This year in Puffins and Penguins, we are learning through a more autonomous approach within our theme sessions. Our classes have been combined and then divided into 3 working groups. Within the groups we have 3 set job roles; ICT researchers, Book researchers and Note takers. Each week, we are presented with a question that is ours to research, we discuss in our groups what we already know about this topic and what we would like to know. The information identified as what we would like to know then directs and informs our research. As a group, we have to work together to learn about the question for that week, we have been encouraged to take notes however is best for us and to also use a variety of skills within the SELLS curriculum to enhance our subject based knowledge. Each 'Big Question' is designed to make us think and take our learning in our own chosen direction.
In our first week, we were presented with the question 'What is the earth?', this created lots of discussion in our groups and we were all very excited to share what we knew. There were many a conversation about how the earth was created and many differing views, some put forward the big bang, others shared their ideas about how god created the earth. We learnt about the earths position in the solar system, its different layers, distance from the sun and many other interesting facts! We were very excited about the forthcoming sessions and where this would lead us.
In our second week, our groups looked into the question "How has the Earth changed?" We covered a wide range of topics such as shifting of tectonic plates, what happened to the dinosaurs and much more. At the end of the week the groups presented what they found to the others, as well as some groups creating diagrams or models of the Earth to show off. We really enjoyed learning about this and are excited about what more there is to learn in future lessons.
Our third week learning about the Earth was an interesting one as we continued on from week 2 with the question "how have the changes impacted on the Earth?" Our discussion topics for this week were quite similar to the week before however we expanded on them as we looked into the meteor that hit the Earth, pollution, how the land has changed over time and the melting of the polar icecaps. We were all very proud as we showed the other groups what we found.
This week, we also worked in our groups to create a visual representation of how the earth has changed, we had many different representations of this, some used models, others created posters and we even had dramatics! It was wonderful to see such an array of different presentations, it was a great showcase of the children's creativity.