M1 Big Thinker

Since Christmas, M1 students have been working on ‘The Big Thinker’ balloon debate challenge. This year they were given the task of researching Big Thinkers who showed empathy for others, were altruistic, courageous and had created an impact on the world.

The Big Thinker Debate

At the beginning there were 67 Big Thinkers, then 17 and then only 8…the finalists, who battled it out in the theatre on Thursday 23rd February. Our congratulations to all the finalists: Blanca (Mahatma Gandhi), Jacob (Muhammad Ali), Connie (Rachel Corrie), Marina C (Florence Nightingale), Marta (Malala Yousafzai), Fernando (Nikola Tesla) and Pilar (Jane Goodall), but particularly to Chloe (New York Fire Officer) who quite rightly won her place in the balloon. She showed that we don’t even need to know a person’s name to appreciate their selfless actions. After her moving portrayal of a New York Fire Officer, there were very few dry eyes in the house. As one of the judges said: “If you can get all three judges to cry – you win. If they ask what tipped the scales, it was persuasion and altruism. And while the others embodied greatness, it could be argued that they all had something to gain personally. Except for the fireman. He only had everything to lose.”

Student Reflections

After the show, the children reflected on their learning. Here is a selection of what they said:

Blanca: “I learned that to reach the highest level, you need to become that big thinker, not just act like him, because people can feel your emotions if you do. If you can’t feel who you are there is no point in being that person.”

Marie: “I liked the way we all got up there and did our speeches and that at the end we came together as a group. The thing I liked also was that after all our hard work we saw our speeches come together. It made me realise that we were all worried and not super confident in the beginning, and it taught me that it does get easier.”

Lara: “The best part of the big thinker for me was watching other people doing their speech and learning about the people they are inspired by.”

Misha: “I learned that all I have is now, so I should use the time that I have, because in the future I will probably think, why didn’t I use that time for reading, studying or practising. So we should all do something now because now is now, never tomorrow.”

Félix B: “When I was on stage I was shaking because I was very, very nervous, but when I started talking I let myself go and it was very good and now I’ve learned that it’s not that bad to talk in front of everyone.”

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