A group of 6 kids age 5- 5, 5.

The aim of the task- identify animals, categorise them in to groups and explain the choose.

The process of the game. I set up pictures of different animals on a table (I took different categories- fishes, birds, mammals, polar animals, domestic animals, toy animals and et cetera).Step 1.  The children picked up 2 pictures and explained their choice.

Step 2. I asked them to pick up one more animal to make a group of 3 things with the same attribute and explain the choice. Step 3. I asked them to add one of 3 animals out and explain the choice. Step 4. We put all the animals on a table again and tried to make as many groups of animals as possible.

The result. The result was great. The kids were so interested in a game, that we used even more time when I was expecting. After finding out the opportunity that the same 3 animals can have more than one thing which is common for them, the kids stared to play with different possibilities. As a teacher I could see the thinking of each child ( I was making pictures of all the choices they made) and it helps me to find an individual tasks for each child (so of them need more difficult tasks, some needs to work more on sorting and finding opportunities). For the next time I am planning to use the same pictures and to play a game “Pick up the Animals According Description” and to make a photo robots (to create pictures using body parts of different   animals).

As I am working a lot on making teaching more concept and less thematic this task help me a lot too. I used the concepts - form, connection, function.


# Alexander Sokol 2011-04-04 15:43
Giedre, glad to hear both the teacher and the kids enjoyed the lesson. It's always important. However, we should distinguish between enjoying and learning. Although ideally both should be taking place at the same time, it's also possible that one is enjoying but not learning enough.
Can you say a few words about the QUALITY of the ideas proposed by the kids? How did you evaluate their ideas? How did you react of the idea was weak? How did you react when you saw that the task was too easy for a child (I bet it could have for some, couldn't it?).
# Giedre Juodyte 2011-04-05 21:53
In this group thinking task's is going together with language (Lithuanian is a second language for all of them, except one). So it is not only seeing other opportunities (new groups), but finding out how to communicate if: I do not speak the language.
The kids came to the idea that some animals has - the same color, they are the same cute (baby animals),they live in a water, they fly... So after all the findings I was always asking to look for more parameters. Let's look for something else. (manly it was limitation- ok- we are not looking for the cute animals any more). It took a while for them to find - the same kind (birds, fishes, mammals). Even for those, I was expecting the task is to easy.
So it takes time for me to develop the tasks with the problems to solve. But the fact that the kids are getting more exited to come and try something new after all the lessons, also very important (they are working from 9 to 15 and only after I have a club).
# Alexander Sokol 2011-04-06 07:09
Right, more parameters is a possible limitation. However, it's not the only one. As I said, it's often useful to get the kids to evaluate their ideas and see if they work. Did you have a chance to do it? If so, it'd be interesting to see how.
Another thing you can do is to limit the number of groups. This would give you a chance to study a parameter deeper. For example, if they want to divide according to the colour, you may ask them to have two groups only (say, instead of three and four if they devide according to the actual colour). This would be a step towards learning more about colour (in the ENV language - see more values of colour), eg dark / light, cool/warm.
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