I join my colleague taveramt and I will share an activity we have done this afternoon in the after school club, attended by preschool children, 3 and 4 years old. We have played Lego Animal Bingo. A wonderful activity so that children explore collaborative play, follow game rules, and take turns as they build the colorful animal models depicted on the game cards. It is also very suitable for working fine motor skills, so necessary.
Of course, we have also built our own inventions …
Today we worked as a team for the first time. We have thought of a name, a flag, a shield and a motto … In addition, we have talked a little about the roles and function of each of them. Little by little, we learn to work collaboratively.
During term 1, aliens took over and invaded the English classroom of Year 5 students. Fear not, no spaceships had to be manned. Students had to answer a single question for which creativity turned out to be their best ally: “If you could interview an alien, what would you ask her?” – Obviously, in English.
Together, students wrote down questions that are simply a must for any competent outer space reporter. Some of the areas covered were alien dietary needs or the existence of WIFI in other galaxies, amongst many others. There are so many things to find out! Students worked in groups to come up with their answers and handed in a first draft of their interview. Corrections to the text were made by the teacher and added to the final version which included a drawing of the distinguished interviewee. Finally, each group gave an oral presentation on their alien creature.
In order to motivate students and make them think critically, they were confided the task of evaluating the artistic quality of each other’s work. Every group had one vote in the shape of a star that they could stick on the poster they thought to be the best one. On this occasion the proud winners of a little prize were students from class 5A. Well done, guys!
As in any cooperative learning experience a rubric was used. It helped students think about the way they had distributed and carried out the different tasks and the difficulties they had encountered. It turned out that students actually did quite a lot of thinking! Class 5B got into a really nice and lively debate about the advantages and disadvantages of working in groups. This is definitely when the magic happens in a classroom!
“We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read.”
― Jules Verne, Journey to the Center of the Earth
As many of you probably know, Journey to the Center of Earth –Voyage au centre de la Terre- is one of the most popular science fiction novels in the 19th century. It is written by Jules Verne in 1864. Basically, the plot tells the story a prestigious scientist who decided to discover how the center of Earth looked like. For that reason, he started an amazing journey in which he and his team will find an undiscovered world full of surprising and dangerous adventures.
Children love adventures, they love the adrenaline when they make a new discovery. For that reason, 4º ESO graders -16 years old students- are going to make their own adventure based on Journey to the Center of Earth: would it be possible to make a journey as the characters of the Julio Verne’s novel made?
For this project, we are working in cooperative groups, and they are working on doing research about our earth. In fact, we are trying to demonstrate that the novel is basically impossible from a geological point of view. This objective is not easy, and many times the kids need to face new challenging making a fundamental thesis to cope with each geological subject that the novel includes.
Why Journey to the Center of Earth is a sci-fi novel? Why it cannot be real? Have you ever imagined there would be a new whole world below us? We will show you the truth very soon…