So here we go! My first post reporting on an actual lesson! Here we go:
What Actually Happened...Before I go through yesterday's lesson, I'm first going to go through the Drama curriculum.
For the non Irish readers, the Irish primary curriculum has a grand total of 12 subjects. The three core subjects: English, Irish and Maths, the three SESE (Social, Environmental and Scientific Education) subjects are Geography, History and Science. We have PE, and SPHE (Social, Personal and Health education) and finally another group of 3: the Arts, which consist of Art, Music and Drama. (The 12th subject is determined by the ethos of the particular school, usually it is religious instruction.)
In the Drama Curriculum there are three prerequisites to making a drama lesson successful. These are:
- The fictional lens.
- Creating a safe environment. (Children feel comfortable acting in front of others)
Although the curriculum demands that these three are needed for each drama lesson, this weeks lesson will be focused purely on establishing the fictional lens.
|Out fictional lens!|
I began by talking to the children about geography, activating their previous knowledge about geographical features and what our world would "need". Keeping in the theme of games, I showed the kiddles a few world maps from Pokémon, Final Fantasy and other such games. However, being a teacher, I of course HAD to show a few maps from books so I showed a map of Middle Earth from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit books.
|World Map from Final Fantasy VII|
- Rivers and lakes
- Snow ("Icecaps" I corrected!)
- Bogs (This unusual one might be because we are learning about turf/peat in Geography at the minute!)
|Chidlers using the ClassRealm profiles as an inspiration.|
Two groups ran towards the class library and grabbed two very different atlases, which resulted in two very different suggestions. One Atlas was much more realistic: group gave suggestions such as "We need tundras, and glaciers, and tropical rain forests! While the other atlas was more graphic and produced suggestions more specific such as "Could we put in the Eiffel tower or Big Ben?"
|The realistic atlas...|
|...compared to the more graphic one.|
Finally I typed every groups suggestions and that inspired even more ideas! Dragons, ice-cream mountains and sword shops just had to be included. We settled on a very extensive list, which will be narrowed down and refined every now and then during the next week.
Next came something that I felt was very important: the Name of this new universe we were creating. I gave the class some examples "Terra, Gaia, Neo-Earth, Haven, Pandora - These are the kind of names that the kind of world we're creating usually have."
Each child received a sticky note, wrote a potential name on it, and then put it on the flip chart in the room. Some of these suggestions were pretty inventive. Jadertiv (Which uses the first letters of most of the children's names in the class), Tartune, Dubland, and Awesomearth being ones that really made me smile. Naturally there would be a few that also made me smile in another way, (Greenland, Iceland and 4th Class Bad World) but what matters is that each child gets a chance to contribute and every suggestion is valued.
|The suggestions ready to be voted for!|
Through a show of hands, the children voted for the names they wanted out of the selection. We just repeated this process until we had three left. Those who were knocked out got the benefit of being told that their names would be used for countries, mountains, moons, landmarks etc.
|Our three finalists!|
|...not reaaaaaallllyyy what I meant, but I'll take it.|
So where do we go from here?I set out to make sure that the children could create and establish their own "fictional lens" as the curriculum states. Did I do that? I'd safely say so. The children's imaginations went into overdrive and they really feel like they created the world. I caught a few talking about it in the yard and the next morning two different children came in with maps drawn for ideas!
Tune in next week to find out if I:
- Made the world map.
- Named the nations and randomly assigned children nationalities.
- Got the children to meet up in their countries and introduced each other as their characters.
Most importantly!It was all really ridiculously fun. Seriously, there hasn't been a lesson all year that I looked forward to so much!The children and myself were excited, giddy, jumpy, and everyone came up with a list of ideas as long as MY arm (I have quite long arms).
Long. May. This. Last.