During my internship I tried to do lots of lessons that included hands activities. Students loved this. Often students would say to me, ” Miss K. you always make Inquiry so much fun.” I am not trying to make it sound like all my lessons were the best lessons ever planned, but most of my Inquiry lessons were hands on and had kids learning through experimentation. Our Inquiry learning times were broken into three week blocks were we would focus on one or two outcomes from one of the following subject areas: Science, Social, Health. I am going to share with you a couple of hands on activities I did during my internship that the students really enjoyed and a great deal of learning occurred.
1) The Human Body. Science has lots of opportunities to do hands on activities. The link to the Science 5 curriculum is below.
To start off the unit we (my cooperating teacher and I collaborated to create the unit) decided to do some formative assessment to see what students knew about the human body. We placed students in groups and had them make a body poster by tracing a group members body onto a large piece of paper and then labelling parts of the body. Students really enjoyed this activity. They knew the body parts such as stomach, heart, lungs, and small and large intestine. They had some difficulty identifying the diaphragm and the trachea. Here are a few pictures we took during the activity.
Later on in the unit I thought it would be fun to learn about the human body by looking at and playing around with some real organs. No I did not bring in human organs into my grade 5 classroom, but I did however bring in pig organs. I did this because pig organs are very similar to human organs. It was a blast and the kids got to pump up the lungs with air and see the air sacks fill up when filled with air. I would advise anyone who is teaching about the human body to try it out. Here are some pictures from our day with the pig organs.
2) Health. In our first Health Inquiry block we learned about healthy eating. It was a good transition from our science unit about the human body and learning how to keep the human body healthy. In this unit we learned how to read food labels. We started by reading a food label as a large class. Then to practice students worked in groups where they rotated through stations of the four different food groups and they would read a variety of food labels to learn what they were eating. The students had lots of fun. Here are some pictures from our afternoon of learning.
If you have any questions about the activities I did let me know. Leave a comment about how you have used hands on learning in your classroom.