"Why do natural disasters happen and how can we prepare for them?"
Each project has a driving question and this project's question was "Why do natural disasters happen and how can we prepare for them?" Students were discussing, researching and learning with friends and teachers through this question. One project continues for three months and teachers guide lesson based on students' interests.
Here is a report from the teachers.
As an introduction to natural disasters students brainstormed what they thought natural disasters meant and gave examples with the aid of a slide show highlighting various types of natural disasters. Because the number of afterschool students has increased dramatically for the current school year, this was an excellent time for students and teachers to work together to workshop ideas as to the best and most efficient way to evacuate in case of disaster. For this activity we focused on an earthquake evacuation and through talking with the students and role playing with them we all arrived at a consensus that we will use as our evacuation plan moving forwards.
After students and teachers were fully aware on the evacuation plan, we had a real evacuation drill and evacuated to the meeting point around the corner from CGK. Students performed this drill exceptionally well with only very minor things we found to improve during feedback. Mr. Dan also shared with the students an experience he had at high school where a teacher ignored the fire alarm thinking it was a drill and why it is so important even if you think it is only a drill to treat it as the real thing. We then took out the CGK emergency bag and without opening asked the students to think about what could be inside. Students then worked in three teams taking it in turns to run up to the whiteboard and write down an item they thought was in the CGK emergency bag in a relay style game. After the time had run out Ms. Darby took an item from the emergency bag one at a time and students could see if they had guessed the item.
We taught about the SDGs. Students chose one of the SDGs that is linked with natural disasters and began to make posters about the SDGs. They then presented to the class.
We back to natural disasters. The students picked one natural disaster that they will build a diorama to show. They were given the choice of working individually or with a partner.
Students finished creating their dioramas and presented them to their classmates for constructive feedback and discussion. Students discussed the next part of the project with teachers in preparation for next week and to allow them to have some thinking time over the next week. Student will have to work together to come up with a way of conveying information relating to what to do if their chosen natural disaster were to arise. Students will have complete freedom in how they chose to present this information.
Students started to work on a way to prepare for their chosen natural disaster and brainstormed ideas and took notes in their groups. Initially students were going to come up with more literal advice regarding their disasters but in the end their creativity took over and a lot of the groups started to come up with unique inventions that could help them or prevent their natural disasters. Groups chose many different ways of presenting this information from creating videos to inform people how best to deal with tsunami to creating a guide of how to deploy a robot that with extinguish a volcano.
Many groups still needed a little time to finish their inventions but some groups finished and started to work on what they were going to say for final presentation. Some students didn`t want to use scripts and started practicing by themselves on what they wanted to say. We were particularly impressed with one student who worked on her presentation really hard and was incorporating gestures fantastically. At the end of the lesson those who had worked on their final presentations got a chance to practice them in front of their peers.
This week the classroom was divided into two sides. Any groups that felt they had finished everything they needed to went to one side to practice their presentation while students that needed to work on their presentation ideas or needed a teacher’s help making a script went to the other side. Mr. Dan worked with 3 groups typing up what they wanted to say onto a script they could read.
On final presentation day, all students did great job and we are so proud of them! It is great to see that each students are improving various area that they need to work on and see everyone is having fun to learn.