In Social Studies Kayla's class is studying Ancient Greece. One of their assignments was to be assigned a Greek god or goddess and do a research report and a presentation as that god/goddess as part of a "Greek Museum" day.
Kayla's goddess was Eris: The Goddess of Chaos.
Her research paper was only a few paragraphs long, which was fine. It included the required elements of a cover page and the information of what they were the god/dess of, their symbol, parents, something important about them and a story or two. Some of the god/dess have enough stories to fill a book, and others only have a mere mention here or there. Kayla's goddess was one of those.
We got the gist of the report done by gathering information, but now came typing it up. I wanted Kayla to do as much of the project as she could - I didn't want to be the one typing for her. She doesn't have a lot of experience typing ... and she is definitely still in that one-finger-hunt-and-peck mode of typing. I knew this would take a while for her to type up a report.
I tried doing speech to text on my computer; however it failed to correctly type what she said about 99% of the time. It wasn't worth it if I had to correct just about everything it came up with. I'm sure there are better accessible ways for Kayla to successfully produce a typed report, but it wasn't happening on this one. (Any suggestions out there?)
It took us several days but she did type it out by herself, so even if I helped with the sentence structure, she did the actual work of typing the report.
Now for the Greek Museum presentation. It was basically the same as the report. They had to be dressed as their god/dess and when someone stepped on their 'button' they would come 'alive' and say who they were, what they were known for, and an interesting/important story.
Kayla knew the info about her goddess: Eris' parents, her symbol of a Golden Apple, and her story about the Golden Apple.
I went to school to watch her do her part in the museum. When I first walked in the room Kayla was giving her story, as were most of the other students, to small groups of Kindergartners. I listened to Kayla telling about Eris, the Goddess of Chaos and when she was done I was a little saddened because while I knew the story about Eris and the apple (having researched it with her) and what she was saying, I realized that none of those kids probably understood much of what she said or could tell you anything other than she had an apple.
She was participating and doing her part and knew her material ... but I didn't think it was getting across to the audience. I wished she could speak clearer. I wished she had better sentence structure. I wished the kids would know what she was talking about.
Then I walked around to listen to the rest of the 6th graders tell their stories. After hearing them tell their stories I had a revelation.
I only understood about 10% of what I heard regarding the Greek god/dess.
I realized that I couldn't understand most of what the other students were saying either. It was loud in the room with several presentations going on at once, they talked too quietly, they talked too quickly, they mumbled, they had full beards that covered their mouths which impeded their voice, they looked down to read off their index cards and their voices got lost.
I'm sure that the group of young students I first observed around Kayla probably didn't understand most of what any of the other students were telling them either. I mentally kicked myself for being overly critical of Kayla's performance ... for worrying too much.
Sometimes I need the reminder that she fits right in with the rest of her peers.
I took a video, but right before this I mentioned to her that one of her classmates was Ares, the God of War - and her brother. That little tidbit distracted her from what she had been saying so I tried to bring her back on track. I also missed the very beginning where she says that Zeus is her father and Hera is her mother.
The story she tells is that she was mad and jealous because she wasn't invited to a wedding so she threw the Golden Apple into the wedding and the apple had "For the fairest" on it.