Bashamichi Campus
(Age 2 - Age 3)

Kannai Campus
(Age 4 - Grade 12)


Students Choice Lesson for Project Work/スチューデントチョイスレッスン紹介

Afterschool 2021.06.23

Here is an introduction to lessons at CGK Afterschool.

One of the Project Works over a two-month period is a course called “Student Choice.”
In this course, the children think up both the theme and the plan for their study, and learn in depth by focusing on their interests at the time.

The theme of this lesson was “Design a CGK Mascot .”
Here are some comments from Mr. Dan and Ms. Kitty, the teachers who were in charge of the lessons.

Week 1
Students were introduced to the new concept of picking what they want to learn about for the next 8 weeks. The lesson focusses on the students brainstorming and communicating in groups to come up with ideas that can be discussed and then narrowed down. Students adjusted to this new concept very well but it is still very challenging for them. Through the step by step process students made some progress to narrowing down what they wanted to learn about to two subjects.
Week 2
Students picked up from where they left off last week and continued to debate ideas for subjects and topics they could study. Although we were using the same structure as the previous week children found it difficult to come up with specific ideas for the two subjects that had chosen. At the end of the lesson students voted anonymously on which subject they would like to learn about. The winning topic was Animals. Due to the difficulty of students creating concrete lesson ideas from next week Mr Dan and Ms Kitty will both present two fleshed out lesson options based on animals that the students can debate, choose form, and if they can, come up with an alternative. Mr Dan will be presenting the idea of the animal food chain and students creating their own animals and food chain. Ms Kitty will present the idea that students learn about mascots and create a CGK mascot. If students can produce and alternative then that alternative will also be debated by them. 

 Week 3
We revealed to the students that the animal topic won the vote. Mr Dan presented his idea of looking at the animal food chain, thinking about which animals are predators and prey, , what defense mechanisms they have against predators, how the life cycle is different for each animal and how energy is transferred.  He explained how the students could make their own original animal(s) and create a new food chain. Ms Kitty presented her idea of the students designing a CGK mascot. She showed examples of Yokohama city, Japan and company mascots and discussed how mascots are very popular in Japan. She explained that once a mascot was designed the students could start producing merchandise with the mascot on. The students went away to discuss both ideas that had been presented and how they would explore the theme throughout the project, after presenting their thoughts to the group they all voted and designing a mascot won. They all went away to design their own mascot, thinking about the name, age, likes, dislikes, and its story. All the drawings were displayed at the front and discussed which ones were liked and why.
私たちは生徒たちに、動物のトピックが投票で選ばれたことを明らかにしました。Dan先生は、動物の食物連鎖を見て、どの動物が捕食者と被食者になるのか、捕食者に対する防御メカニズムは何か、ライフサイクルはそれぞれの動物によってどのように違うのか、エネルギーはどのように伝達されるのかを考えるというアイデアを発表しました。 そして、生徒たちが自分のオリジナルの動物を作り、新しい食物連鎖を作る方法を説明しました。Kitty先生は、学生がCGKのマスコットをデザインするというアイデアを発表しました。Kitty先生は、日本の横浜市や企業のマスコットの例を示し、日本ではマスコットがとても人気があることを説明しました。マスコットをデザインしたら、学生たちはそのマスコットを使った商品を作り始めることができると説明しました。学生たちは、発表された2つのアイデアと、プロジェクト全体を通してこのテーマをどのように探求するかについて話し合いました。自分たちの考えをグループに発表した後、全員が投票し、マスコットのデザインが選ばれました。生徒たちは、自分のマスコットの名前、年齢、好き嫌い、ストーリーなどを考えながら、自分のマスコットをデザインしていきました。描いた絵はすべて前列に展示され、どの絵が気に入ったか、なぜ気に入ったかを話し合いました。
Week 4
The students were told the finalists for the mascot design were K-chan (rabbit) and CGK Dog (dog) and that teachers and students from Preschool had voted to decide the winner. They watched the videos of the teachers revealing which mascot they liked the most and we announced the mascot that got the most votes was K-chan. The student who designed K-chan was able to choose the team she wanted to work with to create the big cardboard cutout. We explained that we needed a team to design a flag and another to be thinking about what merchandise they would want to make. Once the teams were decided, they brainstormed ideas and sketched ideas out. The merchandise team were encouraged to ask other people for their thoughts/opinions on the ideas and some were able to record feedback. For presentations, the teams all showed the work they had created and what their ideas behind the designs were.
Week 5
The students were working in the three groups: Art Directors continued with drawing up the large scale K-chan and managed to start painting; the flag team were discussing how to come up with the final design for the flag. They were looking at the individual designs from week 4 and selecting elements of them to put into the final large drawing. They finished off the final design and started to cut out different felt pieces. The merchandise team were working on different things – some students were drawing K-chan keyrings, some were making clay models, one student decorated a K-chan bag and a red K-chan t-shirt was started. The students presented their work and students asked questions and gave feedback.

Week 6
During learning centers Mr Dan and Ms Kitty had a chat with the groups working on the flag and the group making merchandise to make sure the students knew what they wanted/needed to be working on during project time. Once project time started, all the teams were able to go off and had no problem with getting on with their tasks. Merchandise team were making a variety of things; cups, postcards, plushies and badge designs. The art directors finished painting the big K-chan image. The badge designs were shown and voted for and one of the girls was the winning design.

Week 7, 8
It was the final day of project work so the students were finishing off what their groups were tasked with. The flag team were securing the felt to the flag, drawing pictures to add colour and stuck on a felt K-chan. The merchandise team were making plushies, decorating the t-shirt and drawing on plastic files. Some girls were writing K-chan`s profile and thinking about her story and what she likes.

In this lesson, in which the students took the initiative in deciding on the lesson theme, lesson plan, and final project, there was a lot of consultation among friends to make decisions, and they also experienced things where their own opinions were not accepted, making the lesson very fulfilling.
We are glad that the students enjoyed the experience of thinking and acting on their own rather than taking a passive lesson.

I would like to see what the children will learn in the next "Student's Choice" lesson, and I hope that the lesson will stimulate their interest even more.

Author Profile

Saeda Sueki-Au-Yeung  -  School Director  (Japan)JAPAN

School Director of CGK International School.
Graduated from a 4-year university in America, joined women's soccer team (National Champion).
After working in childcare and management at CGK Preschool and CGK Afterschool, she became the director of the entire CGK International School.

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