06 July 2017
There are many topics in Science which are interesting to explore. One of them which is so ‘memorable’ and ‘unforgettable’ should be awarded to ‘Reproduction’ as students are going through puberty. This topic seems more ‘eye-catching’ and applicable to their current stage of growth which they can identify much with. When I announce to the class of this coming chapter, the students responded with instant and overwhelming enthusiasm, interests and curiosity. As usual, the boys responded more spontaneously as the girls were a bit shyer comparatively.
After considering the possibility of feeling awkward and shy between boys and girls, during the first few lessons I put the students in same gender group so that they could feel more comfortable. Within such a setting, the students learnt about puberty and adolescence, female and male changes, and the male and female reproductive system. The students could identify with the changes happening to them during puberty with laughs and ‘sweet’ memories. Surprisingly, the girls were able to complete the worksheets concerning both male and female reproductive system much faster than the boys overall. Well done!
For the following lessons, the students were back to their original mixed group settings to develop their knowledge on menstrual cycle, pregnancy and child birth. Being considerate and understanding is much emphasised on boys to girls who are having monthly periods. Students were reminded to be respectful to their mothers as going through pregnancy and child birth are always considered as high risks and uncertainties. Even though the students are still in their puberty, this chapter was completed with ‘contraception and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)’ so that they could be equipped with such knowledge prior to their boy-girl relationship or marriage or even family planning.
To make the learning more fun and interactive, I applied Edward de Bono’s ‘Thinking Hats’ grouping strategy for the first time. Prior to the implementation, students were divided to group of six students. Each group chose a topic from ‘Problems faced during puberty’, ‘Being considerate during period’ and ‘Birth Control in family planning’. The students needed to discuss, to make a poster as their final product and to present their topic. After the presentation, each student was assigned to one of the six different roles (Edward de Bono’s ‘Thinking Hats’) in the group, such as to lead, to gather information, to be positive, to criticise, to be creative and to be honest. Based on their creativity and interaction, each group presented their topic in the form of forum or dialogue or discussion. Throughout the activity, students showed their potential to lead, to comment positively, to gather information and even some were performing as if they were on an interview or show. All students enjoyed it very much - indeed, learning Science is fun!