subject specific: elaborating a transformation task first draft;
thinking: focusing the students on the transformation task ENV and reviewing the first draft according to it
Materials: Part 6 tasks


a) eliciting the ENV of a transformation task (part 6)

b)self and peer review of the first draft of transformation tasks applying the parameters ilicited as a result of task (a)

c) reflection on tasks a and b

Acknowledgment to Irina Bucinska for helping me out with ideas




Task a. Time: 20 min. Organisation: teacher - class. Materials used: an episode for the film 'Notebook'

My role: creating the context for eliciting the ENV of a transformation task. I used the film episode as a material (a comic and dramatic episode of how the main character convinced the girl he fancied to go out with him) the one they all have watched - 3 min long).
After showing the episode I have elicited the following parameters:

-    why the story is told -  to restore her memory (in her old age she had Alzheimer disease)
-    who tells the story – she herself

-    to whom -  for him to read to her

-    in the form of a diary

Then I asked how the scene  would have differed if  HE had told it to his 6-year old son; why would he liked to tell it; how would it have differed then according to the purpose;how the content will change depending on these parameters; how the language will change?

In this way I elicited the values of these four basic parameters:

Who: age, position, profession, education (determines language, composition), experience, relationships,etc.

To whom: age, experience etc.

Why: to gossip, to report, to explain, to warn, to entertain, to let him remember it as a family story

Form: a story, a script, a diary, an e-diary, an interview, etc.

Task b - 30 min

Peer review of a Transformation Task: had a choice of four tasks (see the link above)

Instructions: write on a slip of paper responses to: why, who, to whom, in what format you created your draft (of Task 6). Keep the paper to yourself.
Read the draft text of your peer, write the response to one of the above.

I got the students to review the drafts of two peers - to have more opportunities for practice.

My role: monitoring the process and clarifying the unclear issues. Learner outputs: comments on their own draft and comments on two more reviewed drafts of peers. When the reviewed drafts were returned to the authors, their task was to compare their self-review with the peer reviews results and  make conclusions on ways of draft improvement

Task c: time - 15 min (in writing)

reflect on what we have done: were the responses you received from your peers similar/different from yours; specify the answer; do you have a vision of how to develop your first draft.

Output: fewer differences were found than I expected; the difference in responses were found in the form (type of a text), the purpose in some papers. Some students said the task was not necessary since they knew these parameters already (according to the task). Although I have not seen their drafts yet, my suspicion is - they were judged by the instruction, not by the quality of the outcome.

Homework:  improving the draft of a transformation task according to the peer review comments and your own considerations;

Overall reflection:

I think we have achieved the aim - we have created a tool to approach a transformation task and reviewed  on how the tasks could be improved. In thinking task framework it could be step 3.

Challenge: to bring them to the realisation of the importance of HOW TO part for an effective result. Next lesson I will get them to compare their first and second draft and  focus on the possibilities of further development.






# Gillian Boniface 2011-05-23 20:17
This sounds really interesting and actually helps me see what is a parameter and what is a value. So am I right in thinking that the parameter for this story, or probably any story would remain fixed but the values would vary dependent on parameter one and three (the purpose of the story, and to whom it is told)? Did the students pick one value for each parameter in their drafts or could there be more than one? If so were the more successful drafts the ones that had more or less values?

Also I followed your link to the Bach task and realsied it was very similar to something I did last week with 7th grade. We listed people that we saw frequently in the media and then grouped them based on the reasons for their fame. The purpose of the lesson was to identify what makes someone famous in our media-obsessed culture. It hadn`t even occured to me that this could be a thinking task.
# Larisa Sardiko 2011-05-27 11:32
Thank you, Gillian, for your comment. The answer to the first question is Yes, I understand it so, too.

Your question ((If so)were the more successful drafts the ones that had more or less values?) actually led me to the precision of the criteria of the evaluation of the tasks.

If you mean the values of WHO, WHY etc. - the values should be as many as necessary to give a clear indication of the purpose of the task. But not all of them had to be seen in the text directly. e.g. the values of the narrator - shown indirectly and those of the addressee - just implied to be inferred.

Now that I have read the second drafts of the tasks (they produced on the basis of their peer review - I see that they have mostly worked on the elaborating of the format and not so much on the content of the produced text itself.

Your task is very interesting.Thinking or not - is what we make it by how we handle it and what lessons we get out of it but I am not an expert at it.
# Alexander Sokol 2011-05-28 16:00
Gillian and Larisa, I am sure you both know a lot about thinking tasks, so no need be modest :)
I usually say that a task is thinking when at least three requirements are met:
a) students don't know the answer
b) students don't know how they can get at an answer
c) an algorithm for dealing with the tasks of the same type is out of the outcomes.
Given this, I guess, Gillian's task might have been a thinking task. A follow up task (probably with more thinking potential) could have been something like making someone famous in media. What do you think?
# Larisa Sardiko 2011-06-10 11:43
That would be a challenging and interesting task for sure. Thank for your input, Alexander. 'Out of the outcomes' means they do not have it yet and need to create?
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