This week in Grade 4 I taught about stress responses in the body. I started the lesson by inducing a small stress response. I had the students close their eyes and an take a few deep breaths, to reduce stress. While we were doing that, I had prearranged with my teaching partner to pop a balloon, to startle them. It had the desired effect, most of the students were startled.
We then proceeded to have a discussion about how their body reacted to the surprise. The discussion wasn’t going the direction I wanted it too, and the students weren’t understanding what I was trying to get at. So, plan B, improvise on the fly like a good teacher does. The students are reading the City of Ember, and were at the part where Lena, the main character loses her sister. The story goes on to describe Lena’s bodily reactions to stress. I used that as an example of what I was trying to get at and it worked we got on the right track and a great discussion that lead us into a story, with an ebook.
We then discussed rather than read word for word the book Stressed Out by Michelle Prather. I had planned to read the book but found the students were getting a bit antsy sitting, so I turned it into more of a discussion rather than a story. We had fun with the discussion. It was funny when we got to the part about clenching teeth and I clenched mine the students followed right along. I knew then they were all paying attention. We ended our lesson using another new to me tool the parking lot. A good friend explained it to me and I liked the idea. The parking lot is similar to a KWL chart, but for this the students write one take away on a sticky note and put it in the parking lot. Of course, the kids love writing on sticky notes. I think another good lesson with some valuable learning for me as a teacher and for the students.