Our final guest blogger of the year is Múinteoir Grace. In this article she talks about thematic teaching.
My name is Grace and you may know me as Múinteoir Grace from my Mash.ie store https://mash.ie/store/gracewithloveresources/
Today I wish to share my love for animals and appreciation for thematic teaching in education with you readers. Thematic instruction is an educational methodology whereby a teacher plans their lessons centred around a common concept/ topic. Examples of themes suitable for primary school children include myself and my family, school, sports, food, animals, toys etc. The Irish Primary Curriculum strongly advocates an integrative approach to learning especially to reinforce learning for younger children.
Oral language, reading, writing and vocabulary development are essential skills for life-long learning. By teaching thematically great opportunities are created for children to reinforce, repurpose and recycle the new words they learn. Thematic lessons that are taught in a fun and engaging manner will stimulate the children’s curiosity and passion for learning.
Positive Classroom Atmosphere
Thematic instruction facilitates fun learning experiences for children such as the use of technology, collaborative learning and play-based education. This contributes to increased student morale and a classroom culture with children who are active agents in their own learning. Teaching and learning are never dull due to variety, which of course is the spice of life.
Animal Themed Unit
There is an Animal Themed Unit available in my Mash store that will save teachers hours of planning. The content involved was taught to first class but is easily manipulated to suit older and younger children. The unit is ready to go with a weekly scheme for English covering oral language, reading, spellings, free writing and handwriting. It also includes a weekly Gaeilge Bia scheme, a Visual Art Lesson on Constructing Spiders, a Geography Lesson on the Zoo, an SPHE Lesson on Taking Care of Pets, a Science Lesson on Animals and Hibernation, a Drama Lesson on Three Little Pigs, a Music Lesson on Carnival of the Animals and a PE lesson covering animal themed games. Each plan contains clear objectives, an introduction, development, conclusion, plus differentiation and assessment strategies. The unit was commented on as excellent by an Inspector.
Love for Animals
Animals are a huge passion of mine and I have used this fun theme with many classes during my teaching career to date. This topic has always went down a storm with children of all ages as they tend to form a real emotional connection with animals and therefore are highly engaged in the stories and learning activities. Younger children love The Very Hungry Caterpillar Story and my Owl Babies English Lesson Pack whilst older classes adore The Boy Who Cried Wolf Oral Language lesson.
I sincerely hope you enjoyed my teaching tips and will find my resources useful, creative and rewarding.