Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Never Too Old To Play or Why I Never Learned Geography

This post is a little different for me than usual.  As a preschool teacher and play advocate, I live by the words, "children learn best through play."  It is our role as adults, parents and teachers to give children safe, yet challenging environments which encourage discovery in a fun way.  This should not end when they are five years old.

Last night I went to my oldest daughter's high school open house to meet her teachers.  She was telling me that her World History teacher was very funny and made class very interesting.  I was happy to hear this as History for me was never a favorite class and Geography never clicked for me.  I remember dull lectures, taking notes and memorizing fact after fact.

Well last night, when her teacher started his talk with parents, he began with the line, "I think it is important that kids learn through play....."  Now this is high school!!!

He had me intrigued right there.  He went on to explain that History can be very dry and he doesn't like to go from war to war and make it all about dates, so he has them analyze the music of the times, and the food and explore the clothing.  They do this by singing and debating and creating projects.  The students are not sitting in their seats inactively listening all class period.  He wants them to be laughing and enjoying themselves as he makes the various time periods come alive to them in a meaningful way.  These children will be making connections, rather than memorizing past events.

Learning through play-in high school-I think these honors World History students will learn more in one year than I did in four years of simply sitting in my seat listening to boring lectures.

So Kudos to you Mr. V and all other teachers of older students who are letting children learn through play!

2 comments:

  1. He was fantastic last night and you're right I think the kids will learn tons in there and have fun doing it! It was funny he mentioned Beowulf in his talk last night and I had just spoken to Chris that afternoon about me reading it in a high school literature class~ what a coincidence!

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  2. Love seeing this in The Daily, and to see that your exposure is growing! Also, in addition to the great fun & learning taking place, the painted body tracings around the windows really bring your classroom to life.

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