About marinastmircic

Italian and Civics Teacher, Scientix Ambassador 2020-2022

Earth Day Challenge 2022

This is the event organize to celebrate Earth Day in our school. Every year, on April 22nd, people from around the world come together to celebrate Earth Day! The goal of Earth Day is to reflect on how our actions impact the world around us, and how we can help protect and restore the environment.

My 5th grade students (11-year-old) are very familiar with this date, but in our activity we try to connect Civics, Biology and ICT. I remind my students that even small acts can make a huge difference, like picking up litter, watering a plant, or finding a way to reuse something instead of throwing it away! ‘It takes a little bit for each of us to make nature come to life, keep blu or green, for birds to sing, for fish to swim in the river….’

For our Earth Day challenge this year, I invited them to create artwork that encourages everyone to keep our planet healthy for many years to come!

I asked them to design their very own poster! The poster should include 1) a slogan (or short message) about taking care of the world and 2) an illustration that captures thoughts, feelings, and actions that they want to inspire in others! They could design their posters on paper, or use an online tool like Canva!

First they worked on paper and after that they made photos of their artworks. They very very crative and their slogans were compassionable for the world around us. After that they watch the tutorial about how to make posters in Canva

For making poster in Canva they used photos of their artworks in paper and they really enjoyed making online posters in Canva. They completed successfully their grade-level challenge and celebrate together #earthday. You can see their poster in Canva at the following link: https://www.canva.com/design/DAFAVUiuS6g/yLmOMBX08OQhJweA_5CVxA/view?utm_content=DAFAVUiuS6g&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link2&utm_source=sharebutton.


Empathy is important

Summary This post is about how to engage students in a discussion about empathy and different ways to show care and concern for others. My students determine the most appropriate way to help their classmates when they are feeling sad, upset, or lonely. This activity supports the development of the following social-emotional skills: relationship skills, responsible decision-making, self-awareness, and social awareness. Learning outcomes
  • Students engage in a discussion about how they practice empathy for others by taking appropriate actions that are caring and helpful.
  • Students understand that everyone has their own preferences around how they want others to treat them.
I implemented Scientix resource from Repository named “YOUR PAIN IS MY PAIN: WHAT MAKES US FEEL EMPATHY? in civic education and english language, school subjects that we learn in primary school. After reading the main resource I decided to expand the initial idea for my 11-year-old students to be able to understand the problems of their peers. I wanted to engage my 15 students in a discussion around how they practice empathy for others by taking appropriate actions that are caring and helpful. And we started learning how to connect with others through empathy. I made some adaptation to the main resource and then I share our lesson in 3 phases: Imagine, Learn and Reflect.
  1. Imagine: I ask students to imagine a classmate named Vanja, who is sitting alone on the playground because his/her best friend just moved away. Vanja is both male or female name. I ask the students to share their thoughts and write their responses on a school board that is visible to everyone. The questions:
    • What do you notice about how Vanja looks? ‍
    • What do you think Vanja is thinking about?‍
    • Can you feel for a moment with Vanja?
    • What actions can you take to help Vanja feel better?
  2. Learn: After the discussion and writing their ideas, I explain to my students what is empathy. Empathy is an important skill that helps us build strong connections with others. Practicing empathy consists of 1) considering another person’s point-of-view by “putting ourselves in their shoes,” 2) understanding and relating to their feelings, and 3) taking action to help them based on our understanding. Then I direct students to think about their own experiences receiving empathy from friends. How do they want others to treat them when they are feeling sad, lonely, or upset?
  3. Reflect: I ask my students to create and share writing or artwork that shows how empathy looks, sounds, and feels to them. They can draw or write how they want their friends to show them empathy. They all chose the shape of the heart to write and draw on empathy. Look some photos of their Empathy hearts.

Energy around us (L’energia attorno a noi)

In this post I will explain how I introduced STEM contents into subject that I teach Italian language, in order to connect the study of Italian to real life situations. As Scinetix Ambassador, I want that my students find a solution of the problem using research work, critical opinion, their strong sides of personality, peer collaboration, etc.

According to the school plan and curriculum for Italian language in 8th grade, my 15-year-old students had to learn words about energy sources and energy consumption in Italian. I decided not to use the text in their student book and found in the Scientix RESOURCE REPOSITORY great resource “GETTING TO KNOW ENERGY” in Italian http://www.scientix.eu/resources/details?resourceId=3072.

Learning Goals of our lesson were:

  • Understand what energy is, what types of energy there are, and the different forms of energy
  • Explore cause and effect as it relates to energy use
  • Compare how children around the world use energy to identify similarities and differences.

Warm up activity (10 minutes) was watching video about energy in Italian “Le fonti di energia”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFmijtXf95s, which helped them recall the knowledge of physics about energy types.

During the main part of class (25 min of “reading and comprehension”) my students were reading the text in Italian “Impariamo a conoscere l’energia” from the school projector and trying to understand it:  http://storage.eun.org/resources/upload/657/20170727_192744893_657_Energy%20tips_September%202010_final_PR_09092010_IT.pdf. They were divided into groups and each group had to analyze their section from the text. I was asking questions to help them to understand the key words and global meaning of the resource.

In last part of the class (10 min) I gave them a small student’s worksheet to answer the question and control their knowledge: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-SmKktRWl4K7PZLdPhw10UUiLXWdxQZH/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=109170172222911948615&rtpof=true&sd=true.

They were supposed to link the types of energies to the images, determine whether the sentences written were correct or false, and share ideas on how to reduce energy consumption.

Online conference with famous ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano

Author: Marina Stanojlovic Mircic

This is an online activity which took place on 16th April 2020. My students and I had the opportunity to meet a real active Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano and find out all about his occupation and ways of life in the spaceship. Knowing of our tremendous desire to meet him, Mr Steve Sherman invited me and my students to connect for the interview with Luca and it was one of those powerful opportunities not to be missed, especially because we were at home due to #COVID19. Of course, there were other students, mostly from the United States, who followed Luca’s interesting story.

Since my students decided to be the active participants of this interview, they’ve prepared the questions. I was doing this activity because some of my students aspire to be astronauts and they admire those people. The most interesting part of the interview was when Luca answered my students’ questions in Italian as my students learn Italian as a Second Foreign Language in secondary school.


  • Are you afraid you’ll run out of air?  
  • How does it feel to be in space, in a rocket or on a planet?  
  • Are there any living beings on any other planet?
  • Is there any possibility of another planet settling?
  • How did you decide to be an astronaut?
  • Would I have the honour of being taken for a ride in your spacecraft, because today on 16th April is my birthday?
  • What the astronauts eat?
  • What do you do all day?

In Italian:

  • Quali sono i Suoi progetti futuri? (What are your future plans?)
  • Tra due mesi finiremo la scuola secondaria di primo grado e dovremo scegliere la scuola superiore in base al nostro sistema scolastico in Serbia, Lei ha qualche suggerimento per noi su come scegliere la scuola giusta? (In two months we will finish the 9th grade of elementary school and we have to choose high school according to our school system in Serbia, do you have any suggestion for us on how to choose the right school?)
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The smartest Italian scientists

Author: Marina Stanojlovic Mircic

This activity took place on 10 – 12 March 2020 and represented a correlation between one non-STEM school subject and few STEM school subjects. The lesson is realized by CLIL teaching method (Content and Language Integrated Learning) in correlation with computer science, physics and mathematics. Following the curriculum of Italian as the second foreign language taught in Serbian schools, with the help of Europeana resources, my students came up with data on who were the scientists with the highest IQ in Italy in the past.

In Italian and Serbian languages, 8th grade students presented the most intelligent Italians who ever lived: Galileo Galilei, Hypatia of Alexandria, which was then part of the Eastern Roman Empire and Leonardo da Vinci. In this way, we have marked 500 years since the death of Leonardo da Vinci, an extraordinary man and a great genius. The topic of the most famous Italians was familiar to my students since they were in the 7th grade.

First, students searched on the Internet and found data on these three people using the following Europeana resources:  Galileo Galilei, Hypatia of Alexandria and Leonardo da Vinci. Some other web resources were used to find which Italian scientist had the highest IQ. Then they adapted the texts and photos to their Italian knowledge and translated them into Serbian using the online dictionary “Bing Translator”. After that, they recorded the video in Italian and Serbian, so that it would be very understandable to those who do not know Italian. The entire presentation Gli scienziati più intelligenti dell’Itali, as the final product with text, pictures, and videos, is available on Sway.

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