To begin the grade one study on families, create a class 'idea web' or 'mind map' of the things that they (and you) feel are important aspects of family life to show through their projects. If you intend to touch on specific outcomes such as DR1.1 b and c, DR1.2 c and d, PA1.1 d and e (see Curric. Obj. tab) you may need to direct the brain storming session to include those specifically.
Class Idea Web/Mind Map Activity -Pull up a mind map tool on the web. Some sites to consider are: Mindmaps, Bubbl.us, Mindmeister, Mindomo, WiseMapping, (To see my reviews on these sites scroll to the bottom of the page). -Begin class discussion on the topic of "My Family", enter this text into the middle "main idea" box. -Create new branches out from the main box to enter in your students ideas. For some sites this is done by hitting "tab" for other sites you will click and drag out from your main idea box to create a new branch.
Post Class Web to your Class Blog Once the idea web/mind map has been completed, upload and/or link it to your class blog. It might be a good idea to create a separate page on your class blog specifically for the "My Family" project so that colleagues and parents can easily access and comment on the project. Be sure to notify parents (through a class newsletter or agenda note) when you update your blog. If you have not already created a class blog visit the "Class Blog" tab under "more" at the top of the page.
Next Step: Without any direct instruction, after the class idea web/mind map proceed to the "Family Stories" activity to continue the project and explore where there students' interests take them.
Another idea would be to have several lessons on the topic of "Family" after the class idea web/mind map is complete, prior to beginning the "Family Stories" project. Lessons could focus on: Who is in my family (including extended family), The order of my family (who was born first etc), Where we live and what it looks like, Family jobs (roles/chores at home) and Rules at home. By introducing the project with lessons on such topics, it would prepare students to extend and represent their learning through technology. This approach may also guide students to touch upon the curricular outcomes more directly. To view some lesson ideas on these topics go to the "Lesson Ideas" tab.
Mind Map Site Reviews: Mindmaps: Very easy to use. Simply enter a main idea in the box, then drag the red circle to create branches out from the main idea to new ideas. This site does not require you to login or sign up. The downside is that you cannot access a link to your mind map that you can post into your blog. The only way to share the mind map is to download an image of it that you can insert into your blog as a file. Bubbl.us: Fairly simple to use, however the format is not as playful as Mind Maps. Boxes connect going down and may be confusing for students to understand. You can invite collaborators in to your mind map, or click on the sharing tab to get the 'read only' link to the mind map image you created. Mindmeister: I didn't try this one as you either have to pay or sign up for a 30 day free trial. But it looks more professional than either Mindmaps or Bubbl.us. Mindomo: Straight forward. Use tab to create branches off from an idea box. You can share by publishing the image to the web or by embedding the image straight into your blog or website. WiseMapping: Slightly less user friendly, but still fairly simple. Create new ideas by double clicking into the open space, drag ideas to connect to other created ideas to make sub topics.