By: Kindergarten Teacher
This January, Kindergarten 2 students at Metta School had Farm Theme for their English subject. There are many interesting things that we can learn from Farm, such as the farm animals, barn, farmer, field, crops, and other things that come from the farm.
To enhance students’ knowledge in this theme, they need to experience an activity that will help them enrich their development. Thus, we announced “Cooking Popcorn” as their January Project. Through this project, students and parents might cook popcorn at home and tell their experiences during the process.
This project came out as an outstanding activity since we can see how they can express their feelings and experiences bravely. Moreover, by doing this project, they can apply the knowledge they get in school while practicing their presentation skills in a fun way.
Metta School realizes that learning by doing (activity-based learning) is important for the students. As opposed to asking kids to simply listen and take notes, activity-based learning encourages students to actively participate in their own learning experience through practical activities.
“… Building, cooking, and sewing had these schooling components in it and these activities also represented everyday life for the students.” — Peggy Hickman
Besides encouraging kids to enjoy their learning experience, activity-based learning has many benefits, including:
- Helping students memorize information– By encouraging kids to get physically and mentally involved in the learning process, activity-based learning helps students learn and retain information. This process of gathering knowledge through personal experience (i.e. experimentation) is shown to help kids memorize and understand learning material.
- Encouraging kids to be independent and inquisitive– Activity-based learning focuses on independent investigation and analysis. By asking kids to work on their own and/or in small groups, this teaching method encourages students to be independently inquisitive, think critically, and learn from their own experience. This self-directed learning process in turn supports their acquisition of knowledge outside (as well as inside) the educational environment.
- Supporting social development– Whilst activity-based learning encourages kids to take responsibility for their own learning experience, group-based activity work also helps students develop teamwork and social skills. These skills will later prove essential to their work and social life.
- Emphasizing the relevance of educational material– Kids don’t always understand the relevance of learning material when simply putting pen to paper. Activity-based learning, on the other hand, helps kids understand the ‘real-life’ relevance of learning material by encouraging them to explore and solve real problems and scenarios.
- Encouraging kids to express themselves in different ways– Activity-based learning encourages kids to be creative in the way they express their knowledge. This learning method provides students with the opportunity to express what they have learned through the act of doing as well as through the act of verbal presentation.