Preparation for Tuesday

So we have the texts from post doc in Biology, Toshia Myers about the digestive system. Now the task is to transform this knowledge into a didactic framework.

Our last session with the class went quite well, I think. The pupils were working experimentially investigating the different sounds the recycled materials gave. And there were some obvious benefits for the group dynamics. However the designing and building of the instruments were not totally satisfactory, from my point of view. Of course we had very little time, only 2,5 hours. So what would be the better way? We had the prices, – #best sounding instrument, #easiest to build, etc., and I am certain that we made it clear what those criteria ment by giving examples of unusual instruments and asking the class to give a valuation according to the criteria. However, these criteria seems to have been forgotten in the process of building, where the challenge in combining things – because we have to build something partially overshadowed the investigation in the actual construction of a thing whose function was to make sound, – according to a set of criteria.

The dilemma is that if we had given them a model, – the Lego way: here you have somebuilding blocks and a recepe, now put them together! – the chance that they would simply copy the model, and therefore not innovate, would be a strong possibility.

On the other hand, they simply had no prior experience in working this way, and didn’t have practical knowledge about the basic mechanics of what it takes to build an instrument. The default way of doing will inevitably be by making some kind of percussion thing, that makes sound when you hit on it.

For the next session, I would like us to try to set an example, and have all of us working through it so as to get a practical understanding of the mechanics.

These are my preliminary suggestions, to be used as an input for the concept development session with the crew on monday:

  • We have two things into play, the first is the instrument and sound part, the other is digestion. I think we should work on the playing music part, a little, in order to keep a link with last session and for the pupils to be prepared for what is to come. Let’s see it as a warm up exercise: we form a trashchestra, consisting of four groups. We use simple sounds you can make with your body, chairs floor etc. There are 4 ‘conductors’ conducting the intensity and tempo of the players in their respective group. There is a timeline, where one pupil moves slowly, depicting ‘time’, and 4 other pupils gives signals, according to a simple symbolic system, to the conductors
  • the second thing is to design a game that will illustrate the workings of a specific part of digestion. On Tuesday we try it out with the clas, showing what the basic mechanics of building a game are. The week following this session the gruops should the make each a game about their respective part of the digestive proces.
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