Kariega Journal: Wednesdays At The Farmerfield School

On Wednesday mornings we taught at a local primary school as part of Kariega's commitment to local community development.

The school had basically four classes. There was a preschool, a young class with students ages 6 to 10, a middle class with students ages 11 to 15 and an older class with students 15 and up. We were responsible for developing a lesson plan for the morning, preparing our lecture notes and producing any teaching materials we needed.

I partnered with Jake and Katy and the first week we chose the middle grade. We decided to teach them some geometry. We started the class off with a bingo game where the numbers on the bingo cards were answers to equations Katy wrote on the board to test their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills. They had to solve the equations and check their bingo board to see if they had the answer. Bingo!

presenting their list of objects with a shape
Next I presented four shapes - the square, circle, triangle and rectangle - and wrote some vocabulary words on the board for them to copy: circle, radius, diameter, the magic number pi, square, side, rectangle, length, width, triangle, base, and height. Then I presented the concept of area and perimeter and circumference and finally gave them the magic equations or formulas for determining the areas and perimeters for the four shapes.

Finally Jake had them break up into groups to try to first identify common things they see everyday that had the four shapes and then to come up with practical scenarios where they would need to find the perimeter and areas of these real life objects.

Like ...

How much fence do you need for the perimeter of this rectangular vegetable garden?

Or ...

What is the area of this circular flower garden?

They liked to pose for the camera.

The second week we took the younger class. We used crossword puzzles, word searches and fill-in-the-blanks to allow them to practice their letters and spelling for common animal names. We did a little animal counting exercise to practice their numbers. Finally we gave them the opportunity to teach us the Xhosa words and pronunciation for the animals we talked about. This is what we learned:

lion = ingonyama
giraffe = indlulamthi
elephant = indlovu
leopard = ingwe
monkey = inkawu
cheetah = ihlosi
hippo = imvubu
zebra = iqwarhashe
impala = impala
eland = impofu

Ndiyabulela kakhulu!