Giving students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills is fundamental to the approach in our primary programme. An excellent example of this is the holiday homework assignment given to Grade 4 this vacation. Their task was this:
You are a photographer for National Geographic Magazine. You have been given an assignment to lead a team on an expedition to the science research station at the South Pole. Your narration of events will form the special edition of the magazine. The edition will include the expedition planning, details of the crew members, maps of the journey, lists of the necessary equipment and stories of the adventures you will have. Of course, the edition will be full of your photographs too!
Students have really excelled themselves in creating National Geographic magazines. Some have hand-crafted their work and others have used the computer to blend images and text. What is most appreciable is that most of the writing has been done by the child themselves. It is clear to see the students have been trying very hard to use the new vocabulary they have learnt with this unit. They have also used their research skills quite admirably, finding pictures, maps and general information to include in their magazines. This type of activity – synthesising information and presenting it in a unique, new way gives children the chance to develop higher-order thinking skills. Additionally, they have a product to be proud of at the end of their hard work.
Here are some photos of the finished items: