As the air improves in Chiang Mai, it has been wonderful to get outside of the classroom and put our learning into action. Our final unit of the year is ‘Sharing the Planet’ and as part of our inquiry, we are investigating the classification of living things.

Our week started with theory and learning some of the key traits that all living things do: move, grow and reproduce. We then applied our knowledge by exploring the Prem campus and finding examples of living, non-living and once-living things and providing a reason to justify our choices.

This was a really fun task and students came up with some interesting questions/comments as part of this process. I have included my two favourites below:

1. Why is ‘class’ in the word ‘classified’?

2. A pencil is a once-living object as it came from a tree.

The first question shows that my students are becoming aware of and are able to make connections to the etymology of words. The second comment tickled my brain as I would never have thought to classify a pencil as once-living and this is why I love working with children!

I will leave you with a ‘wondering’ that came up as a result of this experience… How can I create more spaces for students to connect theory with context?


Cara Templeton

Head of the Intensive English Programme

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