Jun 27, 2013

4 Ways to Make Something Abstract Kid-Friendly

During this last week, I went to a museum with my kids and saw this solar clubhouse.


This is clearly a clubhouse made for younger kids, but it is focused on solar energy. I think the size and look of it is immediately inviting to kids, and then when they walk in, the parts are labelled, and explained in fairly simple language. My 6 year old didn't understand all of it but was very interested to read and try to understand. How can we bring this experience to the classroom?

I think we need to keep a few lessons in mind:
1) Size. The size of examples and demonstrations, etc., can really change how it is perceived. 
2) Accessibility, and initial appearance. This is small, at eye level, brightly colored, etc
3) Relevance. Because its a clubhouse, and the examples are plugging in a light or tv, it is more understandable. 
4). This is all done without lowering the level of content. The concepts being explained are still complex and not oversimplified. 

What else do you see that you can take away from that example?  How can we bring this into our classrooms?  I think these are principles that we know, but often lose track of while teaching "curriculum"

Anything you have done that is a good example of this kind of teaching?  Or anything you've seen? 

Thanks! 


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