Exhausted. I was exhausted over the weekend and still am, but today it was back to school and back to eager young minds who were just as fired up as I was after ULearn15.
Then I got into my room and my Year 10s brought me crashing back down to earth.
I have a new inspiration for my unit on Epidemics - make it project-based, produce something at the end (art) to demonstrate their understanding of the topic:
The social consequences of the Zombie Apocalypse.
I'll ask students what links can be made between the topic and what they are covering in other silos, er... sorry, subjects. I've already been a bit sneaky and checked with their other teachers.
In PE & Health, they're looking at hitting (nice) and social responsibility (all good)
In Maths, they're covering Trig (questions related to Zombie (A) is 20m to your right and slightly behind your position (C), the house (B) is 30m ahead of you. Assuming you both run at the same speed, how far does Zombie (A) have to travel? How fast would Zombie (A) have to run to ensure your brains are on the menu tonight?)
In Science, they've just finished a unit on microbes (also nice)
Haven't checked English yet, but I'm sure to be able to link brain-eating, flesh-rotting zombies in there somewhere, especially if they're looking at Jane Austen.
Brilliant, I thought. A combo of fun, cross-curricula and learner-led inquiry culminating in a product for public exhibition.
"What the hell!?"
"Zombies aren't even real!"
"How is this learning?"
"I'm scared!" (ok, that last one didn't actually eventuate, but I was ready with my response - "Go to Mitre 10 Mega, check out Aisle 3, about 3/4 of way down on the left side, bottom shelf - you'll find the cans of HARDEN UP! there, soldier! This isn't kindergarten anymore. These Zombies will devour you!" Too much?)
Ouch. I'm going to need to run that under cold water for about 20 minutes.
"Brainstorm some questions that the topic brings to your mind," says I, pressing on with third-degree burns chaffing something chronic.
"Why are zombies so ugly?"
"Why do zombies eat people?"
"If a pregnant woman became infected, would the baby be a zombie and eat the mother?"
On reflection, I need to do more prep. And fast!
But I don't need to have all the answers. Just follow the inquiry cycle/spiral and get out of the way of the learning that will begin to take place. That last question was a doozy, I thought, and I encouraged S to be sure to look at cross-placenta infections (apparently they're called vertically transmitted infections. You learn something new every day!) in their inquiry.
We might look at clips/trailers from World War Z, 28 Days Later, Warm Bodies, and Maggie. We might read some Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
I'll try to keep you posted (if I survive).