Fun Projects for Learning – A Grade 1 Experience

School News January 05, 2023
Fun Projects for Learning – A Grade 1 Experience

As parents, we witness differing approaches to teaching and learning. Some institutions believe in regimented learning, while others advertise uncontrolled classrooms as a means to students' subconscious development. 

As a Grade 1 teacher, I see a combination of positive habits, embracement, and thought-provoking activities as a path to student progression, supported by a love for learning. The mentioned love for learning is directly connected to our children's enjoyment of learned subjects, positive reinforcement, safe learning spaces, fitness (cognitive and physical), and appreciation for their teachers. 

In the first semester of this year, Grade 1 students attended differently-themed STEAM lessons. The first unit introduced the definition of STEAM as Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Maths. We began discussing treehouses and their designs to spark the children's love for inquiry and project-based learning. After seeing images of tree houses, the children mentioned that STEAM uses small things to make big things. 

We investigated bridge-making soon after. The children loved the idea of taking on the role of engineers. They learned about reinforcing bridges with triangles and then had a "Strong Bridge Competition." It was an enjoyable experience.

The next project addressed DIY -do it yourself- musical instruments. The children watched several experts making simple and then complicated musical instruments. The initial plan was to make bands and perform using our instruments, which was challenging for our young ones. It wasn't a loss because the children and I learned that professionals are experts because they study for years to make complicated and amazing things out of introductory material.

After a beautiful musical adventure, we shifted our focus to living and non-living things. We decided to observe animal habitats, starting with an ant farm for each class. The ant farms were soon combined to create a network of worker ants migrating from one structure to another. 

We are now waiting for our next adventure to see how we can learn about our world through an inquiry and project-based approach to promote the children's love for education while enjoying a well-rounded approach to familiar topics.

Learning through inquiry from a young age promotes independence, critical thinking, and self-expression. All three are essential characteristics for our schools, families, and children. 

Thank you, Grade 1 students, for contributing to this article and the school's community.