Monday, November 28, 2011

Categorizing and classifying bugs

"Classifying Bugs" is a short project made by the children from grade 2 (7 year olds) in the School Els Convents in the ESL class. 

At the beginning of the school year some children brought to the class some bugs. They didn't know the difference from insects to arachnids, molluscs or worms. So we decided to work the animal kingdom classification in the English class, not only as a way to integrate content and language, but also as a motivation to use the language for communicating real facts. 

First we observe and analize real bugs and toy bugs: we discover some characteristics and discuss a model to classify the bugs according to the number of legs, wings or not wings, shell, body parts (head, thorax, abdomen) ... 

Then we classify them into insects, arachinds and molluscs in a very visual way. You can see the outcomes of this part of the project in this Power Point.
Finally, after oral practise using the main vocabulary and basically two grammar structures ("has got" and "it is"), the children made a description of their favourite bugs. In this Power Point you can see some of the descriptions they made.
You can have a look to this reference: "Categorizing and classifying animals", an article by Judy Haynes in for further support in planning a project like this.

In this project we are moving from level 1 to level 4 in the Bloom's Taxonomy adapted for English Language Teaching in Primary Education: identifying, categorizing and classifying, making models, describing... are some of the cognitive activities involved.

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