UK Exhibition. In culmination, an exhibit will be held at the ballroom of the EDSA Shangri-La hotel on March 5-6, 2010 where representatives from UK Universities will be on hand to talk to students about course offerings and their universities.
For more information, log on to www.britishcouncil.org.ph.
One of the most controversial teaching tools I can think of is television. For the most part, studies point to it’s detrimental value and how it has corrupted young minds. While I do not contest that, I still would like to think TV can be a good venue for learning, especially when augmented with activities that broaden the lessons being taught. Further, learning is not limited to wathcing educational or informational channels, such as National Geographic and The Discovery Channel. I think what is key when using television as a medium for learning is making sure one monitors or picks the right shows to watch.
Growing up, my mom was not very strict with me when it came to television. For the most part, she allowed me to watch as much as I wanted, as long as my homework was done. She also was not very limiting, although she had guidelines about what I could and could not watch. For me, I think she was quite effective. However, comparatively, I noticed that some of my young students are exposed to much more questionable content as I was back then. Here are some suggestions I can think of as a teacher to make sure kids are getting more of the good than the bad from television:
1. No TV during mealtimes. I think that while the TV helps keep kids seated long enough to finish their food, it sets a bad precedent that lasts almost a lifetime.
2. TV does not belong in the bedroom, especially their bedroom.
3. Watch TV together. TV time can be a form of bonding, then afterwards, do a follow-up activity related to the show you watched. For example, when watching the show Art Attack (or similar shows), why not actually do the project afterwards?
As a whole, the advent of the television can be a slippery slope to take. However, like anything else, when done in moderation, it can be a good thing.Read More
Yesterday I watched two movies, both based on books. I finally got to see New Moon with some of my friends in the evening, but late afternoon, to kill time, I decided to check out A Christmas Carol. Being a teacher, I am both glad that storybooks are being made accessible in film, but on the other hand, I tread carefully because lately, I notice less and less kids read books. Most just wait for the film. It seems that books take a back seat more and more as children get older. Many times, it only becomes a bedtime prop for infants and toddlers. For example, when I was talking to one of the kids I work with, he did not know that A Christmas Carol is a classic tale. Because of that, I tried to find some of my favorite books to share with the class. Further, to encourage reading, instead of the usual kris kringle done on the holidays, I asked the kids to do a book exchange instead.
To be fair, it’s really nice to see how many of my favorite characters in books have taken on a life outside the pages of the storybook. Take for example The Rainbow Fish. There are many activity sets and play sets or games that are inspired by the story. For me, this takes reading to a higher level. Another big favorite is Guess How Much I Love You. I have seen nursery accessories, furniture, and even clothing inspired by the touching tale of the little Nutbrown Hare who asked his father if he knew how much he loved him.
I suppose in the end I can say having stories made into movies and more can be a good thing. If for anything, hopefully it inspires people to take on the printed form of the story too. It definitely did that for me when it came to the Twilight series!Read More
I would like to think of myself as a modern teacher. For the most part, I try not to teach in the typical, conventional ways. That’s why having a good laptop and a reliable internet connection is very important for me. When I lecture, I often try to stream in videos, download media or photos, and show websites and the like so as tobe able to hold my students attention. However, even though our school has a wireless network available, sometimes it is intermittent. Plus since it’s a school, there are sites that are blocked, such as You Tube. This is why it is important for someone like me to have a wireless broadband connection all the time.
However, using these wireless broadband dongles or usb sticks means spending my own hard-earned money. After all, I cannot ask the school to reimburse me for it because they actually provide internet access right? So I try to find ways to maximize every peso of my load.
Here are some tips for making your Globe Tattoo Broadband surf faster as well as to minimize expenditures on your part:
1. Switch your preferred network settings to 3G only. You can do this by clicking on your Globe Tattoo Connections Menu. Then, click on Tools. From there click on Options , then Network. From there choose the settings I mentioned above.
2. Set your browsing settings to time-based over kb-based. By going time based, you are charged a set amount for the time you are browsing. This is recommended if you plan to do what I do in class, which is browse sites and download media. Here, you are charged only Php 5.00 for 15 minutes, whereas if you are using the kb-based settings, you pay Php 0.15 per kb. The latter is more recommended when you’re just checking emails but for my purposes, time-based is more practical.
3. Don’t laugh but: DO NOT LOSE YOUR USB STICK! Last week I lost one of my usb gadgets and now I have to replace it. Definitely losing your equipment will be a waste of money, right? One thing you can do to not lose or misplace your dongle is to personalize it. The Globe Tattoo Broadband New Skins, for example, will set your stick apart from the rest.
check out the Globe Tattoo Broadband Gallery and see what’s hip and new. You can even
submit your own design and get a chance to win Php 5,000!Read More
Today the blogosphere marks BLOG ACTION DAY with a very timely and appropriate theme: Climate Change. I will be the first to admit that for the longest time, I was apathetic to the issue, always just believing that being an individual, I can only do so much. Also, being a big fan of the comforts and luxury that modern life has brought, I often forget to think twice about how my actions today can affect future generations. It also has not dawned on me until now how much we lose if we don’t start caring. However, in light of recent events not just in the Philippines but around the world, it hit me that I AM AN INDIVIDUAL THAT CAN MAKE CHANGE. And simply by caring enough, even my one small contribution can lead to a solution to the negative effect climate change has already brought us.
Going beyond just what I can do myself, I realized that my platform, both as a blogger and a teacher, can hopefully snowball into something bigger than me. Though I may be teaching preschoolers, I have to instill in them that its never too early to care about climate change. I figured, training them as early as now to watch out for their actions and strike a good balance between enjoying modern technologies and lessening our collective carbon footprints in this world. I’d like to believe that this will make a marked difference in their lives. As a Bible verse says, Train up a child the way he should go and when he grows old, he shall never depart from it. Similarly, learning theorists say that through conditioning, behaviors can become automatic.
So what I am doing as a teacher about climate change is implementing little changes and adjustments to my routine in the classroom. These include:
1. Teaching my 3-5 year olds how to segregate trash. Most classrooms only have one trash bin. I propose that we start adding a few more so we can show kids what “biodegradable” and “nonbiodegradable” is. It is a well-known fact that we are contributing to global warming everyday by consuming more and more plastic products that are often thrown away callously. These plastics take years to break down and in the meantime, it clogs up our drainage systems and piles up in dump sites. I have three small boxes in the corner of my room now. Each one is labeled with a photo which allows the kids to know what should go where. There’s one for paper, one for juice cartons/bottles/tetra packs, and one for tissues and similar waste products.
2. Incorporating recycled materials in everyday activities. I used to love a fresh new sheet of paper. I’d make sure I’d have a stack of these papers on hand for what ever activity/exercise I do in class. Using scratch paper was a rarity for me. I used to say that it would be a shame to have the kids make a great painting/drawing that cannot be fully appreciated because the markings on the backside of the paper that is recycled can be seen. Now, the kids do not have fresh papers all the time. In place, I have a box of used papers (from reports and papers of my college students) that they can use for scribbling, writing exercises and similar drills. Also, other materials such as toilet paper rolls, P.E.T. bottles and empty jars have found its way to the arts and crafts table.
3. Reminding the children to turn off the lights and electric fan/airconditioner when we leave the room. I have to admit, I am guilty of leaving electricity on when I step out of my room, rationalizing that I’ll be back shortly. However, sometimes it is a good 20 minutes before I return. A full-20 minutes of waste!
4. “Green”ifying my classroom! I’ll be honest, I still need ideas on how to do this better, but for now, I will try to have a greener classroom by lessening the use of plastic materials (i.e. containers, food items that come in such containers, styrofoam, straw, etc.). I will also continue to hold on to the belief that I should not use food items as art materials (i.e. vegetables for vegetable prints, macaroni for painting and stringing, etc.).
In the next few weeks, I hope to explore more ways I can make my classroom greener for me, the kids and the future to come. Perhaps I can add some experiments to my science lesson plans to illustrate climate change. I can also try to find more storybooks on global warming, recycling, caring for the earth and climate change. Do you have any suggestions? What are you doing to teach your kids about climate change.
Oh, and before I forget, one thing I will be doing beyond this Blog Action Day post on Climate Change is being an example to my little preschoolers.
Did you know that many of the important discoveries and inventions that make our lives simpler, easier and better were created by Filipino scientists? Among them are Dr. Abelardo Aguilar who discovered erythromycin and Agapito Flores who discovered the florescent lamp. Sadly, however, these scientists are not always credited in the scientific journals and the like. Sometimes, it appears that we do not have the resources to further these ideas, thus these are left as just that: ideas until someone from a more developed country can expound studies on these things.
It’s nice to know, however, that nowadays, the Filipino is making a name in the fields of science and engineering. Remember that solar car project by students of the De La Salle University named Sinag? And just recently, students of the Philippine Science High School impressed the world with their robotics projects.
Further, it is encouraging to note that there is a major effort to furthering science discovery in our country. Last July 20-26, the Nido Fortified Science Discovery Center in Mall of Asia joined the Department of Science and Technology in celebrating National Science Week. Several lecture workshops were held to help kids become better learners.
Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the celebrations but I am quite interested in attending one of the lecture workshops slated on August 1 about creating Mind Maps. Being a teacher in the transformative learning pedagogy, I believe this will be quite helpful for me.
Mind Maps aim to help children (and adults as well) organize thoughts and understand concepts better. This technique was developed by Tony Buzan. These workshops will help teach participants how to create a Mind Map that can help one make notes to retain important information in a fun way. Also, it can help simplify, explain and organize ideas and concepts.
For more details and/or to register please call the following numbers 813-2732/03 and 830-2191
Stories come to life bigger and brighter at the SM Cinemas as they usher in the latest of their digital theaters, the IMAX at SM North Edsa. Old classics like Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and modern bestsellers such as Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince will bring viewers to new heights as they see more, hear more, and feel more in this 3D cinema.
The IMAX at SM North Edsa is the second theater of this kind opened in the Philippines, the first of which is located at SM Mall of Asia. It is said that these theaters are the world’s most advanced digital theatre systems.
SM’s IMAX Theatre at North Edsa will open on July 16, 2009 with it’s screening of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
Other films to watch out for are as follows:
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – July 16, 2009 (with exclusive IMAX 3D scenes)
As Harry Potter begins his 6th year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he discovers an old book marked mysteriously “This book is the property of the Half-Blood Prince” and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort’s dark past.
Under The Sea 3D – August 2009
An underwater look at the diverse coastal regions of Southern Australia, New Guinea and the Indo-Pacific areas and the impact of global warming on the oceans.
A Christmas Carol 3D – November 2009
An animated retelling of Charles Dickens classic novel about a Victorian-era miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions.
Avatar 3D – December 2009
A band of humans are pitted in a battle against a distant planet’s indigenous population.
How to Train your Dragon 3D – March 2010
Shrek Goes Fourth 3D – May 2010
Just today I showed a film in my class. This is testament to how much I have embraced technology as a teacher. This is definitely one teaching resource that will be included in my lesson planningRead More
Growing up science was always a chore for me to learn. No offense to my science teachers, but for the most part, complex lectures about science principles were not very interesting, especially for someone like me who is a visual-kinesthetic learner. Kids nowadays, however, can learn science in a FUN and INTERESTING way!
Located in the Southside Entertainment Mall of SM Mall of Asia is a world of wonder and discovery — The Nido Fortified Science Discovery Center. It is said to be the country’s premiere science museum. Unlike most museums where one just looks and observes, the center features over 400 hands-on and interactive exhibits which are aggregated into 9 galleries. From a talking fish to shaking floors, virtual sports games and flying airplanes, it a trip to the Science Discovery Center will definitely be great fun.
Besides the amazing and wowing exhibits, the center features the Philippines’ most advanced planetarium and dome theater. It was here that bloggers, media, school representative and other guests were treated to the gala premiere of the theaters latest feature, Ice Worlds.
Ice Worlds is a documentary that highlights the delicate balance between ice, water and our very existence on this planet. Narrated by British Actress Emily Watson, the film offers brilliant eye catching images of wonderful icy landscapes.
The event was presented by SMART and sponsored by Nestle Nido Fortified, Coca-Cola, and BDO. It was supported by WWF Philippines, Mrs.Field’s Cookie Cafe, Digipost, A-Z Direct Marketing, and Timelife. Yehey.com was the online media partner.
Perhaps for my preschoolers, this would not be a very interesting field trip, but for middle graders, it will definitely be a lot of fun. For inquiries and ticket reservations, call 556-2153 Group booking is also entertained at 556-0331.
*some photos courtesy of Azrael ColadillaRead More
This is the first in a series of toys and playthings that I plan to feature in this site. Some of these “must haves” may be commercially available and some homemade. This series does not necessarily aim to promote a product, but perhaps to highlight the value of such TYPES of products. On occasion, however, I am open to endorsing a product or item, but only if I beleive in it
One of the most valuable playthings for children, in my opinion is playdough. For me, it’s like literally giving a kid a world of possibilities in their hands. Playdough does not only offer kids a fun time, it also exercises their imagination, gives them opportunities to share, and allows them to learn simple concepts such as shapes and sizes. For older kids concepts can include fractions and parts of a whole. I’ve also used playdough to help teach kids about textures. These definitely highlight why playdough is a must have plaything for kids.
I prefer the softer playdough over the harder modelling clays which are more difficult to manipulate. There are many popular brands out there, but I go for the homemade ones for two main reasons: one, it’s more economical and two, the kids can actually be involved in making the dough!
You can Google a lot of different playdough recipes, but here’s one I particularly like and use myself:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tbsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. food coloring* (if you wanna make different colors, hold off adding this until you divide the mixture)
1 tbsp. oil
1 cup water
1. Dissolve the salt in the water in a medium saucepan. If you are using rock salt, dissolve as best as you can and remove the remaining crystals to avoid lumpy clay.
2. Add in the flour, oil, coloring* and cream of tartar. Stir over medim heat for about 5 minutes or until you can form a ball and holds together. If you’d like to make different colors of dough, do not add the coloring until after the dough has been cooked. Then divide the mixture and add in drops of food coloring as you desire.
3. Cool slightly then knead the ball of dough on a lightly floured surface, preferrably while still somewhat warm.
4. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
This recipe is generally safe and non-toxic for children. I like adding a few drops of essential oils to make the dough smell yummy. My preferences include peppermint, cinnamon, and vanilla. However, I make sure to label my container with a “do not put in your mouth” sign and only let the older children use it as young toddlers may try to taste the dough!
What I like about this cooked type of dough is that it has a very stretchy, bouncy consistency that’s not too sticky, which uncooked doughs tend to be.
Do try it out and have fun! Let me know how it works for you!Read More
As I said in an earlier post, I am glad I am a teacher in this generation because technology is at my beck and call. I’ve seen the transition from simple PowerPoint presentations for class, both as a student and a teacher, to those with flash media and the like. It’s true: the World Wide Web, especially the blogosphere and social networks.
I am taking this opportunity to highlight the influential power of the internet. It is a highly evolving and powerful teaching tool! A big thanks goes out to Ms. Janette Toral for working on this Emerging Influential Blogs Project for the 3rd year now, especially since this gives me a venue to share my thoughts about this ever changing environment. Before getting to my list, I want to also thank all those who have nominated THE ACCIDENTAL TEACHER in their own personal lists! This truly encourages me to keep on working hard to improve this site. With that said, here is my own list of blogs that I feel can be an emerging influential blog for 2009. I may, before the deadline, make changes here, so please don’t hold that against me!
1. Let’s Go Sago. Who doesn’t know Sago right? But more than the entertaining blog, I deeply respect and admire the man behind the blog. What I like best about his blog is that he is giving me a new-found interest in the great places to go in our country, from tourist spots to restos. Plus I love joining his contests too!
2. Project Fit. I have to say Chats’ fitness blog has been one of the most influential to me…so much so that I have started attempting to chronicle my own journey towards wellness. I suppose that is the epitome of influential, right?
3. Gain Smiles. Find a Hundred and Plus Reasons to Smile. A friend of mine started this project with a simple goal: to help people find reasons to smile. Reading the posts here will definitely make you want to smile too!
4. Style and Relax. I enjoy reading this blog because Lace always has fresh new ideas to offer her readers. I was even so enthralled by her niche I attempted to start a fashion blog for the plus sized person, but decided to leave the advice to the experts instead!
5. OFW Para Sa Pamilya. Given the OFW phenomenon that has truly changed the face of the Filipino Family, I see this blog as a common ground for all those who have made enormous sacrifices for their families by working abroad. The site not only features lives of OFW’s but also offers online support and resources for OFW’s.
Oops…apparently this didn’t make the date cut-off! In a small way, I’m glad because I came across a nice photoblog that is quite thought-provoking and inspirational. Dear Iago is a collection of love notes a mother writes to her little boy. Even though I am not Iago, I am taking some of the lessons Nobe gives her son and taking it with me.
6. Filipino Mom Blog. Parenting is by far the most underestimated and underpaid jobs ever on earth…I have to give kudos to these wonderful moms who not only make an effort to be the best moms they can be to their own kids but they also share their experiences and ideas to other moms so they too can be better at their jobs.
7. Framed in Sunlight. Photo blogs often capture (no pun intended) my attention. However, what I love about this photoblog is that aside from great photos and write ups, it always ends with a lesson in positivity. Of course, Teacher likes this!
8. Pinay Ads. For me, Pinay Ads is more than just info about the up and coming events and happenings in the metro. I also get to see a lot of tips and information about what to do and how to go about doing things around the city.
9. Patay Gutom. Much as I was iffy about this site because of the name (yes, for a plus sized person like me any not-so-nice term pertaining to food and eating can be a bit uncomfortable!) I’ve seen it’s influential power. Who hasn’t right? What I like best about the blog is it’s collaborative style of posting, thus allowing me to see different points of views from their authors.
10. Of course….The Accidental Teacher. This is my attempt to be influential! Seriously, though, I honestly started this blog with the fervent hope of using my love for writing and fascination with blogging to bring awareness to causes and advocacies I believe in, as well as to help teachers and homeschooling parents through sharing my personal experiences.
This project was made possible by the following sponsors: Absolute Traders, My Brute Cheats, Business Summaries, Fitness Advantage Club, Events and Corporate Video, Events at Work, Dominguez Marketing Communications, Red Mobile, Budget hotel in Makati, Lucio C. Tan Group of Companies, and Blog4Reviews.com.
For more details on the writing project, click here.
For PhotoHunt this week, the theme is books. Over the summer, my colleagues and I cleaned up the school library and decided to allot one slot for our “favorite” books. From Guess How Much I Love You to The Rainbow Fish, the shelf is definitely the most overused section of our library.
However, if I were to recommend books to liven up any kids library, it would definitely be those of Eric Carle. These are but a few of his many fun and colorful books for children. My personal favorite is Brown Bear, Brown Bear because it provides a venue for active involvement with the kids I read it too. After the story, I extend the book to a class activity where I ask the kids to draw what they want to see then we make our own book about it. On a recent trip to FullyBooked bookstore here in the Philippines, I almost fainted at the wonderful Eric Carle selection they had!Read More
Authors note: I am still amazed at the statement “reading books and novels are not educational“. To prove that statement wrong, I will be doing a series of book reviews to show how through these supposed non-educational materials, we can learn what is truly essential.
One of my favorite childrens books is Marcus Pfister’s Rainbow Fish. It is a very simple tale of a fish living in the ocean but it’s message runs deep. Often times kids are initially attracted to the beautiful colors and sparkly scales this little fish has on the cover of the book but once the story is read to them, they learn very important lessons ranging from being nice, to sharing, and even to loving once self in spite and despite of things around them.I love using this story whenever I talk about the themes “self” and “friendship” in my preschool classes. Believe it or not, even my toddlers (around two-and-a-half to three years old) remember the lessons rainbow shares very well.
The story revolves around a very beautiful and sparkly fish. Rainbow is undoubtedly the most beautiful fish in the ocean. However, because she is boastful and proud, she belittles and is mean to those who are not as pretty as her. She also refused to share her sparkly scales with a little fish who asks for one. Because of her attitude, she has no friends and is lonely. With the guidance of Mr. Octopus, Rainbow realizes that it doesn’t matter if you are the prettiest one of them all if you have no friends at all.
After I read this story to my kids, I overhear them telling each other things like “remember Rainbow said to share” or “Do you want to be like Rainbow and have no friends?”. Granted the toddlers may not use as well-crafted a sentence or two, the essence is there. For my older kids, the story shows them how beauty is more than just skin-deep and that inner beauty is what really counts.
Another bonus to having storybooks as springboards for lessons in the classroom is that it extends to so many different subject areas. For example, with the story of Rainbow Fish, I am able to teach math. How? As a follow-up, after the story I do an arts and crafts activity where the kids make their own rainbow fishes. They have free-range to place the scales of Rainbow. Then I use this to practice simple math equations like if Rainbow Fish has 10 scales and she gives away 3 to her friends, how many are left?. There are so many more variations to this depending on the characteristics of the scales we use in class. So tell me now that story books are not educational!
This book is definitely a must-have in any school or home library. I personally have 3 copies of it Click on the photo above to be redirected to Amazon.com and add this to your shopping cart!
Stay tuned for updates on my book review series.Read More