As a reward/reflective tie-in, we watched parts of WALL-E to examine 1) the message it gives viewers and 2) the effectiveness of its delivery. The students responded very well to having an authentic audience to share their ecosystem stories with (they read to classrooms in grades K-4) so I wanted them to think about how animators, directors, authors/illustrators, graphic artists, etc plan for getting their message to the intended audience. I also wanted to get their feedback on the overall take-away from the project and how it could be improved for next year. I already know some changes I will make, such as having the classroom audiences complete an exit survey so the students get feedback from them, but hearing what the 5th graders think should be changed is invaluable.
I used a Google Form to have them submit their responses, and it was easy to get them to the form by giving each student an iPad and a QR code. Once I received their answers in the Google Spreadsheet, I simply cut the columns I wanted to review, and made a Google Doc (below).
They made great connections between the message they tried to share with other students and what WALL-E taught them, as well as some revelations about why it's important to care for our planet/ecosystems NOW for the benefit of the FUTURE.
- Yes you are right Pixar does rock and i think the message that was supposed to go through your mind was that you should care about your planet not trash your planet and think someone else is just going to do it for you.
- They make this amazing movie with a very big message about how to save the world from complete loss of nature. It gives you a very good idea of what the animates are trying to tell you.
I learned that I have to be careful with my wording, because I asked: What will you take away from doing your own ecosystem presentation that you might apply in future projects? Of course, I wanted to know what knowledge or skill they gained that would be used again in the future, instead, some of them thought I wanted them to literally "take away" something they had done! Whoops :)
Finally, I included their answers to what needs to be done differently for next years 5th graders. This was my favorite to read, because they know their opinion will make a difference in other students' learning experiences. What I learned from their answers is that they really enjoyed this opportunity for independent learning (in terms of inquiry-based and choosing what interested them), having a platform to use their voice to impact their peers, and that they want more collaborative experiences!
A comment like this is awesome to get because it's not easy to get 120+ 5th graders to cooperate, collaborate, and create meaningful work when they know they aren't getting a grade from me: