So the students are all excited about engaging with primary school students to find out what they like about picture books. We’ve decided to create surveys that groups will use to find out more about what the target age group like (characters, plots, etc).
In groups they developed their questions and the hardest thing for me was to step back and let them wrestle with it. I had to stop myself from suggesting, though I did help when I was asked by the students. Not trying to be in charge was unusual, but also exciting for me as it means I am encouraging them to be active participants in their learning.
What’s next? To get the results of the surveys and interpret the data collected. Then we can begin working on the books themselves. Of course, as we move through this process I’ll need to supply them with information about elements of picture books to develop their knowledge. But what is important here is that the project comes first, getting that initial engagement, finding out what they already know (no busy work here thanks) and then filling in the gaps in their knowledge as we go. I am going to encourage the learners to give me feedback on areas they need to know more about, but I am making that conscious decision to move from the front and centre of the room to a facilitating role.