Lessons from an Innovative Teacher, Part 2

Last week I shared with you the award-winning lesson from Peter Carney of Bowring Community Sports College in Knowsley, whom Microsoft is bringing to Hong Kong to participate in our Worldwide Innovative Teachers Forum. You'll hear more from Peter when we're in Hong Kong the first week of November.

As promised, this week I'll share the work of Dan Roberts, the other Innovative Teacher joining us in Hong Kong. Like Peter's project, Dan's is science-focused but includes many other subject areas as well. Although he designed it as a 3-lesson cycle for years 7-13, it could be adapted for Key Stages 1 and 2.

Dan's project also brought students closer to a real-world topic, the farming of battery hens vs. raising free-range chickens.

Students were asked to take an in-depth look at how food actually gets to their tables, examining the issues surrounding farming methods that are often used by large suppliers. Students worked in teams to do this research and presented their findings in a video podcast.

Dan and others at Saltash .NET Community School in Cornwall took things a bit further, however. With another local saltash school, they actually created a space at school for students to care for rescued battery hens and raise chickens from eggs. The space includes pigs (and piglets!) that the students look after as well.

The school has created a Web site, complete with live Pig Cam and Egg Cam, news updates from students and staff, blogs, and even a song composed and performed by one of the students.

What adds to this whole story is the 6-foot chicken I alluded to last week. When teachers present their work at these forums, they have a table and poster presentation so that other teachers, guests, Microsoft employees and the judges can learn more about their projects. The teachers put a lot of time and effort into these visual presentations, and most are quite impressive.

chicken At our European Innovative Teachers Forum in Croatia last spring, Dan took his presentation one step further by presenting his project while wearing a chicken costume. Here's a picture, in case you can't imagine it. We're not sure how this will work in a region often concerned with bird flu...

To access Dan's VCT on the Innovative Teachers Network, click here.*

Make sure to check back next week when we'll be blogging LIVE from the Hong Kong Innovative Teachers Forum!


*Note: If this is your first time accessing the Innovative Teachers Network, you will not be able to access the VCT directly from this link. You'll need to go to http://uk.innovativeteachers.com and register to create a username and password for the site. Then click the link above (where you'll be prompted for your username and password) to get to the VCT.

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