Teacher interested in ESL methodology, IELTS, classic novels, music, and In Our Time with Melvin Bragg, based in Phuket, Thailand.
Monday, 13 August 2012
Student Centred Lesson
I had a lovely student centered lesson today that I would like to share. It began as a Dogme-type experiment and in the end worked really well. I am please to say that it was student led and mountains of language emerged as the lesson evolved.
The lesson began when I asked for a volunteer to write on the whiteboard. A student came forward and was given a pen. Then I asked the remaining students to brainstorm (3 minutes) verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs, in groups of 3, with one student in each group responsible for note taking.
The student at the front was asked to divide the whiteboard into quarters and get feedback from the groups; each quarter of the box representing a different part of speech. Thus, by the end of the feedback each box was full of language.
At this point, we discussed, as a group, the language on the board with stress patterns drilled on the more difficult words.
I then asked the students what they would like to do with this language. Immediately, they responded that they would like to make a story. Then I asked what genre of story they would like to create. One girl said ‘fairy tale’ to which a boy said, ‘those stories are old.’ I then asked the boy to justify his statement. He stated that he was not interested in the old and like new things such as I-Pads.
Admittedly, as this point I remarked that I-Pads could be incorporated into a fairy tale story, and thus, I set them the task of rewriting a fairy tale and giving it a modern twist. However, there was a catch: they could only use 5 words from the whiteboard. All other parts of speech used had to be original. Students were encouraged to use their dictionaries.
Students were then given 30 minutes to re-create a classic fairy tale in groups.
At this stage, I monitored and wrote down common errors.
Once the time limit was reached, students swapped stories and peer corrected.
I then asked the students to act their story with one narrator and two actors per group.
Once this was finished, I collected the stories and asked a student to read them back to the class. The students had to listen for new parts of speech that were not already written on the board.
Students wrote these in their notebooks.
After feedback, I wrote some of the students’ incorrect sentences on the board, as well as a number of correct sentences, and played a timeline grammar auction game. To play this timelines were drawn beside the said sentences and students had to bet on which were correct. Students were encouraged to correct the sentences and timelines on the board.
Homework was modernizing another fairy tale using the emergent language from the lesson that students had not already used in class.