This week I strayed away from the area of English and taught a lesson on Health, more specifically to do with self-image and self-esteem. I was nervous because this was a subject area away from my comfort zone, but overall I thought it went well. The students were engaged throughout the lesson, and they seemed to really enjoy the activity. I started off with asking the students what they thought self-esteem and self-image was, and they all had really great answers and ideas about it. I then went into diversity and they weren’t as sure what this mean, but once I explained it they were excited to share their examples of what diverse was.
We then went into an activity relating to diversity within their classroom and peers where I gave then a sheet of paper with questions and they had to go around asking their peers different things about them and then write their names down. They really enjoyed that part, they were excited to ask their friends these questions and get to know them a bit better. After they were finished with that, we had an ending discussion about what they learned about their peers and why they think it is important to be different. The students were surprised to find out some things about their classmates, such as there is no one in their class who is an only child, or that no one likes anchovies on pizza.
As an exit slip I handed out index cards asking them to write down three positive things they like about their selves. I thought a little about if some students would try to be negative or if they would make fun of their peers for certain things but I didn’t think about it to in depth because it is a very close classroom with a community vibe. The students are all great with each other regardless of their age, grade or personality. However, there was one little boy who wrote on his exit slip that the three things he liked about himself was that he didn’t like 3 of his classmates. I was surprised to see that, especially from him because he is always really good at completing his work. I think he was just trying to be silly and show off to his table group because he asked me to read it as soon as he handed it in and giggled with his group. I gave him a new slip and asked him to take it more seriously and he did.
One challenge I faced with this lesson is that it is such a large and extensive topic that needs a lot of time to work on. Fortunately, my coop teacher asked if I would continue with this topic for next week so I will be able to expand on my lesson. This isn’t a topic that you can just finish up with in one lesson, especially because the students haven’t spent a lot of time focusing on health.
I’m finding that the lessons are becoming easier to plan because obviously after a few times it becomes easier but also because I am getting to know the students better and I can relate their interests to the lesson. I feel like I know what they would enjoy doing and what they may struggle with. I also am learning that I don’t need to underestimate the students, even thought they are mostly 10 and under, they are so capable and have so many interesting ideas and personal opinions. I am really excited to see how the next lesson goes as I continue with this topic!