I hope your list of strategies is not too long! [see previous post for lead up to today’s blog] Ideally you have a handful that you use frequently – to the point where you may be starting to think some are getting old/stale but notice that your learners still seem to really enjoy them. [Hint: We DO get tired of a particular approach much more quickly, though it seems our students are enjoying the predictability of a familiar pattern of steps toward new learning. Lesson learned: Do not change too often as students seem to appreciate knowing what is coming. When it is truly time for a change, they will let you know.]
The chosen theme study/unit of study is Health and Nutrition. Based on my previous teaching at these grade level, I have a short list to get you started. I try to focus on a few ‘big ideas’ as without fail, when the brainstorming and questioning begins, many new ideas and queries are brought forward by the learners themselves and I love the challenge of finding ways to link their wide-ranging inquisitiveness with the key learning goals I envision for the group.
It is of particular interest to me that revisions t0 the Canada Food Guide are in process and input is being asked from the public as we speak – to December 6 to be exact. To add your input go to: http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/health-system-systeme-sante/consultations/foodguide-guidealimentaire/index-eng.php
Here are a few ideas for various topics to start:
- diet – on own, school lunches, parties, etc.
- exercise – on own, gym classes, extra-curricular
- mental and phyical wellbeing – links to diet and exercise
- roles and responsibilities – yours, parents, youth, school, district, government
- special topics in the news – diabetes, obesity, drugs, revision of Canada Food Guide [ see above], food recalls, allergies, etc.
- potential action plans – personal, school-wide, district-wide, province and country-wide
My personal strengths as a trained Physical and Health Education teacher would be used to complement the study when it comes to health and fitness. Further, I would bring in a health professional at some point – likely to talk about mental wellness related to diet and lifestyle. Beyond that I would expect to use English language arts, social studies and current events time to good effect throughout the study. Collaboration with the science and fine arts teachers would be an added bonus to our collective learning.
Hopefully, you are now also thinking and making lists of your own. Next post begins the introduction to my loosely formed theme study. Remember that I have two to three main learning goals in mind but expect students to help me lead them to their own ‘best learning’ as additional ideas are generated.