Blogger Kary Henry

Homeschool Projects

Are you a project person? I am! Whether it’s scrapbooking, knitting, or making cards, I like to have a variety of projects to work on. In looking at my homeschool programming choices, it’s obvious that my “project personality” extends to the Library as well. I enjoy creating month-long series of programs, which culminate in some sort of project.

Adverb Adjective Noun Project

The “Adverb Adjective Noun Project (aka Really Awesome Person/Place/Thing Project)” is one such project. Although I haven’t implemented this yet, I plan to ask students to think of one person, one place, and one thing that fascinate them. After choosing one of those three, they will research and present, using one of the creative options on the flyer below. I’m excited to see what the students decide to explore and to see the results of that exploration!

Bookopolis, 2040

Bookopolis, 2040 was a very popular, month-long project, which I wrote about in an earlier blog post. First, we invited two local architects to speak to the students: a residential architect and one who works on commercial projects, including the Burj Khalifa, Jeddah Tower, and other skyscrapers! Next, our local city planner spoke about his job. Using the knowledge they gained from the speakers, the students were then challenged to create a futuristic house for themselves as well as a planned community called Bookopolis! They used a product created by 3Dux, and the students really enjoyed creating floorplans and then building their houses. Finally, we invited our Mayor to present to the students so that they could learn about civic responsibility, especially the importance of voting.

Reader’s Theater

A few years ago, my younger homeschool student group presented a Reader’s Theater performance for parents and other esteemed guests. A former colleague and I chose a script, but the students chose which roles they wanted and became familiar with their lines. Students who weren’t as confident in their reading chose non-speaking roles. Stronger readers asked to be the narrator or the main characters. The students worked on backdrops together, decorated paper costume pieces, and created homemade invitations to Opening (and only) Night, er, Afternoon. We did project the script onto the screen behind the performers to help audience members follow along. The performance was a smashing success! There are many online resources for Reader’s Theater scripts, including quite a few e-books in our Library’s catalog. Poetry for multiple voices is also a great option.

Project and Science Fairs

The older students have participated in a Project Fair as well as a Science Fair. For the Project Fair, each student chose a topic to research in the Library. From mourning doves to the Chicago Cubs, from Michael Phelps to the human brain, students’ topics were diverse and personal. After researching, each student created a poster to summarize their research and chose books from our collection to display along with their posters. Parents and guests (my colleagues) moved from table to table during our Fair and learned a lot from each presenter.

Instead of a traditional Science Fair with individual projects, we made things slightly easier by pre-selecting two experiments and dividing our group into two. A former colleague and I worked with each group to learn about the scientific method, conduct the experiments, and create presentations on the findings. For this as well, we invited parents and colleagues from the Library to watch the presentations.

Are you a project person? What sorts of long-term projects have you done for programming? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

This post addresses the folowing ALSC Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group and III. Programming Skills.

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