Monday, October 12, 2015

Learning Through Doing

Although it takes a bit of planning and preparation, I find that lessons built around a real-life activity are a hit with my literacy learners. For our unit on food, we spent a couple of weeks skill building so as to be able to talk to clerks and read signage on an upcoming field trip to Food Basics.

Having purchased (via a team scavenger hunt) the ingredients for the one of the simplest pumpkin pie recipes I could find, this week we focused on the recipe and ended the week before Canadian Thanksgiving by baking a pie at school. Fortunately, we have a kitchen equipped with an oven!

I'm a bit tired of teaching food words right now, so I think we'll take a two-week break from that topic in order to squeeze in our unit on using the library before it gets too chilly to walk there together. Then we'll write a Language Experience Approach book around the photos I took of the students working on our pumpkin pie and will spend a little time each day working toward being able to read it fluently.

If you would like to use any of the worksheets I created to teach this unit, leave a comment and I will clean them up enough to post them in my freebies area.

Do your students enjoy learning through doing?


  1. I love learning through doing! Most ss do too. Simetimes easier to find real life tasks to do with class at lower levels. Thought you might be interested to see how can go frim pie baking ( love it!) to more complicated task - higher level.
    I do an annual Thanksgiving ( Canadian) Food Drive with my Level 6/7 students. First I teach reading graphs, tables, charts - then ss research issues of hunger in Toronto and the Daily Bread Food Bank. Then discuss, plan Food Drive.mission statement, posters ( basic vocab lower levels, more advanced for higher). I teach presentation preparation - ( before, during, depends) ss prepare presentations and deliver to other clases (have to get buy in from manager and other teachers - never a problem). NB point - "If you can donate this year - no problem, next year will be better"). Then after a week collect food, sort, weigh, measure volume, and deliver to Fire Hall. LOTS of prep for me, but true PBL with community connection so very rewarding.I cook turkey and trimmings for Thanksgiving lunch - love that I can give ss chance to taste turkey ( many never have) and stuffing, gravy, wild rice etc! ( more learning by doing!) ( one year ss brought the trimmings...but I like my version of cranberry sauce!

    1. Claudie, that's AMAZING. I am in awe of you and your energy. I can see, though, that even though this takes a lot of prep, the ROI on that time and energy investment must be tremendous in terms of the impact on the learners and their language skills. You go!


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