Thinking and Listening by Pausing & Drawing

by

Teacher: Penny Moldofsky

Students: Ages 5 – 7

Audio Content: Peggy Parrish’s Amelia Bedelia

Location: Woodlynde School, Strafford, PA

Introduction
Penny Moldofsky wanted to build literacy concepts while introducing the concept of multiple meanings to her kindergarten class in hopes that her students would cultivate better listening skills. She had a three-fold mission: 1) to teach students to stop and think as they listen, 2) for students to use their listening skills to create mental images and 3) to help students comprehend the different ways people can interpret what they read or hear. Moldofsky selected Amelia Bedelia by
Peggy Parrish and designed a multi-layered curriculum, including supplemental materials.

Use of Technology
Moldofsky downloaded Amelia Bedelia from Audible.com’s website and burned it onto a CD, but the process wasn’t as easy as she expected. Downloading the files themselves presented a challenge. Moldofsky had to try to bypass the school’s firewall which had blocked Audible’s software. After some failed attempts at operating the software with her school’s firewall, Ms. Moldofsky decided to use a colleague’s personal laptop to retrieve the files, bypassing the school’s computer network.

Classroom Observation. Ten students migrated over to the rug and gathered around Moldofsky. She introduced Amelia Bedelia to the class and explained that Amelia works in houses. She used pictures and photographs related to the story to introduce and build vocabulary, as well as focus the students’ attention before she played the book. She had the class talk about different ideas that people can get from words and multiple meanings of idioms like “trim the fat” and “draw the drapes.” “Let’s imagine that someone asked you to dress the salad,” Moldofsky said to the class. “Well, what does it mean to dress yourself? Does she want you to put clothes on the salad? Can you picture a salad wearing clothes?” She also printed out clip art images of objects from the story and hung them each on a dry erase board. She then identified each object to the class, reducing the possibility that a student would stumble over an unknown word in the audio and be confused. Once the concept of double meaning and the various objects were introduced, Moldofsky started the story. While the students were listening, she handed out a picture of each object from the book to each student. Five minutes into the book, she stopped the story and asked the student with the object to tell the class what Amelia should do. Following the listening activity, Moldofsky gave each student a blank sheet of paper with two large boxes, one for what Amelia was supposed to do and one for what the students thought Amelia should have done.

Summary/Results. “It was a good diagnostic to see which kids struggled with this task,” noted Moldofsky. Students were actively involved and engaged and gained a greater awareness of words with multiple meanings. Their interest in words increased, and student drawings and discussion showed that they were creating mental images.

Teacher Quote: “The most satisfying aspect was having the students enjoy the audio and understanding double meaning. I also like that it was multi-sensory – it made it more layered for the kids. It was also helpful to differentiate between meta-cognitive voice and reading voice.”

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