Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Describe it to me....

With my NCEA Level 1, 2 and 3 Design and Visual Communication classes today, we were doing some exercises to prepare them for design analysis of their own work. This is always a weak point in our work so I am continuously trying to find ways to structure this to make it easier for the students to understand.
I had prepared a Google Drawing with a SOLO taxonomy structured layout of a series of questions. Link here
I decided that this was a little too much to start off with, so we were working today on a question at a time on images of products that they were familiar with. We were also doing this all together in the class Google Plus Communities so they could see what each other was writing about the products and get ideas if they were stuck. Link to the Level 2 Community here.
What I found interesting today, was where the students got stuck with the work.  They were having issues with the describing of the products that I put up for them. They had to describe things like the shape, the texture, the colour etc. This was not the area that I expected them to get stuck on.
I have had a chat with other teachers about this, in the Social Studies and English departments, and have realised that the problem is a lack of vocabulary that the students are using on a regular basis. This is really holding them back when it comes to the simple part of design analysis where they have to describe the product. This is even before they get to the higher order thinking of analysis where they have to think about why design decisions have been made and what effect these decisions have had.

To help them with this in the future, I have started putting together a list of sites that are loaded with describing words for any particular focus. I am going to share this document with the students so they can browse through the sites and be exposed to the words that are on there. I am going to make them look through themselves to find appropriate words for the things they are trying to describe.
Link to document here

Links to Describing Words






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