Educators are currently aligning rapidly to CCSS. CCSS emphasizes: informational texts, text based questions/tasks, writing grounded in evidence, and academic vocabulary. But during summer, families are not explicitly involved or mandated to continue or expand rigorous content and yet ironically the summer is a time rife with family literacy learning opportunities.
How so? Should families head inside the interiors of libraries or take courses together? They might if they like, but a more traditional family outing can captivate and bond family members together as they seamlessly learn deep literacy lessons. What is this outing already built into most family vacation calendars? A trip to a museum!
But even if this trip might potentially offer extensive learning opportunities, how can families make certain that they truly “capture” these moments as a shared family learning community?
Before the onset of laptops, connected devices and chromebooks, family trips were captured in literal photographic snapshots perhaps documenting at least the reality of the family’s having actually made it to the museum site. But now have chromebook available and accessible, families can curate family literacy learning as well as emotionally cement family bonds through shared experiences.
How can using chromebooks authenticate the deep literacy and life learning families share together?
BEFORE THE ACTUAL MUSEUM VISIT
- Draw or write what each family member or a few anticipate the site will look like physically and even if it is a site or museum that the family habitually visits, anticipate what the latest featured exhibit will contain and how it will be laid out. For example, even a frequent visitor to the NY Museum of Natural History would be challenged to illustrate a potential layout.
The illustrations and predictions can be saved as word docs or as pictures in a folder for that museum visit,
- Next go online and Google search the exhibit or topic together as a family. Preview the visit/materials (print, online or onsite)-
Emphasize literacy- graphics/images, knowledge on display components as the younger family members examine the online results including posters and promotions for the exhibit. Talk with kids about what you see. Go online /review sample print resources (build knowledge through content rich nonfiction).
Challenge everyone in the family to collaboratively author a description of what the exhibit experience will include and anticipate what aspects of it will be most fun or are “must sees,” Save that as a word document or if easier just record this family anticipation as a n audio file.
- Parents can use the online sources to create a scavenger hunt for their children. They can also check out any online resources to help with the hunt or enable them to cully guide their children and themselves through the rich resources that many museums post for families online, .Through use of the chromebooks, parents can identify online museum resources and sometimes games or activities they can do with their children before, during and after their museum visit. Best of all the chromebooks or connected devices make this extension of family literacy and deep learning a “saved” word doc and accessible resource for discussion long after the actual visit has concluded.
DURING THE ACTUAL FAMILY MUSEUM VISIT
- With the actual scavenger hunt sheet created by parents, their children will be on the lookout for a variety of texts-visual, tactile, auditory, cultural and linguistic for later discussion and writing. Parents can encourage the children to “talk up” on site docent, building director, public relations, security, museum staff, volunteers and museum visitors. The families can prerecord conversations they will have with museum staff also make a word doc of questions they want to ask staff.
- DO NOT rush to leave. Take pictures of the children as they correctly find the items on their scavenger hunt. Encourage every member to photograph and caption and perhaps narrate a special aspect of the museum exhibit that fulfilled expectations or was disappointing or just really neat in any family member’s opinion. Debrief on site with children the scavenger hunt. Help them use the academic vocabulary to identify “finds.”. Let them sit on site at museum to collaborate and comprehend- absorb-their experience. Task them to suggest other hunt objects for their friends or cousins or museum options overlooked. Suggest that as a family unit you together can design word mazes, scavenger hunts, and other games for close friends and your relatives to use when they visit this exhibit in person or online, Even better by using chromebook capacities you can send your family designed family and friends resources to these designated persons asap and save it. Plus you can share your family’s personalized resource packet with the museum family coordinator as well. That extends your family cultural bonding to family museum cultural contributions.
- AFTER THE MUSEUM VISIT – Back at home
Everyone can revisit their chromebook museum visit folder to detail the extent to which they correctly anticipated the museum experience. The family a whole and as individuals can check out how accurate their museum visit pictures and ideas were as expressed in word or audio or picture files. They can edit their personal photos from the exhibit with fun or serious comments and even score it all with appropriate public domain music. They can also give the exhibit a museum equivalent of the movie Rotten Tomatoes rating system Just as not every traveler enjoys the destination, but is richer in experience for having seen it; so too are families richer as they argue for or against a particular museum trip experience. They can also share these comments on the museum website or with their relatives and friends.
Lifelong and family bonding literacy does not only happen at school in classrooms or at home with family members but can should take place in beautiful cultural sites with exhibits that authenticate content and social values. Learning can happen as families bond in shared museum strolls and talk. Using chromebooks can make that desired cultural and familial lifelong connection so!! Go beyond the typical at the museum family photos to curate, to keep and to share museum family memories. Make the museum experience accessible time and time again as easily as the chromebook charges up.
Alberti, S. (2012). Making the Shifts, Education Leadership (70, 4), 24-27.
Complex Content Text. (2012). New York: Scholastic.
D’Acquisto, Linda. (2006). Learning on Display. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Piercy, William. (2011). Disciplinary Literacy: Redefining Deep Understanding and Leadership for 21st Century Demands. Englewood: CO: Lead and Learn Press.
Dr. Rose Reissman,
Academic and Grant Funding Director for Sector 5
About Sector 5,
Sector 5, Inc. (OTCQB: SFIV), is a Proud American Corporation, that sells, manufactures and develops new innovative consumer electronics under Sector 5 and other brands. The Company markets its partnership with Google approved Chromebooks to educational organizations, other B2B and B2C sales channels, with retail sales on Amazon. It is in development of several new products to serve the educational, business and retail markets. Follow the company on http://www.twitter.com/sectorfiveinc and http://www.facebook.com/sect5 and find further information at http://www.sector-five.com. For Sector 5’s Forward Looking Statements, click here.