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Small Moments


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Keywords: Expanding Ideas, Organizing ideas, Drawing on Personal Experiences, Book Making, Slide Show
Subject(s): Special Needs, Early Learning, Technology, Social Skills, Photography, English/Language Arts
Grades 1 through 2
School: Michael Driscoll Elem School, Brookline, MA
Planned By: Marcy Prager
Original Author: Marcy Prager, Brookline
First and second grade children love to write about themselves. When children write about what they know, they become invested and more willing to expand their verbal and written ideas. Many children, without a visual, cannot think of a topic to write about. A photo provides the "visual bridge" to writing stories from experience.

Many "small moments" can be captured in a photo at home and at school. Children can choose one of the photos that show them being "engaged" in an activity, attach it to the top of their paper, and begin to record and/or write about his/her personal experience in the picture with help from the teacher.

As children become literate, they learn to build background knowledge, build vocabulary, sequence their ideas, and expand their ideas. When a child can look at a picture of himself/herself being engaged in an activity, the teacher can then ask the child questions about the picture to help stimulate the child's memories and thoughts. Who went out on the boat this weekend? What are your brothers' names? Where did you go on your boat? Did you catch a fish? How big was the fish? How did you feel when you caught the fish?

As children write/record their "small moment" stories, they can be compiled into a book of memories. (Recorded stories can be written by the teacher). They can read and reread stories about themselves to other children and their parents. These photos can also be put into a slide show where children can verbally "tell" their story.

Visual information is easiest for all children to process. When a teacher teaches an "inclusive" classroom, there are children who have many different needs. What they all have in common is the ability to process information visually. Using photographs of children partaking in their own personal activities is an authentic way to help children become more literate students based on their individual strengths and needs.
Materials: Digital Voice Recorders, Point and Shoot
Other Items: 12 point and shoot digital cameras, $120.00 each, total of $1440.00
3 digital voice recorders, $100.00 each, total of $300.00