In my first lesson of the year I like to include at least some activities which get the kids out of their seats and engaging in the essence of what I see our Science lessons being like for the year.
I managed two activities this year.
Firstly, there was the annual treasure hunt. This is where the class have 4 minutes to find all 9 objects on a displayed list. These are all items they will use in practical sessions during the year. They are allowed to look everywhere in the room except for inside my handbag. Everywhere? Yes. Everywhere. The main safety precaustion is not to move boxes or shelves higher than eye level as they may fall on their heads. This is a great activity to build trust, take away some of the innate curiosity which can detract from a later lesson and get the kids used to their surroundings.
They are also tasked with finding items which are unfamiliar during the treasure hunt. I take 10 minutes to discuss anything unknown or interesting they find. It’s great to see them puzzling over what a pooter is for or posulating why I have 5 slinkys in a cupboard with a box of broken pens!
I love this activity because if I am ever absent the kids can assist the cover teacher, it allows the children to feel more ‘at home’ in their surroundings, it builds trust between us and it takes away some of those moments during a lesson when you find a child focusing on the classroom decor rather than the subject at hand.
The second activity is our team building activity and is changed annually. This year, teams of 2-4 people had to draw a stick-person by each manipulating one of the 4 stings tied around a pen. After, we discussed the main requirements for good teamwork and had a look at the finished products. The drawings aren’t exactly pretty but they are certainly to be proud of as they are the product good teamwork. In the discussion the kids came out with some lovely ideas for good teamwork ranging from being supportive to one another to listening to everyones ideas to involving everyone in the activity. I hope they take these ideas forward and implement them in every practical session we have this year!