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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Greek pupils working on the topic of "Water"


Greek pupils working on the topic of "Water"

After having taught the "Water" unit for a few weeks and having seen water from many different aspects, we decided to work on the children's metacognitive skills.
We asked them how we could pass the knowledge on  to younger children and they decided to make board games in order to achieve this goal. In their water-groups of 4 they came up with very interesting ways to apply everything they had previously learned about water. They were very excited and got down to work right away!




Our year 4 pupils then played their board games with year 2 children. They felt like teachers!



The home simulation game, where they made "water wasting" zones in the kitchen, bathroom and garden.



Water monopoly. 
The water tank went full as children answered correctly. 
They made all questions by themselves.



             

The snakes & ladders water game. It included interesting facts about water.

They also simulated a forest where you learn about water 
while walking through it.

We moved on to assess the change in their attitudes. The Year 2 teacher reported:
"Following the presentation of Year 4 's improvised board games, my pupils came  back to class full of new knowledge on the uses and conservation of water. They were  eager to share everything they had learnt so we exchanged roles and they became teachers in my stead. Subsequently, they were able to answer questions on water, like: " Why is it best to water our plants in the evening?" or "How much water is wasted if we don't turn the tap off while brushing our teeth?". Generally, they seemed to have realized how important water is and remembered lots of facts about it. We are now to see whether they will make the right choices,  concerning water conservation, in their everyday lives."

The Year 4 pupils, on the other hand, after playing the games with younger ones, came back exhausted, albeit happy! They "complained" that it was very hard for them having to adapt their language and behavior to younger children's level. They said they had had to do a lot of explaining and that they felt drained! Also, they reported that, while they were looking for ways to make something clearer for others, points that used to be a bit confusing,  were now more straightforward.  Overall, they seemed to have been great teachers!
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After that, we worked on the children´s entrepreneurship skills. First they sent an email to the local water company and got data which  showed that  the local hotels, which are only 23% of the total consumers, spend 63% of the water. Thus, we decided to do something about it.
  The children came up with a product that would help hotel owners reduce the amount of water their customers spend while on holidays. The product was a Water Flow Meter which measures the litres of water customers spend in their hotel rooms. If the amount of water exceeds a limit, a red light flashes and messages appear on the screen of the meter.

        

    The children first designed the meters and then they built them. They also thought of ways to make the messages positive for the customer- for example, it does not say “turn off the water” but “you have just spent as much water as a child in Africa does in a week”. They made buttons for different languages, added solar panels to have the meters work with the sun and also had them connected with the hotel room´s TV set.


   Then they calculated production costs to make them worth buying. They thought of producer companies that might be interested in the meters and ways to sell them – online or at a local electric supplies shop. Finally, they invited parents who own hotels in the area – there are 6 in our class- and pitched the meters. The parents were very demanding and asked the pupils questions concerning costs, warranties and how profitable the meters would be for the hotel owner. They all mentioned that the whole project made them ponder on whether they are making the right decisions concerning the use of water and also they were impressed by how deeply the pupils had understood the problem of water management.


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