Saturday 28 February 2015

The Hare and the Tortoise

In the Year 4 and Year 5 classes all read The Hare and the Tortoise.

After a little work exploring metaphor, I read it to my class. Mentioning that Aesop wrote his fables to be about people as well as animals, as metaphors, I asked what questions might come from the story.

This was really quite hard. The children are usually quite willing to volunteer questions, but this one they found hard. We did, however, come up with:
All good questions. I think we could have had a good discussion with any of them. My one has behind it the idea of fixed mindset vs growth mindset. I'll try not to add questions myself next time - this time they voted to go with mine.

So we got into a circle and passed the egg to someone holding their palm out. I tried not to steer the discussion too much. I want the children of course to articulate their real thoughts not what they're "supposed" to think.

Someone asked what the word "ability" meant - and a few children explained it.

James talked about being good at climbing. I asked why he was good at climbing. Was he always going to be like that because of the way he was born?

We had lots of good answers about this. Someone said James had strong muscles. James said he had lots of trees in his garden and enjoyed climbing them.

Marie said that if practice is important - if you do something lots you get good at it. Samyak said that enjoying something makes you want to do it lots. Rod said that having a hobby is like this. Marie asked what I like doing. Someone else asked what everyone liked doing in their own time, and we finished by going round the circle saying.

It wasn't a particularly "conclusive" discussion, but I'm happy to be establishing the procedure, and as I said, don't want to be having a predetermined answer as a goal. The goal is the thought, articulation, listening, respect, responding, clarification of ideas...

Next time, I'm going to suggest, we might look at Aesop's North Wind and the Sun. Here the metaphor might be a bit clearer. I wonder. I also wonder what questions might come up?

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