Our objective was to engage students in project-based lessons to motivate and prepare them for the future. We nurtured their sparkle of curiosity and eagerness by setting out hands-on activities which fostered creativity to solve real life problems, therefore allowing them to experience lifelong lasting skills to apply beyond school life. Students were profoundly engaged in their projects and always waiting for the next “Project Period” to come. They were able to discover all the ups and downs involved in the designing process and overcome difficulties by collaborating in testing creative ideas to solve rising problems.
We integrated the subject areas and were able to achieve the following objectives:
- language – students developed new vocabulary not only related to the world of Peter Rabbit and friends but also words connected to engineering.
- science – in order to empathise with rabbits and farmers not only did children investigate about forest animals and gardening, but we also were visited by Y6 “experts” that shared their knowledge with us
- technology – we used this to investigate and record useful information that enabled us to design creative solutions
- engineering and designing – for the first time students discovered that design processes involve several systematic steps in which flexibility was needed in order to overcome difficulties
- maths – while they investigated, students discovered they needed to put maths skills and knowledge on measurement, geometry and proportionality into action in a real life context when designing their prototypes
We strongly suggest other teachers to go out of the comfort zone and plunge into the world of design thinking for it is an enriching experience for both teachers and students. Only when we take a risk and step away from the safety of the familiar and the ways we have always done things, do we expose ourselves to new ideas and become open to the possibility of learning and discovery.