Our last conceptual unit of the year is called "The Changing Faces of a Story." During this unit, we read lots of different stories and discuss the element of change. This could be a change of heart that a character experiences, a change in setting, or even a cultural change as a story is told across the world! One of my favorite lessons in this unit is in the very beginning, as the students begin to articulate what they already know about change. In the video below, groups of students work to make a list of things that never change. How many can you think of?
Some items were not able to be agreed upon, such as "water." At first you might think, "Of course water changes! It changes from liquid to solid!" But isn't it still water? Just frozen water? This was a very rich discussion in our class, and we had students on both side of the debate. Discussions like these help us to practice a very important way of thinking: that the purpose of discussion is not to be right, or to prove someone wrong, but instead to sharpen our own way of thinking! A tough concept for 3rd graders, but an important one no doubt!
Little people, big minds.