ENGLISH: Sharks VR (Student Age 10-11)
Fairview Elementary School, Fairfield, California
“Students have been researching sharks from all over the world.
We have gone over key words and vocabulary related to sharks and students have then written an informational text about a specific shark and have become shark experts.”
Elementary School Teacher
I told my students that they will be writing a journal entry on a shark experience. They pretended they were divers looking for sharks. They used what we saw through ClassVR and/or used what we learned so far about sharks. We reviewed key words related to shark life, such as habitat, coral reef, and predator. I then walked students through their first VR experience. I played our first track “Adventures in Nature” and gave students thinking time to consider what they saw in the video. They paired up to share and discuss what they saw. We move on to “Diving with Sharks in Cuba” and “Shark in New Caledonia.” This time students made a list of words (adjectives) that described what they saw. Next, I played the “Shark Experience” track. Students then shared with their group how they felt about what they saw. I gave students a graphic organizer to help them organize their thoughts. The graphic organizer includes: “What I saw”, “Adjectives to describe what I saw”, “How I felt” and “Vocab words to include.” Students also had access to the “Great White Shark” track in case they want to use that shark in their writing. Once they organized their writing, they began to prewrite and ended with publishing their journal entry.
IMPACT ON LEARNING
Seeing and being able to explore sharks underwater truly made this lesson much more engaging for my students. They were able to see first hand the life of sharks, all from land. My class was very engaged and immersed in this lesson. They were quick to get their thoughts on paper and many students wrote more than they ever had. I truly believe without the VR experience my many students would have struggled with this writing assignment. They were able to be creative and very detailed thanks to the VR experience.