This website requires JavaScript.
    arrow right
    arrow right

    Theme class

    School News

    18 Dec, 2023

    16 : 51

    • The Magic Hat of the Theme Teacher: An Exploration Journey of YWIES’s Theme Class

      In a mysterious darkness, suddenly a dazzling light flashed, just like lightning tearing through the sky. This is not the masterpiece of nature, but the display learned by third graders in their theme class. This is not an ordinary performance, but a dramatic presentation of the theme "light" by G3 students of YWIES Beijing, which also hides a series of unique theme classes behind it.


      At the turning point of the drama, lightning tore through the sky with a tremendous noise, and the power system was suddenly interrupted. Amidst screams, the students quickly thought on their feet, using their own LED decorations to light up the stage, achieving an energy conversion from natural light source (lightning) to artificial light source (LED decorations). On this special stage, students dressed in black clothes, wearing LED glasses and gloves, shone freely, demonstrating their understanding of light and the convenience that artificial light sources bring to people's lives.


      The theme class of YWIES Beijing seems to have a kind of magic that touches every student's heart. On each floor of the academic building, we can see students exploring and thinking in the world of science, whether it is posters about light and shadow, introducing what is light, refraction, reflection, shadow puppetry, etc. in Chinese and English; or the lifecycle of animals, vividly explaining the process of life with mind maps and drawings; or the introduction of various parts of plants, where all kinds of leaves picked up by students in the campus become specimens; or bottles and jars filled with soil, hiding the growth mystery of tiny seeds... The students present their discoveries in the theme class through various colourful forms. While showcasing, they also confidently explain their findings and introduce their learnings in both Chinese and English.


      Why are YWIES's theme classes filled with fascinating, magical projects? All of these are inseparable from our theme class teacher - Mr Joey. He has become a master magician who can occasionally pull out a dazzling magic wand from his creative hat. His gestures and movements in the classroom allow students to understand scientific knowledge vividly and gain surprises and happiness from exploration. His magical ability turns complexity into simplicity, difficulty into ease, transforms boring curriculum standards into lively examples, and arouses students’ endless curiosity and interest in science.


      Such a theme class is like a magical scroll, unfolding to reveal surprises. So, what kind of mysterious world are the students exploring in this semester's theme class? What new chapter will the theme class "scroll out"? Let us follow the steps of this issue and step into the new scroll:


      Rainbow Shadows under the Sun

      On Wednesday morning, G3 classroom was silent and empty, with the students mysteriously disappeared. It turns out that they had received new project cards and all came outdoors under the sun, ready to draw their rainbow silhouettes in the autumn wind. Why draw a rainbow silhouette? Mr Joey explained: "We are conducting practical activities for the theme class - observing and exploring shadows. Last week, we learned about the colour of light and natural light. This week, we used shadows as a medium to delve into the mysteries of light." A student mentioned: "Light has three primary colours: red, green, and blue. All other colours can be mixed from these three colours." Another student said: "To understand the propagation characteristics of light, the teacher said to start from observing shadows. For example, shadows are always on the backlit side, telling us that light travels in straight lines." Another student shared: "We want to create rainbow - coloured shadows. Fill the shadow with colourful light, and you can make various shapes." Some girls made heart shapes, while some boys were imitating Superman's heroic posture... They posed and urged their teammates to quickly record their unique shadows. We were deeply infected by the students' enthusiasm and creativity. Even theme class teachers Mr Joey and Ms Maggie couldn't help but join in, recording their own shadows. As he helped draw Maggie's silhouette under the sun, Mr Joey exclaimed: "This shadow is too special!"


      Little Light Experts

      "Little light experts," Mr Joey affectionately calls his students, and explains, "Last week, our students delved into the world of light. We divided the students into four groups by college, each researching different lights and their principles of luminescence. The blue group studied sunlight, discussing how to utilize solar energy; the green group explored artificial light sources, such as lamps; the yellow group focused on natural light, such as fireflies and jellyfish; and the red group explored the principles of light emission."


      At the end of the group collaboration, the students also brought out their handmade works, vividly displaying the research results of each group. One group used paper rolls, carved with patterns of candles, rabbits, etc., and placed them on the LED light board. These rolls projected the various patterns carved by the students, pouring out like beams of light, very three-dimensional. This theme class allows students to personally explore the mysteries of light, with the campus and nature becoming their laboratories. Mr Joey also emphasized: "At YWIES, we encourage students to explore independently, to probe, experiment, and summarize in context."


      Cross-Curriculum Collaboration in Theme Classes

      "This is also an exploration under a large cross-curriculum theme," Mr Joey said excitedly, "This semester, G3 teachers have done a major thing: integrating various subjects under one big theme - nature. In Chinese class, the students learned ancient poems about autumn, understood the solar terms of autumn in the twenty-four solar terms, and wrote diaries about autumn. In Theme classes, the students explored light and shadows. In English class, the students learned about various ecological phenomena; in Math class, the students connected straight line figures in life; in Art class, the students learned tie-dye art... All subjects revolve around the theme of "nature", enabling students to achieve comprehensive and deep understanding."


      Simply put, all subjects at YWIES are interconnected, integrating knowledge under the same theme.


      Ignite the spark of exploration, build the bridge of knowledge.

      In traditional education, different subjects are separated. However, a real-world problem is not composed of a single subject. The knowledge and skills required to solve such a real problem are diverse, comprehensive, and interdisciplinary. Therefore, in today's education, we should not only focus on the construction of knowledge in a single subject but also pay attention to supporting students in building a knowledge system, forming an integrated understanding of inter-disciplinary knowledge, and acquiring and practicing various interdisciplinary skills. When students are not only learners of knowledge but also constructors and users of it, they can more actively discover their learning needs and better cope with the challenges of complex real-world problems by continuously improving their knowledge system. The practice of the interdisciplinary integration project at YWIES Beijing is committed to fully developing students' skills in different fields and supporting students to become successful cross-cultural practitioners.