Monday, 13 August 2012

How we Teach Science Through Stories

We have begun our Science Story Workshop. The objective of the workshop is to teach science concepts through stories. Is that even possible? Yes, it is...and this blog explains how we do it. 

On Sat (11 Aug), we conducted our second science story. The aim was to teach Grade 1 children that sound travels through air.

We began by reading the book "Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? by Dr. Seuss". Children loved listening to the story, and participated actively by making all the sounds that Mr. Brown made. After the story was over, I asked them how sound from far away reached our ears. I explained that sound travels through air. Of course, they didn't quite understand how, because the statement was abstract.

So, the next step was to do an experiment to observe sound travelling through air. I plugged in small speakers to my laptop and placed a glass next to the speakers. Then, I covered the glass with plastic, and used a rubber band to keep the plastic in place. Next, I sprinkled few rice grains on the plastic. And, finally, I played loud music on the laptop. 

What do you think happened?

The children yelled in excitement when they saw the rice grains jump on the plastic sheet. Some grains even fell to the ground. The children had fun turning the volume up and down and observing its effect on the rice grains. At the end of the activity, we concluded that the sound from the speakers created vibrations in the air, and these vibrations traveled to the rice grains on the glass and caused them to vibrate - this showed that sound vibrations travel through air.

After the activity, I handed a worksheet to each child and we went outdoors to listen to sounds. The children named the sounds they heard and recorded them in their sheet. After we returned to the class, we sat silently and listened for sounds in the room - the soft humming of the fan and the tick tock of the clock were some of the sounds that they identified.

Later, we spoke about musical instruments, and discussed how the guitar makes sound. We explored the same by playing with our own cup guitar (steps given in the worksheet). The children placed the bottom of the cup to their ear, and plucked the rubber bands to hear different sounds.

We concluded the class, by making paper cup telephones, and discussed how sound traveled between the paper cups. The children left the class making different sounds in their telephone cups, and I stood watching, with a big grin on my face.

If you'd like to see us in action, then visit us at The Learning Experience (Montessori School), Juhu, Mumbai, on Saturdays at 11:15am. 

Alternatively, if you'd like to purchase the Science Story Pack for your school and have us train your teachers on the methodology of teaching through stories, then contact Kanchan on 9820514565 or Samir on 9930130138.

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