Implementation of “International Tea Party” (SOI-MT-494)

As a first-grade teacher with a class of 18 children aged 5 to 6 in Malta, I follow an emergent curriculum.
Recently, the students expressed interest in the theme of parties, so I introduced a learning scenario
called the International Tea Party (LS-HU-232) extracted from the blog ‘Teaching With
This particular scenario focuses on the concept of a tea party, and I enriched it by
incorporating elements from the story of Alice in Wonderland to engage the children further.

Employing the emergent curriculum allowed me to integrate various subjects seamlessly.
Throughout the three-day project, I covered English, Maltese (our native language), Mathematics,
Science, Art, and Physical Education. The total teaching time amounted to 360 minutes, spread
across 8 lessons of 45 minutes each. This timeframe encompassed teaching, assessments, and two role-play sessions, ensuring a comprehensive learning experience tailored to
the children’s interests and developmental needs.

Aim of the Project:

  • At the project’s conclusion, the students acquired new vocabulary in two languages, honed hand-eye coordination, fostered collaboration, enhanced problem-solving abilities, and developed time management and organizational skills.
  • Furthermore, they grasped the concept of size comparison and capacity, understood data handling and coding, engaged their senses by touching and smelling tea leaves, and refined their ability to follow instructions through role-playing and sequencing exercises.

Day 1 of the Project:

I tailored the introduction of the International Tea Party learning scenario (LS-HU-232) for younger
students by starting with an online story about Alice in Wonderland via Twinkl. Afterward, students tackled a problem-solving task: persuading the rabbit and the Mad Hatter to join Alice’s tea party. Drawing from Europeana, we explored tea’s origins and its production process using visual aids. Students then engaged in a role-play, collecting and sorting leaves from the school garden, and traced the map to identify the United Kingdom. Imagining themselves at the King’s palace, they discussed what they saw at the Royal Tea Party in their native language. To deepen student engagement and foster creativity, I tasked them with creating playdough models replicating images associated with the newly introduced vocabulary.
Homework: I adapted the homework segment from the learning scenario, focusing on gathering material for a tea poster. Given the age of my students, I supplied some images from the Europeana platform for them to incorporate into their posters.

Figure 1 – In photo 1, the students engage in recounting the steps involved in tea production. In photo 2, students assume the roles of farmers, gathering tea leaves from the school garden. Moving forward to photos 3 and 4, students are observed conducting individual size comparisons, between large and small leaves. Subsequently, in photos 5 and 6, students collaborate in groups to categorize the leaves into small, medium, and large sizes. Finally, in photo 7, the students are tidying up and preparing to transition back to the classroom setting.
Figure 2 – Photo 1 captures a student recording new vocabulary onto a mini whiteboard. In photo 2, another student is shaping a spoon from playdough. Photos 3 and 4 depict students displaying their crafted models alongside the mini whiteboards.

Day 2 of the project:
To kick off the day’s activities, students delved into the second segment of our problem-solving challenge: identifying various types of tea. Following a brief overview of some tea varieties, I incorporated another aspect of the learning scenario by encouraging students to explore different tea flavours through smell and touch. They guessed the flavours and matched them with corresponding boxes. Additionally, I modified a section of the scenario to introduce students to the process of preparing tea. They examined and discussed the step-by-step sequence of making tea. Wrapping up the day, students discussed table manners at a tea party using English language skills. Furthermore, they participated in a quiz where physical activity was employed to answer questions instead of traditional writing or ticking.

Assessment: In groups, students utilized the Bee-bot to strengthen their coding abilities. They were
tasked with reproducing the step-by-step sequence of a process, adapting the learning scenario to
an IT context suited to their age group.

Figure 3 – In photos 1 and 2, students are observed examining various types of tea leaves, noting the contrasting colours between green and black tea. Furthermore, they distinguish flavoured tea, identifying its characteristic white and brown specks absent in regular tea. In photos 3 and 4, students take turns smelling and pairing the tea leaves with their respective boxes.
Figure 4 – In photo 1, students are observed examining boxes of tea bags while engaging in a discussion concerning the tea-making process. Transitioning to photo 2, students observe a demonstration illustrating how the colour transforms as boiling water interacts with a tea bag in real-time. In photo 3, students explore the sensory experience of smelling and feeling both wet and dry tea bags, drawing comparisons between the two states.
Figure 5 – Students are actively engaged in an assessment task where they are required to articulate, step by step, the process of tea-making through discussion. Following this, they are tasked with utilizing both pictures and a bee-bot to construct an accurate sequence of steps.

Day 3 of the project:
In conjunction with the learning scenario, I introduced invitation writing in Maltese. Students assisted Alice in crafting invitations for the rabbit, the Queen of Hearts, and the Mad Hatter. Additionally, they designed attire for Alice to wear at the tea party and organized the menu for the event.

Assessment: Through role-playing, students had the chance to put into practice what they had learned in previous lessons by organizing a real tea party. They brewed tea for the guests and celebrated their project together.

Figure 6 – A student is observed as they engage in the real-life process of preparing tea.
Figure 7 – The images depict students gathered together during their tea party, relishing sandwiches and sipping tea in unison.

Conclusion of the project:
To wrap up the project, students collected data on their friends’ favourite tea choices after the tea party. Working alongside the educator, they constructed a tally chart to display the class’s most preferred tea.

Link to the learning scenario implemented: International Tea Party (LS-HU-232)

Do you want to discover more stories of implementation? Click here.

CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Helsinki City Museum.

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