When some consonant clusters and long vowels are still yet to be mastered, would a student be able to learn concepts such as transpiration, precipitation, reproduction and excretion?

My tutee’s Geography and Science lessons, Water Cycle and Life Processes respectively, demand that he decode consonants and vowels flawlessly. Not only does he have to keep his head clear on pronunciation and spelling, he also needs to distinguish and explain each process correctly.

Main point was to discuss how it is possible to use water over and over again, and he swiftly recalled the processes. Evaporation is how water goes up from the bodies of water (oceans, seas, lakes, etc.), soil and plants (transpiration) when heated (by the sun) in a form of vapor (invisible gas) which then condenses into clouds (condensation) forming tiny droplets, which collide, grow and fall out of the sky back to the ground (precipitation) as rain or snow (in countries with cold weather). Trouble is, he forgets concepts as quickly as he remembers them. Tailored quizzes would cement these to his mind.

He won the battle after struggling with series of tests in Geography. Yet, there were still seven more processes to learn in his Science subject, namely: reproduction, movement, nutrition, excretion, growth, sensitivity and respiration. He was losing interest, well, he didn’t really want to study anymore so I had to think how he would be enticed to try, at least, to uncover these life processes.

“What makes you think you’re alive?” was my first question. Didn’t sound quite scientific in attack, more or less philosophical, yet I was glad he pondered on it.

“I can move. I can eat. I can feel.” were the answers, though they didn’t come out smoothly as this. See how he managed to give three processes right away? Movement, nutrition, and sensitivity.

I pinched him. He yelled “ouch”. I said, that‘s “sensitivity”. You respond because you’re alive.

Do you watch Naruto? Kagebushin technique! It’s reproduction. But in reality, we simply come to this world as our mom and dad create us.

He liked the Shadow Clone technique metaphor. And so he lingered on it. I was drifted away (uh-oh), yet still made a quiz for him before leaving. ‘Almost time to go home when my tutee’s little brother asserted he’d take the first hour tomorrow.

This is just not expected. Well, as most teaching and learning days are.

By Issa

One thought on “Back To School”

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