About the project
For Class 3 students, a science topic such as the human skeletal system can be rather daunting. So a project on the human skeletal system became an easy and enjoyable way of learning complicated facts. It enabled the children to discover how their bodies moved and worked, and even more important, how to stay strong and healthy. Students worked on their projects 40 minutes every school day for three weeks.
What makes our body strong?
The driving question led students to discussing the structure of human body and then focusing on the skeletal system. Students then engaged in many enquiry activities, conducted in groups and singly, which helped them understand concepts about the skeletal system more clearly. . Thought-provoking questions and challenging puzzles backed up these activities. Students also completed fact sheets as part of the project work.
Clay modelling helped the teams to go deep into the topic. This activity made them think about how bones strengthened their body framework and how it helped the body to stand on its feet. A KWL sheet helped them to keep a tab on what had been learned. This was followed by a visit to the Biology Lab, giving students the opportunity to examine a skeleton, and record their observations.
Dance and music enlivened one of the project sessions where students learned about the different joints in the skeletal system, and puzzles (‘Match the Skeletons’, ‘Making a Dancing Skeleton’) added an intriguing twist later on. Other group activities included board games, and the more challenging Re-voice, Re-state and Reason game, by means of which the students could reinforce all that they had learned and clarify concepts easily.
English language practice was integrated into the project, when the students attempted creative writing on a topic that entertained and engaged them — ‘What would happen if we had no bones in our body?’. Physical Education sessions also played a part, during which the yoga asanas that they learnt helped students to observe how they could exercise to make their skeletal systems stronger.
A final activity called ‘Choice Board’ called on the children to present what they had learned through any medium they preferred: song, dance, slides, or art. The worksheets and observation sheets that they had filled in over the three weeks of project work were used for assessing their progress.
My students had an opportunity to connect their project with real life, when one child fractured his hand and became a case study for the class. It was engaging that the incident aroused such curiosity in them and provoked them to gain a better understanding about bones and the skeletal system. Besides, the integration of writing, art, clay work, music, dancing and PE into the activities helped those with varied interests and strengths, and engaged them in the process of learning. I was particularly happy with the answers in the reflection sheet, because they showed me that project participants had absorbed the facts they had studied and achieved the learning goals.