Saturday, April 20, 2013

Robot Activities!

The Harcourt anthologized story My Robot, by Eve Bunting provided an opportunity for project-based learning in first grade.   Project Based Learning is a method that allows students to learn skills through a student-led inquiry process.  This method is structured around a project or task.  The guiding question that led to our first grade project was:  "If I could build a robot, how would I program it?"   
A lot of discussion and learning preceeded the actual event of making the robots.  During small-group center activities, the children researched the use of robots in the military, in medicine and for manufacturing.  The children also worked with class mates in small-groups to consider robot designs.  One of the students, who developed a robot to clean her house once a week, designed a robot with long arms to hold drying towels.  Another child created a heroic pet that could save other pets from evil; his robot had long arms and a protective shield. Acting as "real-life" engineers, the children provided detailed explanations of their robot's function and design to their peers.
The beauty of project-based learning is that it combines real-life scenarios with standards-based learning.  So while the children were "engineers", they also worked on first grade writing skills, math and phonics.  The kiddos wrote informative writings, cinquain poetry and used their imaginations to write stories about their robots.  In math, the children used cubes as the non-standard unit for measuring the robot's arms, legs and body. 
 Informative Writing
 Cinquain Poetry

Narrative Writing

Math - Measurement
There are 34 slides in this slideshow by Smilebox.  I hope you enjoy!
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I had a great time creating robot-theme activities for my students so I uploaded a freebie and an activity packet to tpt.

Click on the collage to link up to the tpt freebie (two poems, cinquain poem template, student writing page and math-measurement worksheet)

To link up to this 75-page packet on tpt, click here.


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