During our snack breaks, I often play videos that teach a skill of connect to our PYP unit of inquiry in some way. We only have 15 minutes to eat snack before we go outside to play, so I really try to choose something relevant. For the most recent month I have been playing Science Is Real by They Might be Giants in preparation for this week’s assembly. Just by repetitive watching of this three minute video, kids have learned the song, and some have conducted Inquiries into What is DNA?, What is the role of science in our everyday lives? and How do they make videos like that?
Imagination, creativity and art are lost after the early years. Not for everyone, but for most. In exploring my own personal interest in art, I recently came across this series of video by Bloomberg Television called Brilliant Ideas. In this edition, Chinese artist SunXun is profiled. I had the children watch it today as a way of connecting them to their host country through art, but mostly through the creativity and perseverance he showed throughout his life, specifically with bringing his ideas to life. I encouraged the children to ask questions about what they were watching and they made connections to their unit, specifically to the key concepts of form and change. We were lucky today that we had longer than our normal 15 minutes for snack, so we were able to watch the better part of this video and will continue tomorrow. The children were fascinated by the story of a simply boy born in Beijing, his favorite thing to do was draw (like so many in my class) and though his circumstances prevented him from having enough money to buy a video camera, he wound up drawing the movie he wanted to make. Though my students are too young to understand the political undertones of his vision or even what his stance was politically, it was unimportant. What was important was his devotion to his craft and the fact that he is constantly working constantly getting his ideas down on paper. I know when the kids are inspired, and I think the video series Brilliant Ideas has so much to offer, even to my 2nd grade classroom!