Last week, Grade 1 students at Kaiwen attended a fantastic dinosaur science class together with their parents, acting like little paleontologists. They did experiments to simulate volcanic eruptions, made dinosaur tooth models, and worked with mom and dad to make dinosaur habitats.
The class started with the two giant dinosaur toys that the teacher brought into the classroom. Seeing the toys, the students gathered around them immediately.
“Do you know what kind of dinosaur this is?”
“No. They are Tyrannosauruses!”
The students all talked at once and could not agree with each other. By raising questions, the teacher introduced the dinosaur’s living age, habits, and reasons for extinction. Although the class was taught fully in English, the teacher’s exaggerated expressions and body movements made the class lively and interesting.
The class lasted from two o’clock in the afternoon until half past five. It was divided into three parts: learn the basics of dinosaurs, learn about the different physical characteristics and habits of carnivorous dinosaurs and herbivorous dinosaurs, and make dinosaur tooth models; conduct experiments to simulate volcanic eruptions and understand the principle of volcanic eruption; make dinosaur habitats together with parents.
The teacher divided the students of each class into 4-5 groups. The students did experiments while the teacher was teaching. “Doing the volcanic eruption experiment is like doing magic!” “It’s just amazing!” The students commented on the experiment amid questions they put to the teacher: “Did volcano eruptions really make all the dinosaurs extinct?” “Pterosaurs can fly. Why didn’t they just fly away?”
Making dinosaur habitats allowed children to have a better understanding of dinosaurs’ living habits and living environment while improving their hands-on skills. They acted like “little teachers” by guiding their “dumb” parents to make dinosaur models and still found time to assess the models made by their little partners in the same group.
“The group experiments and parent-child interaction cultivated the children’s imagination and observation ability, enhanced the teamwork, and improved their hands-on skills,” said Kaiwen science teacher Sun Chao, feeling satisfied with the effect of the activity. “We, not only the children, learned a lot from this activity,” said many parents. “Most children are interested in dinosaurs. It’s a good thing that they can benefit from this interest.”
Kaiwen Academy (Haidian) is unique for its science and technology and art courses. Through the dinosaur science class, we promoted the full integration of the two major courses at Kaiwen. At the same time, a science class taught fully in English has also exercised children’s English ability, truly achieving interdisciplinary exchanges. “The dinosaur science class is a teaching innovation that can really develop students’ abilities. We hope that the school will hold more such activities and allow more parents to participate in them,” said a visiting parent.