“Make sure you remember to put that scarf on!” shouted my mum as I left her to start the walk into the school playground, “You won’t look like a Victorian if you don’t put it around you like a shawl!”. Months of hard work and dedication had led to this day, the day where we finally got to showcase all of our work on the Victorians to our parents and carers. My whole family was involved by this stage – my gran had sown an outfit together for me, my mum had taken time off work to come and see our presentation, my dad had raided the garage to find parts for the Victorian house we made as a group – so there was a lot riding on this to go well. I could not wait to showcase all of our hard work we had put into creating our props and speech for the presentation – our Victorian house we made from a show box, our letters written from the perspective of a Victorian man or lady, our poster of all the inventors we had learnt about from the era, and the rest. We had even transformed the classroom into a class from the Victorian times so you were transported into the era as soon as you walked through the door – it was so realistic!
I remember this day in Primary 7 so vividly as the sharing of our learning to parents and carers was made into such a big deal that it was difficult not to get excited about it. I recall being so happy to be able to share my learning with my family that it made me more motivated to learn as much as I could in the lead up to the shared afternoon.
My teacher was super enthusiastic about the topic and really made it come to life through the stories she told us, the case studies she shared and the transforming of the classroom. We even had to sit in rows one day and call our teacher ‘Miss’ – it felt as if I had been transported back in time as everyone played their part in creating the context. I even recall our Head Teacher getting involved and pretending to be really really strict! The context of the learning was so engaging and stimulating that it became something that I looked forward to learning about everyday.
My teacher would also present problems to us from different characters or real life people we had been learning about such as Ebenezer Scrooge. One of the challenges I recall was to create a timeline of events during Queen Victoria’s reign. Before we did this, we decided as a class that it would be best to create timelines of our own lives first so that we understood how to apply it to a context such as the Victorians. Because the teacher let us lead the learning during most of the topic, it felt as if we had responsibility over what we were learning, thus making it more relevant and engaging for us as a class. She was also extremely flexible in letting us direct the learning as she would encourage the class to investigate questions they had and supported them in doing so.
Overall, I feel that this experience was so memorable for me as it gave me the opportunity to share and develop my knowledge and understanding with my family, direct the learning taking place, and be fully emerged in the learning through the engaging context that my teacher created.