Signs and Symbols Unit of Inquiry: Week 2

This week we are revisiting the road signs we discussed last week, and completed our inquiry cycle for the first part of this unit. The students really enjoyed exploring the different road signs and this prompted a discussion about what we already knew about road signs and how we knew what they meant. The students came up with some great explanations for how they knew a signs meaning, and we took a look at a quick PPT I made showing some different signs with silhouettes, inviting my students to guess each meaning based on the silhouette. Some of these are real and some were made up to illustrate a variety of types of signs.

The students loved all the different signs, and this prompted a query about if we could make our own signs. AMAZING idea! We brainstormed what we would want our sign to mean, made a list, then discussed how we would use our bodies to show that meaning. The next day I set up my white photo backdrop in a dark room of the school and backlit it with some shadeless lamps. The students each came in and struck their silhouette pose behind the backdrop while I snapped the photos. We then used Lightroom editing software on our school iPads to experiment changing the shadows, highlights, blacks, whites, and contrast to create the right type of silhouette. Can you guess what they mean?

Playing basketball



Reading a book

Once the photos were finished, we printed them, cut them out, and mounted them to different colored paper, cut into shapes that we had seen other signs shaped as (square, diamond, rectangle, triangle, and circle). Finally the students wrote their description as to what the sign means and why a sign like theirs could be important.

I love that this was a true inquiry moment and that we were able to hit every part of the inquiry cycle through this activity. My students had fun trying to guess what each other's signs meant. Give it a try with your students, what might they come up with?


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