Friday, January 24, 2014

The Endangered Project (Day 5)

Using class time to round out our initial research today, students are submitting their worksheets at the end of class. This also gives me the opportunity to sneak in some early conferences with students. Most have settled into using the technology to find some information. Many more are using videos and podcasts today--they were surprised that so many gardeners or seed enthusiasts publish videos of so many vegetables in their gardens.

Many a-ha moments today.  We learned thatYouTube and podcasts can be for more than entertainment.

As I have collected the worksheets throughout the day, I have reminded students that this is only a starting point. We gathered some information which I will read through and add some feedback to with post-its. Once I finish that work next week, I will start conferencing with small groups of students to help them develop their ideas.

Here is a small sample of what the students are thinking about creating with their research:

Student A has roughed out everything from a possible poem, to an essay idea, to a piece of art for the Moons and Stars Watermelon. I love the care she put into her colorful sketch.

Student B has sketched and outlined a possible infographic for the Wild Galapogos Tomato.

Student C has outlined an idea for an essay for the Golden Midget Watermelon. In the rough outline you can see that he writes, "possibly from a watermelon's POV?"

Student D came up with two separate ideas. This second idea is for a narrative or journal of the Peach Blow Potato. His things to look at/focus on include the changing care and rituals of seed saving over time; what roles potatoes have played in diet over time; and discovery of disease fighting/pest deterrents.

Student E wrote of the Wild Galapagos Tomato, "What fascinates me the most about this extraordinary tomato is its skin. If held directly between a bright beam of light, you'll be able to see through the skin. The insides of this tomato can be seen all throughout its life cycle without causing any harm. Like a mirror under the sun, the tomato will reflect light if at the right angle, giving off a sparkly shine. It's like those mystical fruits you read about in fantasies and this one little tomato brings it to life. You'd expect this exotic fruit was genetically modified for its attributes, but nature still holds many wonders even technology can't achieve.

We are off to a great start. Now, I can't wait until we start having some conversations about which heirloom seeds we are going to order so that we can cultivate them in our classroom.

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