Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Today, I worked in a Standard 5 Social Studies classroom to model the concept of artifacts as representations of culture. I used a classic lesson, with photos of cups, yes cups from different cultures and times in history. The children explored the photos in small groups, drew inferences about the cultures from the photos, and discussed. The higher level thinking was running all over the classroom, and their inferences were stunningly well-informed and insightful.
Then, they created a cup of their own to represent something about themselves and their culture. Typical of children their age, we had many sports cups, hearts and butterflies, names and ages decorating cups around the room.
Each of these processes was completely new to the children, and the joyful enthusiasm for the task, with no concern about "right and wrong" (a real issue in schools in this part of the world) let me know that they are ready and anxious to take on big ideas and big thinking at a moment's notice. Hoping the teachers who observed it use the lesson as an example of how to raise the bar for learning, engage students actively, and produce big thinkers in the process. Fun day!