Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Does a rabbit lay eggs?

Is an elephant a reptile? A penguin IS a mammal. Are birds cold-blooded or warm-blooded? A snake is SO an amphibian!

These were remarks I heard as my class worked on animal classification today! This, mind you, is after we have done a data base classifying animals, an animal research project on powerpoint where they had to classify their animals, a powerpoint presentation lesson which they loved, sorting activities, writing activities... I DESPAIR! Do children today know NOTHING about the natural world?!!

Does a rabbit lay eggs?!!! "Only the Easter Bunny," I wanted to say but restrained myself :)

So how did my formative assessment go? Well, they couldn't eat the cookies until they got the right answer so it was certainly... inspirational, shall we say :) Eventually everyone managed to assign the right characteristics to the correct cookies and were allowed to enjoy them. Thank goodness for the few children who know what a reptile is, know that a dolphin is a mammal and that an elephant doesn't have scales!

I think I'll put a little quiz together with all the questions I heard and see if they can answer them! I wonder if they'd recognize them. :)

Check out our cookies! All the leftovers went to the staff room - where thankfully my co-teachers knew the right answers :)



You know - I don't even remember officially learning about classification as a child. We just kind of absorbed it - we learned the language of classification at home, in visits to the zoo, as we read stories, keeping pets ( I had tons - lizards, salamanders, toads, caterpillars, rabbits, guinea pigs etc - all at different times of course) I knew how animals were classified before really being taught it. Now I'm wondering if this was unusual - did other children think rabbits laid eggs?!

Do you think it's normal for children to know so little - or is it a sign of the times or is it just my class?!! I'm wondering if I'm being unrealistic in my expectations. Has anyone any insight to offer?

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes I am suprised by the words my students will ask me to explain during shared readings - but they now a lot about Lego and video games and Justin Bieber! Some students have a really good general knowledge base in my class - either from life experiences or Discovery Channel - others need a lot of scaffolding.

    Looking From Third to Fourth