Sunday, 29 November 2015

Creative Learning I

Guided tour in the classroom combined with Writing sentences in groups

I made this to make my students 1) move around in the class and not just passively sit and receive information 2) repeat French grammar and chapter they read previous years 3) boost my students and make no one able to complain about that they had forgotten something when writing a text, as it was ok to look on the walls in case of blackout.

I enlarged by 800% some pages from the books they had read during the past three years that I found most important - sports in colours, partitive articles, texts that contain passé composé, words connected to food, etc. I sellotaped these pages to different parts in the classroom.

...and action
1. I was the guide and walked around in the classroom with my class, poiting at the taped papers as were they paintings. "To your left, you see passé composé, used to descibe something that happened in the past... and as you may recognise, here is a page from chapter five from that book in year eight, when we read the text over and over and learned about the main character's, Céline's, life. Now, let us continue to the other corner. May I introduce some irregular verbs again, like aller and être..." And so forth.

2. Paired up, the students got to write sentences in French. (I gave them no theme, so some ended up writing about drugs and insults. Giving a theme makes you in charge of the discourse. A dialogue is easier to write than a text, in my experience; it makes the text flow more freely.)

Rules: you get one or two minutes to write a sentence together with a friend (depending on the group's sentence; I walked around and looked to make a fair judgement). Then, exchange papers with two other friends. They can a) correct it, if there are faults b) add words to it to change its meaning c) erase it completely and write a sentence of their own. Then - repeat, preferrably passing the paper on to a new group of friends. CREDIT TO MY COLLEAGUES regarding this exercise in particular. My modifications were that it was ok to use a dictionary if students really insisted - otherwise, they could look on the walls for inspiration or if they were not sure about some words or a gramatical rule.

I read the sentences out loud before class ended (and cried of laughter). A good idea is to ask the class, when encountering mistakes, is 1) is this sentence correct? (They have to answer yes/no.) 2) what is wrong? 3) How could it have been written differently? (Can give many different answers; a discussion/several suggestions is the best.)

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