The Year 5 Geography topic this term is China and at the beginning of the term the class were given the task of teaching each other. They divided themselves into groups and decided upon the aspects of the topic that they were going to teach. After several weeks of research and preparation the teaching sessions have now begun. The first group, Keaton, Ricardo R and Roque taught the class about the Chinese landscape and wildlife. The second group, Jayden, Kester and Zethan covered the topic of farming and the third group, Antonia, Cody, Dixie and Ricardo B taught the class about the major cities and attractions in China.
Each group has been totally self-directed and have chosen their method of delivery. PowerPoints, notebooks and worksheets, maps and quizzes have so far been used. The students have also been tasked with assessing the students’ learning and getting feedback on their teaching.
This approach has created a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm and required the students to plan, work for prolonged periods of time in small groups and to solve problems. What has been the teacher’s role in all of this? Often I have answered questions with questions, guiding the students to resolve issues and find answers by themselves. I have been able to tutor them in the technical skills that they needed as and when they asked and to observe how they work in a different learning environment. I have been delighted by their maturity and ability to both learn and to help others to learn. There will be much reflection by us all at the end of the process but I am in no doubt that the Year 5 class and I will have learnt a lot and not just about China!
Mrs Easton – Year 5 teacher
Some student comments:
“I like it because it is fun and it helps us to learn more.”
“This teaching idea is great because we are learning lots more about things. I have enjoyed preparing our lesson and am looking forward to teaching it.”
“It was a great surprise when Mrs Easton asked us to teach. I think I learnt more than when Mrs Easton is teaching at the front. I found it easier to be a student than a teacher!”
“I am enjoying learning how to teach.”
“Helpful because we can choose what we research and teach so that we can learn it all ourselves.”
“It was scary to start with but then we got prepared for our lesson. The other lessons have been good, creative and fun. I like the idea of teaching each other.”