Prep teacher Shannon Ryan says the Primary Connections unit is all about the physical sciences.
“So, we look at how the students move, what animals move and objects move and how they move and what makes them move,” Ryan explains.
To begin with, students examined how people move by observing their peers in the playground, and playing games like Statues and Simon Says. Students then ventured outside to observe movement in the school around them.
“Wind makes the leaves move in the tree and we can see cars on the street moving, and people move in the playground and, we even saw some planes and that sort of thing, so we spoke about that,” Ryan says.
Students were then asked to bring in a toy with moving parts, and Ryan along with fellow Prep teacher and team leader Alex Stuart, were surprised at the variety of case studies.
“We got some really great toys in, we got some ones that you wouldn’t expect and some little wooden ones and spinning tops, not just all the electric battery-operated toys, so the kids did put some thought into it,” Stuart says.
“I had a student who brought in a solar-powered helicopter, so that was fun. We had to go outside so that the solar panels worked and the helicopter [propeller] spun around,” Ryan adds.
According to Stuart, bringing in something personal to share was a great treat for her students.
“Bringing the toys in [was a favourite activity], because they love bringing something from home in and just being able to show the kids how it all moves and talking about their own special things as well.”
For Ryan’s students, getting active with the movement studies was most engaging.
“I think they really enjoyed all of it, but they especially liked watching their friends move.
“We took them up to the playground and they had to watch them move on the monkey bars or on the slide ... [and] of course dancing and playing games they always love and experimenting with all the toys,” she says.
Stuart says she hasn’t run this unit with students before, while Ryan has and claims it’s always a favourite.