This term we have been looking at 'Living things and their habitats' in Science.
We then extended this to talking about those animals that are living and those which are not.
There is part of the curriculum which looks at animals that once lived. We had an excellent discussion about dinosaurs and what they might have looked like millions of years ago. This led us into our English lessons where we began the very enjoyable story of 'Tyrannosaurus Drip', where a Duckbill Dinosaur egg accidentally falls into a Tyrannosaurus Rex's nest. They soon realise that Drip is quite different when he decides he doesn’t like meat. He runs away and finally finds his own kind. The Tyrannosaurs run after him but with his quick wit he outruns them and ends up living an enjoyable life with those who appreciate him most.
In education, we all learn in so many different ways. We are predominantly teaching children with English as a second language, meaning that hitting all of the different senses is one way of enabling the children to learn. There are three key learning styles; visual, kinaesthetic or auditory and we have touched on all of these in our lessons on Tyrannosaurus Drip.
Firstly, the children listened to me reading the story to them. By using five different techniques while speaking to them it made it more dramatic and enjoyable. The use of projection, pitch, pause and pace enables a reader to capture their audience and these are important when preparing to speak in a public situation. Maybe my next article will be on the art of Public Speaking!?
Whilst we read the story, I had the book facing the children. This way they could see the illustrations, making their learning visual. They could link the sentences spoken with the illustrations on the same page. At the same time they each had a blank piece of paper and a pencil. They were also allowed (and encouraged) to make notes, knowing that it might help them recount the story during our discussion afterwards. After finishing the story the boys and girls had to recount the story in chronological order. As we discussed each event, the children had to draw a picture which would explain as best they could what happened. In this lesson, there was no writing and the children has to use pictures to re-tell the story. They produced some wonderfully detailed story maps!
Following this, they had the story written out in simple sentences. However, the sentences were not in chronological order and so they had to use their visual storyboards to help them arrange the sentences correctly. First, they read the sentence and then they chose where to place it. Once all of the sentences were in order they wrote them out in their best handwriting.
These learning styles are so useful in teaching. It is important that we understand how each child learns and this happens over time. Teaching using all of the learning styles is best practice and I am sure for those of you that are reading are wondering how I brought kinaesthetic learning into my lessons. Well, that comes next. We will put the story into a little play and the children will act out the events. They will be able to discuss how each part should be delivered and how they should act, depending on their character. This is my favourite part of teaching, getting up and about and moving the children out of their comfort zones!