Thursday, February 03, 2005
Hot summer day activities
A part of my wilderness garden!
Currently we are experiencing in New Zealand some really hot weather. Great timing, as students have gone back to school after a less than wonderful summer!
With this in mind I thought I would share a few environmental education ideas.
One activity that is fun is to take the class out side and space them out of personal touching distance along a fence or preferably a shady path. Get them to either just sit or reflect using their senses. Discuss the senses before they go outside. They could then write a few thought about whatever catches their mind or the teacher could direct them to think about something in particular – clouds, the heat, or trees. We call this activity ‘going solo’. Only go for a few minutes until students develop the necessary self discipline. Drawing could replace writing.
‘Finding Poems’ is another activity. After modeling the format in class go outside and write three thoughts. At first guide the children by asking them to write one thought looking up ( say into a tree or the sky), one thought looking closer ( at the trunk ), and finally one thought about leaves on the ground, or whatever comes to mind. These are simple haikus. Remember you are after phrases not single words.
For young students go on an ‘I Saw’ walk and collect interesting phrases from students as they walk along. Once again encourage phrases rather than words and encourage them also to make use of their senses. With experience students will come up with perceptive idea, similes and metaphors. Use ideas for shared language back in class.
For students who are reluctant use a question and answer technique with the teachers scribing student’s thoughts. Teachers need to help students expand their ideas by asking what happened next? How did you feel? What were you thinking? What did it remind you of?
Taking the digital or video camera is another idea. Back in class students could write descriptive captions and even metaphors. These could be made into PowerPoint’s or loops for the video screen. Another idea is to fold a piece of paper into eight or so rectangles and students could fill in shapes with textures they have seen. Get them to fill in all the white spaces so it is best to keep the shapes small!
All these awareness activates can lead into students understanding the power and fun of language.
Beats sweating in class but possibly not a swim in the school pool; now there is another language experience to take advantage of.
The curriculum for learning lies within any experience for a creative teacher