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Demonstrating science in action

Sharyn de Jonge, Pukekohe Hill School, talks about how she uses Hub resources as a follow-on from school camp and how the resources help Sharyn and her students study topics in greater depth. Sharyn finds the videos are an effective way to generate discussion and promote literacy.

To view the resources Sharyn used with her students, visit the Hidden Taonga context.

Transcript

SHARYN DE JONGE
So last week, our years 5 and 6 students were on camp at Port Waikato. The camp is set in amongst native bush – lots and lots of native birds and insects.

So we’re back at school now, and I’ve decided to use some of the Science Learning Hub resources so that we can investigate those insects further. We talked about how insects would be classified using the Hub resource there. We’ve talked about the Linnean classification system, taking them a bit further than just the general common name. I’d initially only looked at, you know, identifying the Latin name, common name and Māori name for the insects, whereas now we’ve gone right through all the categories because it was available and very clear to me on the Learning Hub how that worked.

This is a direct copy and paste from the Science Learning Hub, and what it is is it’s the lesson plan, basically the lesson steps for a lesson called Insect mihi. So what I’ve done is the four steps that were in that lesson, I’ve put onto just a PowerPoint presentation with the weblinks, and they’re on the classroom wall so the steps are clearly there for the children. And the web links themselves I’ve just put on strips of paper that I’ve cut so they can tear off the link in case they need to go to other classrooms or use a computer in a different space.

The best way for me to start was to use the science media, just to... it just offers so many resources for little movie clips and photos that can generate talk. And so I started off just doing it like that, and then it was like, oh, there’s more, there’s more, there’s more, yeah, and so it’s grown from that. The videos I particularly like because it just, it demonstrates to the class science in action.

Now, the scientist in this video is quite excited about Fred, and as you watch it, I want you to have a think about what is it about Fred that has excited this scientist?

DR ROBERT HOARE
Fred the Thread was discovered by a colleague of mine, Corinne Watts, and she was studying a peat bog in the Waikato area.

SHARYN DE JONGE
I think when they actually see the person talking about their subject like that, they can see the spark and excitement in their eyes and they can see, you know, this is an adult, this is his job and he’s really excited about what he’s found.

Why did Fred need to be flexible?

STUDENT
It was so tight in the stem that he had eat his way out.

SHARYN DE JONGE
He did so he had to be locked in there, didn’t he? And what was it about being locked in there, what feature had Fred developed?

STUDENT
He had a hinged head so that he could eat his way out easily.

SHARYN DE JONGE
He did. If you imagine a caterpillar crawling along, his head’s usually down – it nibbles as it walks, doesn’t it? So Fred’s head had to hinge so he could nibble as he went up the stalk.

When you bring up the videos on the Learning Hub site, there’s just a link at the bottom that indicates there’s a transcript. You can print those out, and they’re really useful for lots of purposes. I find sometimes I use them where the children will watch the video a couple of times and then perhaps in small reading groups or in buddies, they’ll go through with the transcript and highlight key points. Whenever I’m showing a video, I always have one next to me, and I can highlight on the transcript as I go, which helps me to make sure that my questions link back to what they were discussing, so they’re really good for that as well.

For me it, it challenges me to push what I do a bit further, and it guides me really well in teaching science. Because the resource was so clear for me, I’m now able to take them that much further. It opens a window into just so many other worlds that children this age wouldn’t get to see, for sure.

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