Cross-Curricular Instruction: A love poem for lonely prime numbers

When I first watched this video, I knew it I had to share it with all my Teacha teachers.
The poet, Harry Baker, is a Poetry Slam World Cup winner, which means he was crowned the best slam poet in the world. In this poem, Harry shares a story of the lonely, lovesick prime number Fifty Nine. Fifty Nine is totally in love with the perfect, always-on-time Sixty, but Sixty thinks Fifty Nine is… odd. Can Fifty Nine find love?


Cross-Curricular Instruction

This poem is a perfect combination of Mathematics and English. I don’t know about you, but this got my creative juices flowing on how to create a Maths/English cross-curricular lesson.
Cross-curricular instruction (also known as interdisciplinary instruction) is defined as:
“a conscious effort to apply knowledge, principles, and/or values to more than one academic discipline simultaneously. The disciplines may be related through a central theme, issue, problem, process, topic, or experience.” (Jacobs, 1989)
This poem is a beautiful example of the simultaneous use of disciplines – Maths and English.

Why is Cross-Curricular Instruction Important?

Learning in isolation leads to incomplete understandings and a lack of learner ability to apply the work. During cross-curricular instruction, learners that are able to make academic connections across subjects. Therefore, they find greater meaning in the subject matter. When a connection is made between different subjects, the content becomes more relevant and applicable.
Ultimately, cross-curricular instruction results in learners no longer viewing subjects in isolation, but rather viewing each subject as a slice of a whole.

The Advantages of Cross-Curricular Instruction

Cross-curricular instruction offers several advantages to learners, including:

  • Increased motivation
  • Genuine teamwork
  • Improved learning processes
  • Encouragement for further discoveries
  • Increased subject comprehension, retention and appreciation
  • Life-long learning

Uniting concepts from different subjects is definitely a carefully planned event and skill teachers need to foster. We need to intentionally create opportunities for learners to connect concepts and skills from different disciplines. Let’s enhance the learning process with cross-curricular instruction.

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