In Primary 7 we carried out balloon talks as our summative assessment where we had to pick a person we admired, or thought was influential in some way. We had been learning about influential people across the world and what they were famous for. Whilst other people went for people such as Alexander Fleming, Stephen Hawking or the Queen, 10-year-old me chose Pocahontas… (confused? It actually worked well)
Although Pocahontas was not a real person, I was quite successful and was able to argue that what she represented and stood for made her an influential person in her own way. This topic would have involved researching a person and developing a script for our debate – both valuable skills to make use of and develop through a topic.
We had been learning about influential people in society, what they did and where they came from. Looking at it from an interdisciplinary learning point of view, the topic could have been linked to people and place bringing in geography, aspects of literacy and people who help us in society. We were given the option of who we picked which brings in the aspect of personalisation and choice and relevance which I think is one of the reasons it has stayed with me because it was relevant to my interests and therefore was more engaging.
Looking back on the experience it was probably quite nerve racking as we were standing up in front of our peers debating with each other about why our person was a significant and influential individual. However, the skills that were being focused on and developed during this time would have been significantly beneficial for developing the ability to speak in front of audiences and being able to justify our viewpoints.
Do I think this was interdisciplinary learning? Possibly not. However, it definitely inspired the creativeness and ability to justify my thoughts to surface, which arguably made it a good learning experience which was memorable.