So my assignment for my education class this week is to conduct a directed reading assignment. A directed reading assignment is usually focused on a textbook. The teacher will introduce new vocabulary words prior to the reading assignment. Throughout the reading, the teacher will ask students to make predictions and draw on the students' prior knowledge of a subject to introduce new material. Character education and word recognition are also usually included. After the textbook reading, there are usually assignments like hands-on activities or a reading play to go along with the textbook studies.
What's an unschooler to do? I don't do textbooks (unless, of course, Taliesin and Nathanael request them. This does happen quite frequently, actually, with Taliesin and his A Beka health textbook we picked up from a homeschooling meeting a few months ago). I do not "direct" them into something I think they "need" to learn. The learn by following their interests.
Sooooo... Here's my compromise. We'll see how the grade goes. LOL.
Today, we got on the subject of tree frogs (thanks to our pet, Dorothy). As we discussed Dorothy, we pulled out their Planet Earth: Animals and Their Prey book; which has a fun discussion on tree frogs. We then looked up tree frogs online. This brought us to a new vocabulary word - insectivores. (We also talked about nocturnal and diurnal animals - per Taliesin. Great for prior knowledge of vocabulary in the assignment). We talked about what Dorothy eats - chricket and mill worms. Then we went back to the Planet Earth book and talked about how some tree frogs in Australia eat bats. This led to an interesting discussion of how small the bats must be, since tree frogs grow to be a full four inches long. We then read in Planet Earth about a tree frog's habitat - something we have talked about a lot via Dorothy and Go, Diego, Go books (another good one for drawing on prior knowledge). We talked about the rain forests, where some tree frogs live, and about the temperature of the tropics - with Taliesin and Nathanael naturally making predictions about how tree frogs live.
Then, per Taliesin's request, we read "The Lorax." Actually, a neighbor girl was also here having this discussion with us. She noticed a Noodle picture Taliesin had made of the Lorax. It hangs on our living room wall. So we went outside (beautiful weather today - also helped with the "lesson"), and read "The Lorax." This story was the perfect choice for Taliesin to make. What better way to discuss how the rain forests are being destroyed because of people chopping down the trees. This led us back to think about the tree frogs and other animals that live in the rain forests - how they must feel a lot like the animals in "The Lorax." We also touched a little bit on the greed of the Once-ler in the story (character education).
Right now, Taliesin and Nathanael are watching the movie The Day After Tomorrow (Nathanael's choice). Yes, I know many people disagree with this movie. It's not one of my favorites, either. And many question why I would allow Taliesin and Nathanael to watch it. They both like the weather events in the movie. (And we, of course, do talk a lot about how it is just a movie). I, personally, like using movies as tools. Today, it will fit in well with our discussion. (I'm really undecided about global warming. It could be true, but probably not to the extent that many believe). But it is a good example of how we are to care for the earth or there may be consequences. Of course, we've also discussed the Biblical implications of this from Genesis - that we are to have dominion over the earth. A good ruler is kind, not a tyrant (or even like the Once-ler in "The Lorax").
All in all, I do not think this is too bad of an assignment from a dedicated unschooler. We'll see what my professor thinks. :^)
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