Geography class today. Can I just gush a bit?
I was a bit nervous. This was the first time my students had to present their work; the standards were definitely at stake. I wanted to start the year off with a bang, but that depended on my students putting in the effort. Boy did they deliver.
I had five prizes to award hardworking students. Honestly, the most difficult part of the entire class was the part where I had to choose. Each child did a fantastic, splendid, fantabulous job on their boards, presentations, and show and tell projects. The bar was certainly raised high.
(I like to think that kids will give you what you expect of them, and that their standards will increase with your expectations. However, I must also be reminded that I am working with a dream team of children. The best part is getting to meet them one by one. Such talent, potential, sweetness, and curiosity. I love curiousity.)
We started with each child giving a two minute presentation of their country. From Japan to Tajikistan, each presentation had content and a beautiful board to back it up. One of my kids blew me away by becoming the absolute expert of all things Kyrgyzstan. Every time I’ve met him throughout this past month he has had something new to tell me about his country.
Next came the food. Let’s talk about the food for a minute. Instead of me having to spend hours cooking dishes from Asia (plus random american food to supplement for all those hungry little bodies), MY STUDENTS BROUGHT ALL THE FOOD. From Turkmenistan’s national dish to pineapple tarts and seasoned cashews, all except three students brough delightful dishes from all around Asia (two students taught us games from Korea and Uzbekistan and one student made a popular craft from Kazakhstan). Which meant that the immersion lasted throughout the entire event with no extra work on my part. Okay, I warmed up some spring rolls. Hurray for me.
After the meal we played some fantastic games, traded all their delightful stamps, and awarded prizes.
1. Most Beautiful Board went to Zoe O. for Turkmenistan
2. Hardest Worker went to Zoe K. for Afghanistan
3. Best Presentation went to Paul and Lily for Japan
4. Most Interesting Facts went to Evelyn for China
5. Most Knowledgable about Country went to Ian for Kyrgyzstan
We finished with a short interactive lesson I created to teach the older kids about the basic types of government. It was inspired by this gummy bear graphic, which I partially recreated for my students:
They (quite literally) ate it up.
All in all, I’d say today was a success. I learned a lot and had a ton of fun. I’m liking this teaching thing.
Can you guess which types of governments my students are trying to portray with gummy bears?
Any ideas for making our next unit on South Asia and South East Asia particularly exciting and splendid?