Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My approach to inquiry in the classroom

How can you teach something you are not excited about? As a PYP teacher, I need to convey excitement and enthusiasm to my students and the only way to do this is to be excited about a new unit myself. I am not a student of history and since my next unit, Old is Gold is all about the past, I plunged headlong into it.
I borrowed enough books to last me the mid term holiday. I am reading all about the history of Mombasa. It is fascinating. As I keep reading, new ideas keep coming to me. I am all set to try them out in class. This is a unit where kids will study artifacts and ask "fat" questions; where they will analyse, interpret and reconstruct the past. So what types of activities will promote these understandings?

I will be creating centers in my class. In one center, the kids will be watching YouTube videos on the life of archaeologists, or observe what goes on in a historical site. In another another center, they will draw artifacts in detail, and label and measure them as accurately as possible. In yet another center, they will try and create a timeline of a certain type of artifact to show how it has evolved  over time. In another section of the class they will work in groups and discuss each others interpretation. Lots of oral communication with elements of debate.
I will take the kids on a trip to Fort Jesus or Gedi ruins after all these activities and video tape them to see whether they are behaving like archaeologists without any prompting. Then as a class, we will analyse the video.I look forward to some stimulating discussions.

I created this presentation using spicy nodes which I felt was ideal for this purpose.I have posted  it on my students' blog. http://kidblog.org/Grade4A/nainisingh/using-web2-0-tool-spicy-nodes-for-your-next-unit/

Press on full screen mode and keep clicking on the next key!

They will become the "me".

Along with this , their writing assignments will focus on historical fiction , mysteries where the artifacts have a major role to play! The characters will display the qualities that "me" has.

I hope this introspection before a unit really helps me convey that enthusiasm for learning.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Naini
    What a lovely interactive mind map. That's great. My wife is Kenyan. We got married last year and spent our honeymoon in Mombasa. Fort Jesus is my famourite fort anywhere, so much history! I hope your students enjoy their assignment.


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