The Grade 3 students at House of Knowledge recently completed a hugely popular topic as part of their World Studies. Over the course of approximately 8 weeks, students explored the exciting historical world of dinosaurs!
In keeping with the World Studies programme, the students conducted many tasks and activities over the 8 week period that all contributed to the final exit point of the unit – The Dinosaur Park. During the first week of the new topic, students were introduced to the topic concept, along with lots of new vocabulary that they would be using during their exploration. Students also underwent a ‘Knowledge Harvest’ during the first week to discover how much they already knew about the subject matter so that teaching staff could build on existing knowledge and expand the students’ learning.
Throughout the following weeks, the students conducted a variety of activities to help them learn more about their chosen topic. They created historical timelines displaying the progress of time from before dinosaurs existed, through the Mesozoic Era up until the current era, the Cenozoic Era. Not only did the students learn more about what kind of dinosaurs were alive and when, but they also came to understand how to build and create timelines, and how to identify that history can be considered in terms of different time periods.
The Grade 3 students were also very lucky to have a visit from Dr. Thomas A. Stidham, a real paleontologist from the Paleozoology Museum of China. He brought along a real dinosaur egg for the students to examine and the students also were given the opportunity to test out their interview skills by conducting an interview with Dr. Stidham. Once again, the students learned lots of amazing facts about dinosaurs and the Mesozoic Era. But they also gained the experience of how to behave appropriately during an interview scenario and how to create questions that would result in the greatest amount of information shared by their interview subject.
On April 27th, the culmination of all the students’ hard work was presented in the form of the very first House of Knowledge Dinosaur Park. Parents and students from across the school were invited to take tours around the park, fully designed and constructed by the Grade 3 students. The tour groups were led between each exhibit by a ‘Scientist’ who presented in both English and Chinese. The exhibits were made up of activities the students had created and completed over the previous weeks, such as the presentation of fossils, a project on Pangea, extinction theories, iPad presentations on other animals that existed during the period, to name a few. The most exciting exhibit of all was the ‘real’ dinosaur enclosure, where students wore 3D dinosaur heads they had printed and assembled themselves. The dangerous dinosaurs were even kept in cages the students had also constructed, while the friendly dinosaurs were allowed to roam free. The students really enjoyed submerging themselves into the roles of the different types of dinosaurs.
As with everything our students’ do, the House of Knowledge core values were reflected throughout their learning experience. Through the course of this topic, the core values most focused on were Communication, Cooperation, Global Mindset and Design Thinking. The students worked collaboratively to achieve their end goal and, despite a last-minute setback when they discovered the cages they had constructed were too big to fit through the classroom door, the students continued to stay positive and worked together to solve the problem. This reiterates the successes of how the World Studies programme works; students not only learned a great deal about dinosaurs and the Mesozoic Era, but they also absorbed incredibly significant, transferable life skills at every possible opportunity, all whilst looking through the lens of the exciting world of dinosaurs!