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If I Were 100 Years Old...

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Keywords: Flip Video, History, Social Studies, Writing, Technology
Subject(s): Video, Technology, Writing, Social Studies, English/Language Arts, Spelling, Service Learning, Grammar, History
Grades K through 3
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Butternut Elementary School, N Olmsted, OH
Planned By: Meenal Parikh
Original Author: Meenal Parikh, N Olmsted
First graders are blessed with a naivete and a natural tendency to be creative. Every year, when it is the 100th day of school, I read aloud a book about aging (e.g. First One Foot, Then the Other by Tomie DePaola). Then I ask them to visualize what life will be like for them when they turn 100 years old. We brainstorm what our bodies will and won't be able to do. Then I have them write it out using the stem, "When I am 100 years old, I will be able to ________ but I won't be able to _________."

Their responses are usually creative and fun to read. This year I had a student write that they would be able to "eat grits" but they would not be able to "chew gum"! They also talk about not being able to ride a bike, jump on a bed, etc. But the funniest response I got this year was, "When I am 100 years old, I will be able to yell at kids to get off my lawn, but I won't be able to run after them!"

I usually have them draw themselves as 100 year olds and then I take their artwork and writing and bind it into a class book. We then send it over to our local senior center. They get a good laugh out of it and it humors them to see what 6 and 7 year olds think about aging.

With a flip video camera, I would step this lesson up a bit. I would have the kids dress up as if they were 100 years old (with parental help and a few extra props). and read their writings for the camera. WIth 10 cameras available, I would have the students grouped in twos and threes and work together to do the filming. I could turn this into an electronic picture book where they would be the authors, illustrators, and readers.

With this lesson, my students would be working on fluency, writing, revision, and matching illustrations to their words. It would generate a lot of excitement and creativity for all of my students.

As our school is a Title 1 school, our poverty level is over 50%. So equipment like this is not something they see at home. The chance to perform and be up on the "big screen" would be highly motivating to all my students to do their best job.

The best part is, we can still share this with our local senior center. They teach computer skills to seniors there so I know that access to computers is not a problem.

This lesson combines the best of many different worlds and lets the youngest children know that technology can be in their hands....now and in the future.
I already have access to all the equipment I checked above, except the flip camera. I only have one that belongs to a friend who is gracious enough to let me borrow it.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Students can create a timeline of their lives extending well into the future.
Maybe we could walk over to the senior center afterwards one day and have the students interview them for what life was like when they were children. This would address our social studies standard about "past-present-future" which is usually a very abstract concept for first graders to grasp.
Materials: Whiteboards, Flip Video, Short Throw Projectors, Microphones, Flash/USB Drives, Tripods, CDs and DVDs, Word Processor