Archive | Classroom examples – Primary

10 possible MOTE ideas

Check out the new page just inserted into the website under ‘planning in MOTE – teacher resources’  Or click here.  On this page you will find 10 concept ideas for MOTE plans all very different and all with a distinctly NZ theme.

These concepts for Mantle of the Expert units of work were designed by third year students as part of their learning on TEAL 387 at Waikato University. My thanks to these students for agreeing to allow their ideas to be shared with other teachers. They are loosely categorized according to the main curriculum learning areas that they cover – though the ‘incorporated’ approach of MOTE means that each concept gives opportunities to teach right across the curriculum including opportunities for rich learning in Maths, Literacy and ethics / values. Key competencies are not indicated but are core to any MOTE experience.

Please note, these concepts provide only the broad framework for planning – naturally a great deal of micro-planning would be required for individual lessons and to ensure teaching for learning. It is important to note that the concepts as they stand do NOT include indications of drama conventions and other drama for learning strategies which the teacher would need to use.  And naturally, the direction of the inquiry would flex and change depending on the interests of the children in the class. Nonetheless, I think you will agree that these concepts provide a stimulating set of NZ based ideas for MOTE units – and we really need to start building a collection of those!


Planning for term four

A successful planning session was held in Hamilton last week where local teachers came together to brainstorm ideas and share advice for term four:

Amongst others, we generated the following ideas:

  • A Mantle of the expert approach to the story Jack and the Beanstalk, for year two primary students. In this case, the teacher has decided to place a strong emphasis on the drama for learning / process drama side with teacher going into role as the giant’s wife, very distressed at the stealing of her golden hen…. The teacher really wanted to work with this theme after experiencing some petty theft within the classroom.
  • A MOTE for senior high school students involving a company that regulates new technologies in the marketplace [this one can be seen as working in the ‘regulatory’ mode from Heathcote’s list]. This one is going to be used as a starting point for a senior drama unit and the students will be challenged to explore ethical and political issues arising from secretive surveillence in society. Students’ ideas will be used as the basis for a devised performance.
  • For a senior primary class, a mantle of the expert exploration of the environmental damage from ‘Rena’ (the cargo ship currently aground off the Bay of Plenty). We discussed how important it would be with this one to take care with ‘frame distance’, as this is a real life issue, currently unfolding. We talked about how we could enrol the students as a company commissioned to clean out and recycle the shipping containers that have floated off the ship… this will take the class into science, design and math learning.

The gathering was useful not only to touch base with other teachers but also to remind ourselves of some of planning steps and guiding principles of planning in MOTE. Again, it was impressive to see primary, early years and secondary teachers sharing ideas. Kia Ora team!


Nature rangers

Robin Mills from  Puketaha school has sent a message telling us the latest about her teaching in Mantle of the Expert. Children are in role as nature rangers running an island sanctuary for native animals off the shores of NZ.

The island sanctuary (imagined) where we are based as rangers is rather uncomfortably close to where the (real) container ship Rena has run aground this week….  but I chose to ignore that as we’re further out to sea and the rangers weren’t aware of the proximity before they went off for their two weeks break.
Being an environmental clean-up company could make an interesting topic. Actually this year we’ve had some substantial current event potential for Mantle scenarios! I hope 2012 isn’t as eventful in reality. We have had enough science-based learning ideas to last a long time!
I’ve attached two faves from our ranger’s photo album – the drama scenario was that we were out on the island in the dark counting tuatara eggs as part of our census. We had previously mapped the island to scale, drawn in its ‘height lines’ (don’t you love the language kids come up with), worked out the nature of the terrain we were working on, organised treams to search 1/4 of the island each, collected appropriate gear and had our driver drop us off at a point close to each search area. (Ideas courtesy of Luke’s demo at the conference.)
The diaries written after the search were classic, more ‘real’ than the writing that followed our trip to Waitomo. Says something for writing in role, doesn’t it?


New link to blog – Mantle at HNS

Viv has taken the technological bull by the horns and set up a new blog!

The purpose is to record the happenings as they unfold with a Mantle currently being run with Lynette’s class at Hillcrest Normal School. This is the third year Lynette has kindly let me and my student teachers work in her class and we thought it might be interesting for people to follow along as we plan, implement and discover together… Thanks to Irene, the school principal, and Gay, the DP for permission to share the work in this way.

You can visit the blog by going to ‘Links’

I will be updating the blog regularly and welcome your comments – and advice – either here or direct into the blog

If others are interested in starting their own blogs too please do – we can link them from this site as we have done with Priya’s wonderful example – To set yourself up I recommend ‘blogspot’ as very easy to use even for beginners like me!


Link to Priya’s Muritai Mantle blog

I have just added a permanent link to Priya Gain’s wonderfully rich blog site from Muritai School.

Priya has been employed as a specialist teacher providing MOTE based learning as part of an extension programme at the school. Her illustrated blog provides a fascinating insight into a number of successful NZ themed Mantle experiences with different groups at the primary level. Lots of inspiration here for beginners or more experienced practitioners.

You can visit Priya’s blog any time from the link shown on the main page. Or click here

It is well worth visiting and you can become a ‘follower’ to receive regular updates.

Thanks for sharing this with us Priya…