Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Beyond Co-op - Helen Keller #3 and #4

I didn't do a great job in keeping up with this book over the holidays.  We still had fun with it and learned new things even if we didn't cover all that I might have wanted.  Sometimes other things just take precedence ... and that's all right!

At our third co-op we covered Chapters 5-7 and our topics of learning were sensory and descriptive writing and braille.  Each of the children were challenged to invent something and then using descriptive language there were to sell this item to the rest of the group.  It is always so much fun to see this type of open-ended project and to see their creativity at work.
Each student drew a picture and thought about how they would share this with the group.
We had interactive and engaging presentations on a number of inventive items ... like the taco launcher.  Some of the discussion afterwards was hilarious  - still making me laugh.
They also took time to work on making their own set of Braille letters.  They were challenged to write letters, their names or other words/phrases.
Its harder than it looks!
This is the end of co-op 3 and now for the final co-op on this book.  We covered chapters 8 - 10 and our subjects were WWII and audiology.

We watched some parts (not all or even most of the movie) to understand the setting of this time period.
 We also learned about Helen Keller and some of her activities during this time.  She spent time meeting with soldiers that had been injured in order to encourage them.

 We also saw some actual footage of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan.
 Our snack included roasted apples which were one of the foods that Helen enjoyed in the story.
 Learning about the ear and how it works as well as how it can not work was very interesting.
 The students put in earplugs to simulate the sensation of not being able to hear.

 They then worked on communicating via sign language.  Each child had a card with his/her name finger spelled.
 Additionally, the entire alphabet was made available for the games they were going to play.
 They took turns spelling someone else's name and then seeing if others could guess whose name was being spelled.
 Then they played a game similar to "telephone" where a word was passed around the circle.  The difference was that each student had to spell the word into the next person's hand.
 Next, they were given some cards with different words on them.  They split into pairs and took turns  spelling and decoding with each other.  It was a lot of fun.
This was a great study and we had fun learning more about a lot of different topics.  Up next ... George Washington Carver.