Educator and Community Learning (ECL) Workshops, formerly known as the Playful Learning for Educators series, have been an integral part of KET’s participation in Ready to Learn (2015-20). These workshops consist of 5 three hour long professional development experiences designed for early childhood educators. Recently, PBS KIDS released the fifth workshop- Informational Text with Molly of Denali.
Molly of Denali centers on 10-year-old Molly Mabray, her family, trusty sidekicks Tooey and Trini, and four-legged friend Suki. Molly is a vlogger in the fictional town of Qyah, Alaska where her family runs the Denali Trading Post. The series blends the educational goals of informational text, Alaska Native values, social-emotional skills, and subject-related knowledge in science and social studies. The series was specifically created to model various ways that children can use informational texts in their daily lives.
KET Early Childhood offered this new ECL in the Virtual Learning Series in October. The workshop began with a Land Acknowledgment to recognize the Indigenous People of the land where participants were joining from. Participants and facilitators then shared the stars in their life to highlight the Alaskan Native Value of ‘Knowing Who You Are- You are an extension of your family’.
The workshop went on to explore the various types of informational text, what constitutes as informational text, and the importance of knowing how and where to find information. Participants heard from Nell Duke, a professor in literacy, language, and culture at the University of Michigan and the informational text advisor for Molly of Denali. They were then invited to create and share their own informational text with a map depicting an important place in their life. Participants left with a thorough introduction to multimodal informational text resources from PBS KIDS.
For more on using informational text with Molly of Denali, check out PBS Learning Media and PBS Parents. KET will offer the Virtual Learning Series again in 2021. To be notified when registration is available, please sign-up for the Early Childhood newsletter and follow @KETEarlyEd on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.