In third grade enrichment classes we have begun working through a National Geographic workbook that is part of the third grade curriculum. The work is heavily skills based and requires students to respond to a series of questions in order to sharpen their geographic skills. As a teacher I had been struggling with how to heighten student engagement in this work. Students were working through the materials, but I was not comfortable with the enthusiasm level. At the same time I realized that this knowledge was important and we needed to find a way to cover all of the material. This week I had an idea-- what if students were to teach the lessons? I introduced the idea and the topics and gave students a lesson and a half of time to create their lessons. Students were excited and the ideas were AWESOME! One more week of planning and then I will turn the lessons and the learning fully over to the student groups.
A sneak preview from my discussions with various groups--I understand that we will be cutting up watermelons to learn about the hemispheres and working our way through mazes blindfolded to practice cardinal directions. Creativity abounds in third grade!