This morning (15.10.12), one day after Felix Baumgartner's inspirational skydive from the edge of space, I realised that I had to capitalise on my class' enthusiastic response to the event, so at 9.05am the plans I had worked so hard on last week went out of the window.
Instead we talked about the sky dive. For those who hadn't seen it we watched it again, discussing it all the time. The children's response was amazing, ranging from giddy to upset.
These responses led to emotion maps, which led to fantastic descriptive poems.
Artwork followed, with the pupils having free choice to represent any part of the mission they wished. This varied from beautiful landscape drawings of the view from the pod, to pictures of Felix on his knees, punching the air. We then combined these images with audio recordings of the poems. We used Sonic Pics on the iPads.
The afternoon consisted of free choice, with some children writing newspaper articles, some writing diary accounts as Felix, some creating DVD cases for the video release of the event, one group shooting a green screen interview with 'Felix' himself. A couple of children used 2animate to produce animations of the dive. One particularly emotional child wrote a persuasive letter from his mother, persuading him not to do it again!
The response, in terms of end product, was excellent. I'll post some tomorrow. Events like this, such as the giant spectacular in Liverpool and the Olympics really captivate the children. It is important to harness this enthusiasm while it is there, not worrying about coming off plans.
Why not try some of these activities, or your own ideas, while its fresh in the pupils' minds.
Here's the video we used: