• The Lost Dog. Descriptions in English

    TA lesson   My Lost Dog

    Subject:English

    Class:4 (age 10), 2nd year of English

    Lessons per week: 2

    Competence stages: 0-2

    The children have been learning about pets in their books and, based on playing the password game, they built an ENV of pets in general. They have just been learning, 'It has...'.

    AIMS:

    CONTENT:to practise using 'It is..' and 'It has..'. Writing sentences in English, expanding vocabulary. For teacher also diagnostic aim - sentences and grammar to be dealt with later.

    THINKING:to practise working out parameters to be able to give an appropriate description of something for a particular purpose. Building and using ENV as a tool.

    CONTEXT AND CHALLENGE:You are on a motoring holiday abroad and your dog gets lost. What should you do? At the Lost Animal Shelter you have to describe your dog very exactly to find out if it is there. They won't show you the dogs at the shelter, nor will they ask you many questions. You must decide what you need to tell them.

    The children made their descriptions, tested them out and worked out the necessary parameters. A more detailed plan for this lesson and the worksheet used are attached.

    Teacher's comment: This challenge turned out to be too easy for the pupils, and the final task would have worked better as the first task. This would have been more difficult and perhaps led to the need for banks to help the pupils make better and more appropriate descriptions and would have helped them to learn more new vocabulary. 

     

  • Tuesday Detective: Describing, reasoning and questioning in English

    TUESDAY DETECTIVES: Describing, reasoning and questioning in English

    Subject: English (EFL)

    Grade: 5th and 6th (3 - 4 years of English)

    Teacher: Susan Granlund

    Competence Stages: 0 - 1      From Can I? to What are we talking about?

    These are a series of three lessons based on a picture from the book, 'Tuesday' by David Weisner. The overall challenge is for the pupils to find out what happened from the evidence in the picture. The first two lessons follow the routine See - Think - Wonder in order to give the pupils a chance to learn and become familiar with the English vocabulary and structures necessary for talking about the situation and to give them the impetus to observe the details of the picture closely. This routine is also diagnostic and gaps in vocabulary and grammar knowledge emerge and banks of words and questions are made to be used later. The third lesson is playing the Yes/No game to find out exactly what happened. This also involves sorting and thinking of a strategy to ask relevant, strong questions. The aims of the lessons were as follows:

    Content Aim: Diagnostic + expanding vocabulary, phrases and use of structure, particularly the formation of Yes/No questions. Discussion, speaking, listening and writing in English.

    Thinking Aim: To find the important elements of a situation through verbalizing thinking, practising exact description of a scene, reasoning and questioning, and finally looking for a strategy to help find strong questions to find the solution to the mystery of what happened. Using the observation and strategies from these tasks for further creative work (See possible follow-ups in the attachment on the series of lessons.)

     

     

  • Vocabulary learning problems

    Date:05.04.2012

    Teacher: Irina Bučinska

    Observer: Larisa Sardiko

    Form 7

    DISCUSSING VOCABULARY LEARNING PROBLEMS

    Aims:

    Thinking:  learning to see the problem situation and to formulate the problem

    Subject-specific: working out the effective selecting vocabulary system

    Abbreviations: T (teacher), P (pupils), POV – point of view, *vocabulary provided by the teacher, O (observer), TTF (thinking task framework)

    Vocabulary problem 1: how to select the words – pupils share your ideas – 15 min

    P.1. think where we want to use words

    P2. Do not learn difficult rarely used words

    P3. Think about words you can use everywhere, talk or write about them.

    4. use translations or read books on the theme you are interested

    5. Make a list of words and  learn words you have written out

    6. divide words into parts of speech

    7. if somebody is a gamer s/he may play only English games and learn the titles

    8. watch films with subtitles ??? because in films we can hear how to T. pronounce? P. yes

    T. reminds of the problem: how to select

    9. make two columns – for lesson and for life but learn all. T. why do we learn them for a lesson???

    10. learn the words basing on your hobbies but in various areas; it can be on any aim

    11. read books and learn words that are in dialogues of heroes because we first need words for speaking T. Why? P. our aim is to speak in English T. focuses on the AIM here

    12. you should think about the words you used most in Russian and translate them into English

    15 min passed

    T. draws attention to the best experience: Pupil N uses n12 technique and then uses words in compositions (through self-study) and chooses the topic on the words she learns and writes the composition

    Home task: read the text, choose 6 words and evaluate why and how you selected the word

    Teacher's comments: this lesson was meant to make pupils reflect on their vocabulary learning, see the problems and start looking for effective strategies to solve problems. Further steps:next time in class we will make the list more systematic and create an ENV model proceeding from the list

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