02 Jun, 2014
10 : 00
A Year 5 class at Hongqiao Campus recently combined drama, geography, innovation, and collaboration in a classroom project. The class was part of a “Mantle of the Expert” unit, which is an educational model that uses creative drama to develop students’ learning.
Based on the students’ study of the topic “Rivers” in their Geography class, the theme of the creative class project was to create a proposal for a television travel show about the Yangtze River. Role-playing as a TV production company, the students were challenged to pitch a television series to “BBC executives”, played by a panel of YCIS teachers and staff. The students selected a “host” for the show, and from there, they worked as a group to define every aspect of the proposal, from logo creation to research, creating a PowerPoint presentation, in which each student presented a different segment of the show. After the presentation, the students discussed their unique learning experience, and the sense of responsibility that came with the project. One student, Emile, remarked, “We learnt a lot by working this way in class, not only about rivers, but also about research, presenting, and more! It was fun to pretend we were employees at a television company, and we worked really hard to make our show a success.”
The “BBC executives” agreed that the pitch was a winner! The students enthusiastically presented something to interest every potential viewer, including segments on culture, nature, food, and science, and the panel gained new knowledge about the Chinese river and surrounding areas as a result of the presentation.
Mr Leon Weeks, a teacher at Hongqiao Campus and the organiser of the classroom project, commented, “We took the geography unit ‘Rivers’ and taught it in a different way, allowing the students to not only learn the core lesson materials, but also to be able to enhance their creativity and communication skills, which are both very important for any future career, and this did this while having a very evident amount of fun!”
The study of Geography is an important part of the YCIS Primary programme. Students learn about different global locations, and they also study the physical and human features of the environment, learning about the evolving environments and the ways people and the environment impact each other.