Sarah Warren

Map Maker #7: Speaking their Native Language

Blog Post created by Sarah Warren on Jun 3, 2020

Once again, I think the information in chapter 8 came as no surprise to the Ag Ed world. As we continue to build our new maps, we have often practiced the art of looking at some of the old maps, our old teaching styles and curriculum, and determining if we should keep the old practice or create a new one in its place. As Elmore outlines, using imagery in our messages is a practice that has been effective for the duration of human history, and will continue to be effective for years to come - perhaps now more than ever with Gen Z. You must admire Elmore's ability to bring in all of the stories and facts for this chapter, but lets get down to the heart of the message: practical application in your classroom.


In these book club posts, I try to pull out the main ideas of the chapter so you have an easy outline to refer back to later. Elmore poses that the reason Dr. Seuss books remain so incredibly relevant is because the message is:

1.Simple (easy to understand)
2. Short (can be digested quickly)
3. Sticky (memorable for everyone)
4. Sharable (transferrable ideas for readers)
(p. 140)


1) Think about your communication style within your classroom. Do you struggle with any of these 4 elements of effective messages/lessons? Do you excel in any of these areas? 


Further, Elmore spends a lot of time discussing imagery as a teaching technique. As ag teachers, you have already proven in this book club alone that you are very focused on providing experiences through which you can educate youth. In your classroom, you may already be far more fluent with this generation's language than other teachers in your building. Elmore says that students in this generation respond best to these three elements: music, experiences, images (p. 151). You have already seen with your own eyes that this is true, students respond well when you can provide a visual to accompany the topic you are teaching. 



2) How do you capitalize on the use of music, experiences, and/or images in your curriculum? 


Finally, Elmore leaves us with a simple exercise to help us develop a strategic plan for implementing the ideas in this chapter into our curriculum. 
D - Begin with a Dilemma
I - Then show an Image
C - This sparks Conversations
E - This should lead to an experience


Map Maker:
3) Where could you try "rolling the DICE" in your teaching? Pick a class you teach, or one you would like to teach, and walk through the DICE strategy for a topic that could be taught within that class.  Make an outline of how you would accomplish each element: D - I - C - E. 


You can either post a comment or put a document in the Chapter 8 folder, if you want more space! Here are some questions that might spur some thought as you outline a DICE lesson. You DO NOT have to answer these questions specifically.
- What is an example of an issue or problem needing a solution that you could pose related to the topic?
- What images or imagery would you like to use to support or reinforce what you are trying to teach? Do you have life experience or stories of your own you could bring in? 
- How can you encourage students to open up and discuss the topic with you?
- How can you make this real and relevant to their lives?