The lifelike projects (Lifelike Pedagogy)
The methodology applied at Escola do Max motivates the students and brings along some meaning with the knowledge. The child needs to want to learn and to understand why the activity is being done. For this reason, the methodology follows some steps:
- The children democratically choose what they want to learn.
- Children raise questions and hypothesis towards the theme they’ve chosen
- Together with the teacher, the children start searching about their project.
- They decide a conclusion activity, which is the main point of the project. It can be a trip, an event, whatever they decide.
- The children develop several activities in order to reach their goal.
- The children achieve their conclusion.
In order to understand the development of the Project according to these steps, let’s analyze a practical situation that happened at Escola do Max.
The following project, which theme was “Atlantic Forest”, was developed by 7 year-old students together with teacher Haryanne. These are extracts of the daily reports written by the teacher during the development of the project.
“One of the students searched on the computer about the animals in the Atlantic Forest and found a text about the subject. When we first read the article, the children got curious about the meaning of the word “biodiversity”. To find out its meaning, we searched it on the dictionary (…). The pictures also showed some similarities between jaguars and ocelots, an thus children got curious about it. We talked, then, about the relations between species of a same family”.
Reading a text on the internet has allowed children to develop their knowledge not only on languages, after interpreting the text and searching word on the dictionary, but also new knowledge about biology. Besides, when they looked for their own answers on the internet, the students realized the importance of knowing if a source is trustable or not.
“We could find a website on the internet that provides answers through the telephone about any question regarding the Atlantic Forest. One of the students talked with the responsible person of the website and found out that there isn’t a certain number of trees in the forest, but it is known that there are more than 20 thousand species cataloged”.
The students could find a safe source to answer their questions and have developed their communication skills when they used the telephone in order to get their answers.
“The students discussed a lot and they decided they will create a website about the Atlantic Forest. We’ve created, then, a diagram with all our tasks: we have to find out how to make a website, to choose what we will write, choose a name for it, to advertise it and present it to everyone else”.
After concluding the initial researches, the idea of having a website created all the motivation and the meaning necessary so that children would feel stimulated to research more, to write, to work their creativity, to create contents, think about advertisements, etc.
“Our next step was to think about the advertising of our website. The children read the list they had previously written with the media names. We discussed about each one of the possibilities and, during our discussions, the children found out, for example, that some media don’t have environment-related programs and some other media don’t provide their contact e-mails”
Having done the website, the children decided to advertise it. The students had to choose the right media and, after some analysis, they sent an e-mail to TV Cultura, telling everything about their project and their website.
“TV Cultura came to visit us and recorded a report about our website. The reporter wanted to know about all the parts of our website and interviewed everybody. The children showed their knowledge and explained every detail of every question”.
During the presentation for TV Cultura, the children showed all the knowledge they had acquired during the project. If they needed to answer questions about the Atlantic Forest in a written test, what would the results be? The children could feel pressed and wouldn’t show their complete knowledge. When they choose to learn about the Atlantic Forest and to show their knowledge through a website, the motivation and the meaning were both present in every activity during every class.
If you liked this project and you want to check on more projects like this, go to www.lifelikepedagogy.com