Discovering that a slice of cake had gone mouldy in it’s box, reminded me of an impromptu classroom topic that “grew” out of a similar experience.
This regular event, apart from becoming a topic of great debate among the staff about whose job it was to keep the staffroom clean and tidy, spawned an impromptu running topic in a classroom at the time that I was covering for an absent member of staff.
Finding a number of unclaimed clear plastic boxes in the staffroom cupboards and in lost property, I encased a number of the more interesting items and sealed them with tape to deter the more adventurous fiddlers, at least to make it more difficult. These boxes of developing moulds became a source of much interest and were added to with children bringing in their own examples, similarly encased. We allowed some fruits to “go off”, explored the contents of a compost heap and did some basic research into related areas. It became a sort of “running homework”, as individuals added to the sum of knowledge.
For example, a child might go home and discover: -
Sir Alexander Fleming
- Born August 6, 1881 in Darvel, Scotland
- Died March 11, 1955 in London, England
A father of microbiology
Few people have saved more lives than Louis Pasteur. The vaccines he developed have protected millions. His insight that germs cause disease revolutionised healthcare. He found new ways to make our food safe to eat.
Pasteur was the chemist who fundamentally changed our understanding of biology. By looking closely at the building blocks of life, he was at the forefront of a new branch of science: microbiology.
These insights, when shared, fired the imaginations of others, who went into the school or local library or in some cases, supported by interested parents, did search the internet.
While the plastic boxes were in the classroom, they were the subject of observations, as well as drawn and written recordings.
Surrounding the whole was a working wall of developing ideas. Keeping the moulds ended when the caretaker complained about a developing smell, but it was fun while it lasted.