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Dragonology Course: The Dragon Academy of Science, Maths, English and Art | Play-Based & Interest-Led Learning

Discover the secrets and mythology of dragons in this half - semester play-based Dragonology course! We combine storytelling, problem-solving, creativity and conversation to extend STEM, language and vocabulary, social science, art, critical thinking, and friendship skills | Neurodiverse Inclusive.
Alice Campbell MTeach (PreK - Yr 2), MPlayTherapy
175 total reviews for this teacher
3 reviews for this class
Completed by 13 learners
40 minutes
per class
Once per week
over 5 weeks
year olds
learners per class
per learner - per class

How does a "Multi-Day" course work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

How Outschool Works

Available Times

This teacher may live in a different time zone.
๐Ÿ”ฅ This class is in high demand! 1 of 69 classes have sold out.

Available Times

This teacher may live in a different time zone.
๐Ÿ”ฅ This class is in high demand! 1 of 69 classes have sold out.
There are no open spots for this class, but you can request another time or scroll down to find more classes like this.


Class Experience

The intended learning outcomes for this class are aligned with the Australian and UK early years curricula. They are also consistent with the preschool/ early years curricula for NZ, China, Korea, and most European countries. This class utilises the Michigan Essential Literacy Practices Framework, and the Mathematics Learning Trajectories. 

1. I can explore, infer, predict, and hypothesise in order to develop an increased understanding of the environment and my relationship to it. 
2. I can combine fine-motor, cognitive skills and thinking strategies to achieve increasingly complex patterns of activity to create, communicate, solve-problems and adapt to new situations. 
3. I can manipulate objects and resources in order to investigate, take apart, assemble, invent, assemble, construct, and experiment with cause and effect.
4. I can make predictions and generalisations about different environments, and communicate these using language, gestures, numbers, and symbols.
5. I can use language, gestures or visual symbols to communicate and convey meaning about social and personal experiences; mathematical ideas and scientific concepts. 

1. Are dragons real? How do we tell the difference between something that is real, and something that is not?
2. What do dragon stories teach us about our world?
3. What would it be like to be a dragon?

~ Living things are adapted to a particular ecology.
~ Living things grow.
~ Engineering involves designing something to solve a problem. 
~ The structure of something influences its function. 
~ Light comes from a source, and travels through the air. 
~ An ecology is made up of many different plants and animals that all interact together. 
~ Oil and water are different substances, and oil repels water.
~ Water moves across a surface.
~ Fire is a source of heat and light. 
~ We see colour when light is reflected off a surface. 
~ Things move and stop as a result of forces. Forces are "pushes" and "pulls". Gravity is a type of force. 

~ Counting.
~ Subitising.
~ Comparing number.
~ Composing numbers.
~ Patterns, structure and algebraic thinking.
~ 2D shapes.
~ Composing 2D shapes.
~ Disembedding shapes.
~ 3D shapes.
~ Composing 3D shapes.
~ Spatial visualisation and imagery.
~ Spatial orientation. 
~ Measurement (length).
~ Measurement (area).
~ Measurement (angle and turn).

This class will provide a setting for children to develop and practice their vocabulary and speech relating to the content, concepts, and activities we are exploring. The words we will be using will include nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections. 

โ€‹Vocabulary (or knowledge of words) includes understanding their structure (morphology), use (grammar) and meanings (semantics). It also includes understanding how one word links to other words (word/semantic relationships). Oral and aural vocabulary skills (or, for non-speaking children, visual and gestural vocabulary skills) are absolutely crucial to later development of literacy decoding and reading comprehension and fluency. 

Because this is such an important skill gained in early childhood, I use a strong evidence-based and developmentally appropriate approach to vocabulary and speech development. This includes: 

๐—˜๐˜…๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐—ฉ๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐——๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป
Explicit vocabulary discussion means that, in this class we not only use words, but we may also sometimes talk about them. We might discuss, for example:
~ what does this word mean?
~ what words would communicate what we want? 
~ what other words can we use for this?

While these discussions are explicit, they are not a discrete part of our classes or delivered as a "lesson". Instead, we weave these into our organic discussions while we play, create and tell stories. I do not choose or have a "list" of specific words that children "must" learn. My approach is to respond to children's interests by offering explicit vocabulary discussion that is purposeful, and which helps each child engage with their goals, interests and motivations. This means that children are developing their vocabulary (and self-awareness of it) in a meaningful, relevant and active way. 

๐—˜๐˜…๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป
While it may seem "efficient" to get children to memorise, or rote learn, words - this approach has been shown to have no real value in speech/ language development generally, including vocabulary development. Rather, evidence confirms that the critical requirement for strong vocabulary and speech development is sufficient opportunity for children to engage in meaningful, two-way conversations that are interesting to them. 

To provide this for your child, I maintain very small class sizes and a child-led approach to learning. This ensures that each child has many opportunities to "chat" and "talk" with me and other learners throughout this class about the things that have captured their interest or that they are discovering. I focus on finding opportunities within these conversations to not only introduce new vocabulary, but to also extend and stretch each child's confidence in using and understanding vocabulary in speech. 
I am both a trained nurse and Masters qualified Early Childhood teacher, and a Play Therapist. I have over 30 years experience in working with young children, specialising in designing programs to improve children's developmental, educational/ learning and mental health/ well-being outcomes in both "typical" and complex circumstances. I have received numerous government and industry awards for my work in both teaching and therapeutic practice. 
There is no assigned homework in this class. 

In some cases, depending on the pace that each child prefers working at, they may not finish their project in the allocated class time. In this case they can continue working on their projects after class. 

Following each session, I will also provide a handout with suggestions for (optional) activities, play and art to extend children's off-screen learning and interests between sessions.  

Prior to each session, children will need assistance to prepare and set-up. This will typically take 5 - 10 minutes for most sessions.  
ย 1ย file available upon enrollment
๐— ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜€ - ๐—ช๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ธ ๐Ÿญ ~ 2 - 3 sheets of any sort of paper - A4 or larger size. ~ Things like colourful foil, candy wrappers, etc are idea for this class. But any colourful paper scraps will work (wrapping paper, junk mail brochures, crepe paper, old cards, etc.). If you prefer, you can purchase "foil craft sheets" on amazon or from most craft stores (around $1 - $2) - but this is not necessary. ~ Loose items from around your house (fabric scraps, bits of old wool or yarn, ribbon, buttons, sparkles, sequins) ~ If available: some nice things fond in nature that can be glued on paper (feathers, leaves, flower petals) ~ A black sharpie, marker or texta. ~ White/ pvc/ Elmer's/ school glue - placed in a dish, with a brush. ~ Child-safe scissors. ~ Optional: glitter, sequins or other sparkly things. ๐— ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜€ - ๐—ช๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ธ๐˜€ ๐Ÿฎ - ๐Ÿฑ ๐—” ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐—น๐—น ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ต ๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜€, ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜๐—น๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜€ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—พ๐˜‚๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ธ. ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐—น๐—น ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜€๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ ๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ธ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐—น๐—น ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ต ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ธ. In summary, the ESSENTIAL materials needed for weeks 2 - 5 will include: ~ Egg shells ~ Some cheap vegetable oil ~ A packet of paper straws. ~ Food colours. ~ Some paper for painting - water colour paper is ideal, but not essential ~ A simple kitchen sponge ~ Some plain printer paper ~ A roll of kitchen foil ~ either Air dry clay OR a good batch of salt dough to be made with flour, water, salt and oil. A recipe will be provided. ~ Some acrylic paints. I recommend having white + at least 4 different colours. These are available cheaply from most $2 shops or department stores. ~ 3 - 4 paint brushes of different thickness. ~ Some dishes for mixing paints in. ~ Any lovely items you collect on a nature walk - leaves, flowers, acorns, pine cones, interesting pebbles, bits of bark, feathers, etc.
I do not use tests or other standardised approaches to assessing children's progress. In this age group, testing it is not developmentally appropriate and in some cases may be psychologically and academically harmful. 

However, as a teacher, I do believe it is important for me to be accountable to both children and parents. I aim to deliver classes that are not just "busy work" or entertainment, but which actively contribute to each child's learning in meaningful and sustainable ways. 

To do this, I use continuous observation of children's activity and conversation. When I make these observations, I am specifically considering the child's development in relation to the learning outcomes of the class (see above). 

I then routinely provide feedback to children. This may consist of: 
~ positive affirmation (e.g. "I really liked the way you communicated your idea with that painting");
~ positive reflection (e.g. "I wonder how you came up with that idea?"); and/ or
~ positive stretching (e.g. "I wonder if you could show that idea in other ways?). 

This is a wholistic approach to assessment. The child's response to my feedback helps me understand of "how far" they have traveled in their learning, and then "what comes next" in their learning. 

I welcome questions and inquiries from parents about their child's learning progress. 
40 minutes per week in class, and no time outside of class.
~ Children will need assistance to prepare and set-up prior to each session. This will typically take 5 - 10 minutes.  

~ In WEEK 4 of this class, younger learners may need some minor hands-on assistance from a parent with our class activity.

~ Some of the materials needed in this class will need to be collected from nature in your local park, streets or neighbourhood. Many families like to do this by doing a treasure hunt on a "nature walk" prior to the class.  

~ This class includes a strong focus on children's hands-on participation and agency. Please be aware that some activities are "messy", and I suggest having a large tray, towel or sheet to ensure easy clean-up following the class. Children should wear clothes that you are comfortable if they get messy or stained.  

~ In this class you have the option of using home-made salt dough using flour, salt, water and vegetable oil. If your child has food allergies, please ensure to use flour and oil types that they are not allergic to. 
This class and its title is inspired by the books "Newt Scamander Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" (J.K. Rowling), "Dragonology" (By Ernest Drake) and "A Natural History of Dragons" (Marie Brennan). These books will not be used directly in this class. 

Teaching approaches in this class are drawn from:
~ Waldorf and Montessori teaching philosophies
~ Play-based learning, with a focus on Play Profiles (Sara-Lea Chazan).
~ Imaginative Pedagogy (Kieran Egan)
~ Eight-Ways Pedagogy (Tyson Yunkaporta)


Alice Campbell MTeach (PreK - Yr 2), MPlayTherapy
Lives in Australia
Play-Based Learning For All Children - In The Real Wonderland
175 total reviews
354 completed classes

About Me

๐—›๐—ฒ๐—น๐—น๐—ผ! ๐— ๐˜† ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—”๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ.

I am a verified ๐—ข๐˜‚๐˜๐˜€๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—น ๐—”๐—–๐—˜ ๐—˜๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฟ and I help families from all over the world, who are searching for meaningful alternatives to high-pressure and standardised teaching approaches. An increasing number of parents...ย 
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