Tej Acton Academy


Bugs, Bugs, Bugs!

Our Entomology Board

Welcome to the World of Entomology

There have been some amazing things happening in our studio the last two weeks! First, the learners returned to find out that their next quest is Entomology – the study of insects. For our launch, we presented the following situation to the learners: Imagine that you are an entomologist who was sent to Brazil to study a rare species of caterpillar. This caterpillar is also poisonous, however their venom is supposedly able to cure cancer. Unfortunately, it looks like their species are becoming extinct as they are very rare to find nowadays. You spent an entire day looking for this caterpillar, but you were unable to find it. Then, one night, you wake up to feeling a tickling sensation on your hand — it is the caterpillar you were looking for! While a part of you is excited to have finally found the insect, another part of you is scared because you know that this caterpillar is venomous and you could lose your hand or even your arm! Also, there is a can of insect spray next to you that you can use to kill the caterpillar, and it happens to be next to your other hand. Would you choose to save the caterpillar even though you might risk your own health? Or do you kill it? There was absolutely no hesitation in our learners’ answers: they would save the caterpillar even if it meant putting themselves in danger. Their response showed a great deal of their empathy and thoughtfulness for others, and it was wonderful to see them willingly prioritize other people ahead of themselves. 

One of our learners making her SuperBug

Every day they have been given such inspiring and equipping launches followed by a call to action, a challenge of the day to work as a team or individually. Warriors had to study classification of living creatures, taxonomy and finish this packet on Kingdom Animalia. The first week was tough as some of our younger learners were lost in the complexity of the terms used in the content. Fortunately, they were able to work together to troubleshoot and figure out a solution: the older learner chose to read aloud the material while the younger learners followed along. Soon, they started picking up on the terms and learned how to find out the meaning of them all on their own. Although they took a little longer to finish the challenge, it was more than clear that these struggles were worth the learning that they had. In the second week, they learned about what an insect is and they also received the opportunity to create their own “Super Bug.” As you can see from the photo, they were so proud to show them off!

Our Warriors proudly showing off their creations!
The children practicing their writing in Sanskrit

Introduction to a Foreign Language: Sanskrit

Additionally in Session 2, our Warriors officially started learning foreign language which we chose as Sanskrit. To launch our learning rocket, we saw this video on teaching Sanskrit in Ireland and this video on Sanskrit being taught in Britain. After viewing these videos, we then decided to ask our learners an important question — What excites you about learning Sanskrit: A.) It helps to increase memory, B.) Its profound effect on wisdom, or C.) It helps to develop pronunciation and dialectics. We were so surprised to learn that more than they cared about the benefits that Sanskrit had to offer, they were excited with the idea that they get to learn the language that Gods spoke (which was an option that they created on their own!). We then had a head start with learning Sanskrit Vowels and painting them on wooden blocks. Additionally, they practiced in teams to make sure everyone remembered the various terms. One learner even came up with a memory game to play to remember them. We also started working on vocabulary simultaneously and where they get 10 words and they can use all their resources to come up with as many Sanskrit words for the same. In the first week, we covered Sanskrit words for things in our studio and they later asked us to learn the names of fruits. Warriors played hard on this part and not to mention they were having so much fun! 

Writer’s Workshop: Memoirs

Lastly, the children were so excited to find out that they will be doing Memoirs for this session. After having a great deal of fun with poems last session, they were eager to start on this new part of Writer’s Workshop. First, they learned how to make mind maps after watching this video from the person who first came up with the idea for them. With some large poster paper, each Warrior quickly worked on their own mind maps for the memoirs that they will write this session. These small steps will ultimately help them to become a world class writer, and we are more than excited to see their improvement in the next few sessions. This past week, they have continued to add to their stories by writing out which specific details they want to incorporate and figuring out if they can come up with a better story idea. The first topic that they wrote about was the time that they ate something weird. Take this time to ask your learner the same question: When was the last time you ate something weird? What did it taste like? How did you feel? Did anyone notice? You are bound to hear some entertaining answers!

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