The growth of any pupil is rapid and multifaceted, and can be considered in terms of surges of wisdom, the exploration and pursuit of self-cognition, as well as the experiencing of life’s social side. Throughout their daily lives and studies, grade 2 pupils’ abilities and personalities are growing in tandem.
Theme-based learning is a major feature of the curriculum of Huili Primary School. In the topic “Searching for Autumn”, pupils engaged with artistic lines and patterns. They also experienced drawing beautiful landscape paintings with several different lines. Through their study, pupils gained a better understanding of how to create tones with pens and pencils. What’s more, pupils collected various leaves in their living communities, schoolyard and streets, to make creative leaf-drawing artworks. In their Chinese classes, each pupil made a presentation under the title: “Making a Handicraft” to their classmates, and introduced the steps of making their own leaf drawing. Under the guidance of their teachers, pupils also wrote an article: “Autumn in My Eyes”, vividly describing the autumn scenery they observed. The entire activity integrated listening, speaking, writing, painting and creating, which makes subject teaching situational and life-oriented. By undertaking these learning activities, the pupils brought knowledge of various disciplines into their cognitive structures in a personalised way that they could then apply to their own lives.
In the theme-based English class: “Water and Ice”, pupils studied the usage of water in our daily lives. Besides discussing how to save water, they observed and found the temperature at which water freezes and melts. In the test, the pupils recorded the experimental data and studied the results according to their teacher’s instructions. Moreover, teachers led pupils to visit the Science and Technology Museum, which stimulated their enthusiasm for the exploration of the surrounding world. This term, pupils will plant sunflowers with their own hands during English classes to study the factors affecting the growth of plants and how plants reproduce. Furthermore, pupils will independently conduct some interesting surveys to explore the basic needs of plant growth and the methods of improving their school’s environment.
In the theme-based activity of “Experiencing purchases”, led by the teachers, pupils investigated and calculated their family purchases on the “Double Eleven Shopping Festival” and were encouraged to attempt to act as a shopkeeper of an online store. Children were expected to choose a product, design a “Double Eleven” promotional programme containing slogans and strategies, and to introduce their ideas to customers. In the subsequent Winter Bazaar, pupils and their parents set up booths together and promoted sales of their goods by using the strategies suggested in the promotional programmes. Their understanding of different social environments is an integral part to their growth, and an important approach for them to improve their ability to adapt socially. These elaborately-designed activities have enhanced pupils’ ability to solve problems with the knowledge they acquire in different situations.
In music classes, pupils’ ability to work together was also progressively enhanced. Pupils of each group discussed and arranged their programmes. They played Orff instruments cooperatively, presenting their musical performance using combinations of different sounds and body language. In the course of discussion, preparation and arrangement, pupils gradually learned how to listen, to express their ideas and to integrate their various thoughts and opinions into a coherent whole.
On a woollen square carpet, pupils’ interest in learning emerges; in the joint discussions and explorations, their inquiry and collaborative abilities improve; in the vast sea of books, pupils’ reading habits gradually develop; in the interaction between pupils and teachers, their critical thinking and social values germinate and take root.