This Morning’s Lesson: how diverse is your class?

It’s been too long since I blogged like this. I’ve been bogged (blogged?) down with so much stuff about what has been hard this year that I haven’t say down and really done a proper lesson reflection. So I thought that first I would plan the lesson here, then teach it, then blog a reflection. Only about 3 people will read it, of course, as I tend to get more hits bitching about stuff, but still….

Right, the plan.

The theme is diversity, as the group have all finished their exams and I want to get the learners reflecting on where they are now, where they started, and where they go next. If it pays off I might adapt it for the start of next year. For this group I would like to create an artefact they can take with them as a sort of memory if the course.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

  • Students will show improvement in at least one area of language as it arises in the class
  • Students will be able to ask accurate questions
  • Students will be able to understand responses and paraphrase responses in an appropriate written format.
  • Students will be able to contribute to a discussion at least three times in the lesson.
  • Students will be able to form accurate paragraphs using appropriate conventions.

RESOURCES:

It’s a Reflect-y/Dogme-y ish sort of kind of lesson, so the order of the day is post it notes, flip chart paper, paper and pens. There will be a written element which I will get the students to do on the PCs in the room.

PLAN:

Taking inspiration from the Reflect materials, the artefact will be a large poster type visual, with learners creating a “map” of the class. It’s going to be a three dimensional map, so to speak, visually 2D but also reflecting backwards and forwards in time.

1. Learners discuss diversity: how people are the same and how they are different. I asked the group to look at the nine protected characteristics of the equality act on Monday, so I will put each characteristic on the wall and get the students to note about how these things might manifest themselves in terms of differences. (I’ll probably demo with something straightforward like “Pregnancy and Maternity”.

2. Having done this, I will get the students to reflect for themselves how they see themselves in those terms, using myself as an example. I’ll emphasise that they don’t have to comment on all the areas if they don’t feel comfortable!

3. Each student then puts this information onto separate bits of paper, then glue these around their name on the class map.

4. The learners will then cluster round the map, and draw lines to show how they link to other learners in the class. I see some language arising here on comparatives, perhaps, and “because” clauses.

5. The next stage will be for learners to reflect on their past. This will take the form of preparing questions, perhaps as a whole class, then interviewing each other. Again, nobody will be forced to answer if they feel uncomfortable. The results of the interview will then be written up as a paragraph or two and shared on the poster.

6. Using different colours the group will then draw further connections linking their past stories and their journey into English.

Language opportunities here around narrative tenses, of course!

PHEW!

7. Next up, futures. It’s tempting to repeat the questioning task again, but I think a little time for some personal reflection might be nice here, and maybe some thought bubbles rather than just plain bits of paper. The students will draft short statements about what they would like to do in the future, which I will correct this time, focussing on the language of condition and hopes, wishes and plans, future forms and so on.

8. And again, these go on the map, and again, in a new colour, the links will be drawn between the learners, with sentences describing how they are similar.

9. We all stand back and admire the awesome hard work!

Reading that back, a couple of adjustments, I think. Small groups, rather than whole group together, otherwise the “map” will be massive and unwieldy. This also creates a better opportunity for the final activity, where each group can present their map to the group, describing how they are the same and how they are different. A nice final positive here might be to then display the final posters with each learner identifying at least one way that the class is diverse.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

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