Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Teaching evolution to Year 6




This half term I have been teaching one of the new curriculum areas to my year 6 class.
Evolution.
Goodness, that is an area that challenges! Determined to make it accessible to the children I have used ideas from a brilliant session I attended with Stuart Naylor to give them an idea of the huge timescales.
( here's a link to the book written in collaboration with Jo Moules http://www.nsta.org/recommends/ViewProduct.aspx?ProductID=22411 )

Last week the children , for home learning, took a moth outline home and coloured it with the remit of colouring so they could hide it in school. When we had a dry day, they hid them and we then pretended to be birds hunting moths.  This really helped to understand the process of natural selection. 

This afternoon we were thinking about variation within species and inheritance. I had drawn a simple pattern ( first of the photos) the children came to a screened off part of the room or at a time to copy the picture the previous child had copied.
The results are here:








They were astonished to see how the pictures changed...tiny changes, over time, leading to something altered.

They have been buzzing with questions ( favourite today, "So, could humans evolve horns at some point?"

We rounded the afternoon with coming up with the offspring of Little Misses and Mr Men and had a lot of chuckles discussing characteristics that could be inherited.

I was quite apprehensive about tackling such a challenging scientific area, but it's been huge fun and the children have been so eager to ask questions. 

Good grief, having fun!? Yes, it IS possible. 

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Learning in science

I thought I would try something new with my class this year. Well, there are lots of new things: new room, new year, new class, new assessment... the list goes on.

Specifically, I am trying out a 'reporters' book' . The plan is that in each science lesson, one group is responsible for recording the learning that is happening. The group has a camera and the children are not expected to double up on their work, but to record what's been learnt.

Next step maybe to try in other subjects, maths would be my next move.

The point? A record, a revision tool, a discussion point, a way for me to assess understanding .

Will it be useful? Raise standards? Improve understanding? I hope so. Watch this space...