Taking a (Virtual) Stand

One thing that I have been doing during distance learning is taking tried and true lessons that have worked in the past and adapting them to a new virtual version.  What I am finding is that a good lesson is a good lesson.  Over the computer or not, if it is a valuable learning experience for the students in person, it translates well over Zoom.  This next lesson is no exception.  It is one I have done many times (both in 5th grade and in 3rd grade) and has worked splendidly each time (you can read about how I did it in my in-person classroom here.)  I just needed to make a few adjustments for the online reality we were all facing.  Here is how it all went down.
We have been learning about various people in American history that have stood up for what they believed in. Whether it be advocating for voting rights, civil rights, women's rights, or worker's rights, the people that we have been learning about all took action to help themselves and others earn their rights at American citizens.  We learned about:

Alice Paul
Rosa Parks
Martin Luther King, Jr
Cesar Chavez
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

So, in keeping with that same theme, in class we thought about causes that we were passionate about.  We created a class chart listing all of the things we were passionate about.  Since it was all done online, and we can't really create anchor charts, I simply created a chart in our notebooks.  The kids copied as they told me what to write.

I then asked the students to think about the ONE cause they were most passionate about.  We then worked together to create I Am poems about our own cause.  

I modeled each line, discussing as we went.  Again, since we were online, I couldn't walk around and see what the kids were working on.  So, instead, I had A LOT of kids share out their ideas.  Line by line, kids were sharing what they hoped, pretended, wondered, tried, etc...about their cause. I notice that by doing this, each line became more detailed and more expressive as time went on.  This was a wonderful surprise to me!

Then, we read the story Sofia Valdez, Future Prez.  In the story, a little girl takes a stand and fights for a cause that she really is passionate about.  In the story, she gathers people together to protest and picket and makes her change occur.  So we created our own protestors to rally for our cause.

I have done this before in class, but online I needed to change the project just a bit.  I had the kids draw a picture on a regular piece of paper, holding a sign.  To keep the sign a larger size, I asked them to fold a piece of paper in half twice.  They then traced that folded paper and drew themselves around it, as if that was the sign.  

Then, after typing the I Am Poem, and taking a picture/inserting the drawing into a Google Slide, they insert the poem into the picket sign and, viola, we have the protestors like we did in the classroom!

I then displayed those protestors, with their I Am poem signs, on a "virtual bulletin board" and linked it in our Schoology class.   (you can see that up at the top of my post.)  

(if that little "bulletin board" slide is of interest to you, drop me a note.  I can add it here if you all want it :) ) 


  1. I would love a copy of your virtual bulletin board...so cute!

  2. I would love it as well! Thank you!


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