Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chapter 7

Describe a constructivist lesson you would teach.


To begin, construction is a mental process in which a learner takes many separate pieces of information and uses them to build an overall understanding or interpretation.

**Note: I was actually taught this lesson in 6th grade and STILL remember it! 

To teach a constructivist lesson, I would begin by introducing the topic to my kids. Lets say we were doing a social studies lesson and learning about Ancient Olympics. I would begin by talking about our modern Olympic games and what those games mean for a country, etc. I would then introduce Ancient Olympics and explain that our modern Olympics are inspired by the Ancient Olympics. After spending a day or so collaborating about the Ancient Olympics and what kinds of Olympic events the ancient Romans participated in, we would try out these Olympic events! Constructivism is based on the belief that learning occurs as learners are actively involved in a process of meaning and knowledge as opposed to simply passively receiving information. I would divide my class into various teams, and have them participate in our own "Ancient Olympics" with events that are comparable to those that were involved in the Ancient Olympics years ago. This way, my students are actively participating and applying meaning to a topic that could otherwise be dull or boring. I think that this lesson plan captures the essence of the constructivist theory by providing opportunities for firsthand observation and engaging my students as active learners.


Which of these learning activities/skills lend themselves to student’s individual or group construction?  How might you structure learning activities that lead students to discover these skills/these principles?

To encourage students' individual or group construction, I would provide an expert's perspective by providing them with the concepts and other information regarding Ancient Olympics. I would then allow them to participate in our classroom "Ancient Olympics" that would allow them to experience these Olympic events first-hand after they have been given expert knowledge. I would also give students a conceptual understanding of the Ancient Olympics, where they can make connections between the modern Olympics that they are familiar with. Students would be encouraged to collaborate and engage in meaningful dialogue while participating the the events to come up with strategy. Although students will never engage in the Ancient Olympics outside of school, many of the skills associated with participating are authentic activities. Students can carry the skills of hard-work, team work, collaboration, etc. outside of the classroom and into everyday life. This activity will also create a community of learners where I, as the teacher, will collaborate with my classroom to build knowledge about the topic of Ancient Olympics through a constructivist lesson.


  1. I love your idea for a constructivist lesson! Such a great way to make a lesson fun and memorable. I agree that it's a good way for students to apply meaning to what they are doing. I also like that you brought up the idea that we as teachers are experts. In class, when we talked about providing an expert's perspective, I hadn't considered myself to be a potential expert for my students. As teachers we need to become knowledgable of the material so I'm glad that you pointed that out.

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  3. I love this lesson, what fun. I like that you defined what a constructivist lesson is, and then give a great example.