Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?

On Monday, Joel and I were guest speakers at Zhuhai International School.  It’s a private school for non-Chinese citizens located on Qiao Island.  The school serves students from pre-kindergarten through high school and the classes are taught in English, following the IB curriculum and teaching Mandarin as a second language.  Many of the kids are the children of educators at the nearby universities, or have parents in the fields of engineering or manufacturing.

We cropped the names/faces but as you can see, kids come from Germany, Netherlands, France, Spain, Ethiopia, Taiwan, Honk Kong, Canada, and the USA. A multicultural bunch.
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Most of these kids have more passport stamps than I do.

How this came about:  We recently met a ZIS teacher, A-J, and learned that she was in the middle of teaching a unit of biodiversity.   I offered that we could come to her class and Joel, being supremely organized, knew just where his old Ecuador lectures were stored on his computer.  And so we found ourselves presenting to a group of international 10- and 11-year-olds about rainforests and the Galapagos Islands.  They were a great group of kids and had wonderful questions, such as:

“What’s the purpose of flies?”

“You said everything is important, but crocodiles seem useless to me.  They’re just mean and eat everything else.”

“Did you ever touch a poisonous plant in the rainforest?”

“The school said it didn’t laminate our achievement certificates because it’s bad for the earth.  Why is laminating bad?”

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Rumor has it that the building was originally intended to be a hotel but was turned into a school when those plans fell through.

Later that evening, A-J came over to our apartment.  (We’re practically neighbors here in Horizon Cove.)  She and I were teammates at Uncle Mike’s (the local pub) trivia last week and it was our turn to write questions.  One round’s theme: Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?  I guess we’ll find our next week.


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