I think the challenges of a classroom today is looking at how much time we have, what we have to fit into the curriculum but being able to sit down and say we can do this and it does fit into the curriculum. I think a lot of the time people are really aware of I’ve got to do my maths, I’ve got to do my language, I’ve got to do my health, I’ve got to do my phys ed and treat them as individual subjects when you can integrate them really easily and while the children think they’re doing a really fun creation activity you are actually covering all of those bases in one go.
With the activity our – what we wanted to achieve was looking at how we could design and make, model and also test out a hat. So, we started with our day beginning with looking at the weather; each morning we look at weather as part of our measurement strand for maths. The children look at what the weather is like today; what the day is; what the month is; what the date is and put the type of weather that we have in. We often will then discuss the season, particularly if the month has changed over to a new season.
Teacher: No, not usually … Where would you find snow?
Student: In Russia.
Teacher: In Russia, Anywhere else you might find snow?
Students: New Zealand, North Pole.
Teacher: New Zealand, North Pole. You would find it in North Pole and New Zealand.
In our group activity, we had said if you’re describing summer, how would you describe it? How does it look? How does it feel? And they then had to either write down, draw a picture and each child having a pen gives them that ownership of the activity.
Teacher: … Why has she got a hat on?
Student: Because she might get sunburnt.
Teacher: She might get sunburnt.
With one particular season, we looked at summer and the clothing. … What you would wear during that season. So the children then looked at shorts, t-shirts, hats and came up with a discussion about why you would need a hat, and looking particularly along our health and phys ed focus of sun protection. So, looking at the features of what you would need for a good hat and how a good hat could actually help protect you from the sun and the dangers of sunburn, heatstroke, all of those other things that come along with that.
Teacher: *Students name* where would you wear that hat?
Student: The outback.
Teacher: In the outback, why would you wear it in the outback? (Can you pop it in the middle?)
Student: ‘Cause its good for when you’re, like, looking after the horses.
Teacher: Good for when you are looking after the horses. It … it seems like a nice sturdy hat doesn’t it?
Our next step was looking at designing a hat. So, we moved the children to the art room and are looking at how you would design a hat to protect with its main feature to be protecting you from the sun. So, using all of the skills that we had learned in the earlier activities and looking at wide brims; is it going to be strong; how it’s going to say on. The children then looked at all of the materials we had available and drew a design for a summer hat.
Student: I know exactly.
Teacher: Which part there are you drawing?
Student: Cool, yours looks like a Sombrero. *Chatter*
Children particularly in the younger years, in Year one that may not be good spellers, good writers; if they’re able to put their work forward in a drawing form, verbally, um … In just changing our thinking of how we ask them to present work, we can still make sure they’re covering the content and looking at what the outcome we want them to have is, but being able to say, well, you can present it in this, this and this way and it still gives us the outcome that we’re after.
Teacher: When you’re finishing and push that down. So, at the moment, if I have it on … that’s the back? So, you’ve got to think about …
Student: Looks like a fry pan.
Teacher: Am I … It does look like a bit like of an upside down fry pan. How am I going to be protected all of the way around? How are we going to do the protection?
Student: Well, what I want to do is … I’m gonna keep on putting paper all the way around.
Teacher: Oh, putting paper all the way around? Yes? … Alright.
Once we had done the creation of the hats it was time for the practice part. We went out into the sun, first of all looking at the shadows that it created, is your hat protecting you from the sun; have you got sun on your face. The children were able to go into the sunshine and actually see whether their hats, whether their brims had protected them.
Teacher: Let’s make a hypothesis, let’s make a guess. Who can make a hypothesis or a guess about their hat’s going to do?
Student: I think … *In audible*
Teacher: When we were outside the children also made a hypothesis about whether or not they thought their hat would work.
Teacher: Ok, so … said I think it might fall off. Not sure. What’s your hypothesis?
Student: I think it might stay on very well because it’s got elastic so it could stay on very well.
Teacher: Ok … thinks hers will stay on really well because it’s got elastic, so she thinks it’s, pretty secure. On your mark, set, go. What did you say about your hat? And, what happened.
Student: Um, these bits will flop and they did.
Teacher: Yep, so your hypothesis, well I think these bits are going to flop and when you ran I could see them. They were flopping around like this.
An activity … like our sun hat creation takes in all of the learning areas, we try and integrate in the junior primary and build it across all learning areas.
Teacher: Girls, your hats!
Student: They stayed on.
Teacher: They have stayed on so well. These hats were super secure, well done.
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