Introducing hands-on and experiential learning never fails to capture the attention of young children, especially when it excites their 5 senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch! There’s really no better way to introduce hands-on, experiential learning than to incorporate it in our Thematic Learning and Creative Expression lessons!
Experiential learning is learning by direct experience, using all the senses and is any form of teaching that utilizes direct hands-on experience. In experiential learning, children become more actively involved in the learning process than in traditional, didactic education. One of the many examples of experiential learning includes going on field trips for our holiday or thematic learning excursions.
When the teacher introduces experiential learning through an outdoor excursion or hands-on cookery lesson, we allow children direct experience to gain more knowledge on the theme rather than engaging and teaching the children through abstract knowledge. For example: Going to the zoo and learning through observation and interaction with the zoo environment is experiential and in contrast to reading and talking about animals in the classroom.
Now that we know a little more about experiential learning, let’s take a peek at an example of a hands-on, experiential learning through one of our Thematic Learning lessons with Teacher Linn and the Nursery 1s!
Step 1: The children of Nursery 1 used our 5 senses to see, hear, taste, smell and touch to learn about different types of fruits: Their names and characteristics.
Step 2: Firstly, we heard Teacher Linn and Jasline introduce the names and characteristics of the different types of fruits . We had a taste of the fruits and smelt their fragrances. Some tasted sweet while others were sour.
We used our hands to touch and feel the different textures found on the fruits. Mangoes and apples were rough, strawberries and oranges were smooth.
We used our eyes to compare the size, shape and colour of the fruits and their seeds and learnt that strawberries have seeds on the outside, on their skins!
Step 3: We blended all our fruits (grapes, apples, oranges, star fruit, papaya, mangoes and strawberries) to make some delicious fruit juice!
Step 4: Finally, after all that exercise with our 5 senses, it was time to drink up! Yummy!