/> Raising Angels: A School Project

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A School Project

I often wonder what teachers (yes, even though I am one myself) are thinking when they assign young students massive projects - projects that require time, money and lots of patience. I wonder if they realize that in essence they are requiring a big chunk of all of the afore mentioned items from the parents as well.

The project pictured below was assigned to Mackenzie on Thursday, the day before a packed weekend of events to celebrate the birthday of the community that sponsors her school. Not great timing in my opinion. However, in my support of teachers in general, I never share these kinds of thoughts with my kids.

So, much to Mackenzie's chagrin, while her friends were all out playing Sunday afternoon, she was inside researching. I take these projects as wonderful opportunities to teach my children. I am also a big stickler for having them do the projects themselves. I willingly supervise but I will not do it for them.

This one required some time on the computer researching the four layers of the rainforest. She had to know about the vegetation, animals and people who lived there. She found some wonderful pictures and in the process learned how to search on the computer, click on links, go back to a previous page, open several windows at once and how to find the one she needed.

From there she conceived the idea of what she wanted to do and drew out a picture to guide her. At this point she enlisted the help of my cousin, who just so happens to be an artist with some free time on her hands. At this point she figured my cousin could do the rest so she could go play.

I promptly informed her that this would not be the way it worked and that Teri, like me was there to help her, not to do it for her. So, Mackenzie went on to draw and color each of the animals by hand. She gathered the rocks for the waterfall and the sticks for the trees. With help, she hot glued everything in place.

In the end, she came out with a beautiful diorama of a rainforest. More importantly, she came away with a knowledge of how to make the computer work for her, how to do simple research and to plan ahead. And, as you can see by her sweet, beaming face, she also walked away with a sense of accomplishment and personal pride in a job well done.

Ahem...I guess it wasn't such a bad idea after all. I guess those teachers kind of know what they're doing don't they;).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're very proud of you and your hard work, Mackenzie...

Papa and Damma

5:00 PM  

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