If you had more arms than 2..

Imagine! What if?! 5 arms! 

Imagine the amount of work we can do, or the things we wished we could do altogether. Cleaning, painting, writing, cooking, playing with our kids, typing in lesson plans and so much more. I discovered this activity in the ‘Everyone can create’ Apple books and made changes based on my students requirements. 

So, I took this into my classroom. As an adult we would think practically- “things we need to complete”. Well, my students had a different idea in mind. I was certainly taken aback (like most teachers when we give our students a little space to breathe). Lesson is pretty simple and easy to maneuver around depending upon your grade and learning levels. 

In my class of grade 3, I had 35% of my students who were in the learning level 1 or below. That is, students who are still struggling to read 4-5 letter words, form simple sentences and comprehend longer stories. The 40% students were just about below grade level (average, Reading level of 1-2) and the remaining 25% students are on grade level (grade 3, as I am teaching that grade) or a level above. Now, due to different learning levels, I had to make sure that all my students were able to complete this activity with their own mode and choice of learning, a sense of teamwork, communication, art and me as a guide rather than showing them what to do, all apart from writing the final essay. 

Below, the lesson plan for this activity. Keeping in mind- Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Personalization of learning and self management in the process. If you choose to tweak it according to your class needs, you can surely go ahead. This plan will give you a gist of what can be expected and a flow to the final product. You can also integrate it with other subjects, like science- make a robot with 5 arms, art- draw and label and others. 

Lesson Plan Flow

ObjectivesTeachIndependent workTechnology use.
Class 1I can Imagine & draw “if I had 5 arms”Students close their eyes and imagine if they had 5 arms & what they will do with them.Teacher guides students with instructions to draw themselves with 5 arms, draw and label what they will do. Students with help of their partner can draw themselves.If you using ipad/ tabs, students take a full body photo and using mark-up/pen, they draw 3 other arms. Students use shapes/ draw things they would do.
Class 2I can write about my 5 armsTeacher introduces the rubric and what needs to be expected for the final product.  Rubric for Creativity WritingStudents write a rough draft with help of vocabulary words, rubric.Students can write in their notebooks, paper or type in the tab. Sentence starters can also be given for students who struggle.
Class 3I can revise and edit my previous writing. (+2 classes)Students read their first draft. Based on that, students rewrite their sentences. Teacher guides students “how to extend sentences”. Stretch a sentenceRubric for Creativity WritingStudents read and rewrite their essayStudents can use their mode of writing. Tablet, ipad, notebook, paper. 
Class 4I can write my final draftWith help of the rubric, teachers can guide students on their work. Peer collaboration can also be introduced so that students can check and give feedback to each other. Students can get guidance from the teacher or their peers.Students can type down their essays and photos or drawings and share their work. 
Lesson Plan to guide you

Once the final products/ essays are complete the students can share it over a blog, newsletter, projects and many other platforms. One point to keep in mind (apart from the rubric) is to not set limits for imaginations. Sometimes it’s difficult to allow the child to think freely without practicality or ‘how do you suppose you can do that when it does not make sense?’ ironically, the topic itself is not real!   Let the child wish for anything, give them space and you will find even the least interested child or lower learning levels, will give you their best works in unexpected ways. 

This activity increases students’ creativity, collaboration and writing. It also allows for students who are struggling in class, to be able to write meaningful complete sentences, as their interest in the topic is peaked and it is something they wished they could do. Apart from this topic, a number of topics can be used using the same rubric and structures. For example, ‘If you lived on another planet’, ‘if you lived under water’, ‘if you were an animal’. Try it yourself!

Giving space for imagination to take over and allow for students to write what they want, what they feel, what they experience is just one step for our future J.K Rowling’s. 

“The power of imagination makes us infinite”. – John Muir

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