On Friday the students were learning about the characteristics of living organisms (e.g. has cells, needs water, uses energy, etc.). Their main task was to write down each characteristic on a piece of paper and then draw a picture for each one that would help remind them what the characteristic meant. For example, a student could draw someone watering a flower for the “needs water” characteristic. One thing I’ve noticed this year so far is that some of the students make a big deal out of having to write and they make it seem like it is very difficult. However, most of the writing they perform is merely transcribing from the board or other sources, which is very easy and I know they are very capable of doing so. But what they do really struggle with is translating that information. Even though Ms. Scali gave them examples on the board of pictures they could draw, some of the students really struggled with coming up with their own idea. To me, it just seemed so simple because I could apply the characteristics to myself, since I like to think I am a living being. I need water, I have cells, I respond to the environment I am in, and I use energy. I could think of several pictures that I could draw just relating the characteristics to myself, let alone other living organisms. But the students had a really hard time, and it was almost like they didn’t understand that they themselves fit under the title of “living organisms,” which seems rather silly, but I really don’t think they understood that.
Student: “What should I draw for ‘responds to the environment’?”
Me: “Why are you wearing a coat?” I’m pretty sure he thought I just changed the subject.
Me: “Why did you put on that coat?” Now he just thinks I’m crazy.
Student: “Because I was cold.” wait for it, wait for it… short pause… “Oh”
My favorite questions were “what do I draw for ‘eliminates waste’? I asked one student how she eliminates waste and she just stared at me with a huge grin on her face. Well, at least she gets it.