In their Social Studies classes, our grade 6 students have been studying the various agricultural practices that are followed around the world. They have also been exploring characteristic features of major crops like wheat, maize, sugarcane, rice, rubber, tea and coffee.
Students found out that each of these crops requires precise growth requirements to be successfully harvested. They were amazed to know that different soil types exist and support only certain types of crops. Through a reflection activity, students pondered upon the idea of ‘farm to table’- a careful acknowledgement of the plethora of hands and hearts that participate in bringing to the table, a means of being alive. In the same breath, students realised the intense pressure that humans exert on the Earth, to support their survival. The inevitable question followed- How long will we be able to continue such practices?
An activity was set with the objective of firing up the learner’s ability to reimagine how humans can affect their environment in a positive way, and understand sustainability along with the need for environmental management. Students would have to think about the fact that humans have encroached upon a majority of the Earth’s surface. Surface, that was once dominated by nature. Humans are now, in turn, using these spaces for their survival and advancement. In the face of a growing population and depleting resources, students would have to imagine a crop that could help resolve the situation.
They say, “We are born makers. We move what we are learning, from our heads to our hearts, through our hands.”
Students were asked to model playing dough, kneaded dough, magnetic sand or just draw a sketch of a crop that they would like to grow. They would also have to decide the growth conditions that would support their crop. Of course, they would give it a name! What followed was some churning of ideas and creativity which resulted in an assortment of creations that exhibited the sheer magnitude of potential genius that populates these young minds.
While one of the students, Brundha, decided to invent a crop that could cure all diseases, Vishwateja designed a plant that recycles water and helps a farmer drive away draught woes. Sara came up with a hybrid crop- a vegetable with the goodness of tomatoes, lettuce and carrots, while Manya created a rich source of vitamin D.
Hands-on learning ensures that students discuss, investigate, create and discover. Students chart a learning path for themselves. Not only did our little developing innovators give themselves a chance to practice the life-skills of problem-solving, creative thinking and communication, they also engaged in learning off-screen. Candor International School is dedicated to the goal of preparing the child for life. As a school, we hold the cause of global warming close to our heart. And this activity brought students a step closer to acknowledging the heavy human dependence on our planet.
When students delve into an experience in their classroom, it becomes a part of their life. Such experiences are essential in order to inculcate a lifelong love for learning. And that is how Candorians become #knowledgeable #inquirers #caring!
Teacher of Social Studies, English, and Global Perspectives and Research