Speaking with Confidence

In science class the group C students have been learning about fibrous roots and tap roots as part of our unit on botany. Their learning culminated in an exciting slide show where students were given the chance to showcase their digital design and speaking skills.

We take the study of plants very seriously in the IEP, as we are a GREEN school and principled when it comes to learning about sustainability. There’s always a sense of excitement in the air once students begin learning about plants, and the impact plants have on our environment.
Before creating our presentations, students were divided into two groups of five. We then brainstormed the significant role that plants play in our lives, a diverse array of student knowledge was then displayed on the board. It always amazes me how much prior knowledge students have, especially when us teachers can get out of the way, putting the students at the center of their learning. Group C was excited to begin their research, it soon became a contest to see which group could produce the most creative slides, I was impressed to witness the students working together in a positive way.

“Mmmm, these potatoes are in HD, A. Casey! Can we eat them???”

Each student was given the opportunity to design their own slide using Google Slides, all slides were part of the same slideshow. This was good writing practice for students, it gave them a chance to research information online, then do their best to take that information and paraphrase it into their own words, a skill that is hard to grasp by many, however we continue to work hard on this and as you can see Shinwoo has done a great job. We even learned something new; potato buds are poisonous, and you should never eat more than thirty potatoes! (I joked that for lunch I had eaten thirty-five.)
After the slides were ready, students were then encouraged to present their findings to the class, thus giving students the chance to practice speaking in front of a group. I feel that students wouldn’t have been ready for this task had it been the beginning of the term, however as we approach the end of term, the group C are exhibiting newfound confidences; they were all eager and ready to present their findings to the class. This was a fun and silly experience for all.

Quickly our activity turned into a photoshoot! Students were laughing, having fun for the camera while articulating themselves to their team mates. It became noticeable that when you love what your learn, it becomes easier to produce great work. The IEP group C students love botany, learning about roots really gave them the chance they needed to shine in front of a group.
We wrapped up our session with an introduction to seeds and the special importance of seed banks.

Truly, we are so much more than a language programme; through learning the English terminology of botany, students are not only preparing themselves for a mainstream international education, but they are also able to communicate the passion they all share for the plant kingdom, as was certainly evidenced through their work. Keep planting good seeds group C, may their fibrous and tap roots take strong hold, sprouting into future trees of knowledge.


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