Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Storytelling 2.0 - Day 2

The two groups completed preparing their props today after more work on them yesterday. I've been by asked colleagues about the purpose of so much creating during class time. Isn't it just wasted time? Absolutely not! If you are actively engaged with your students, if you treat it as a language activity with new vocabulary opportunities and plenty of error correction and if you explain how language is connected to the activity for the students (which you would do anyways, right?), there is so much potential! These are just some of the reasons why my students have so much fun creating things- it's beneficial! They know I'm listing to everything, that I will correct them and that they get tons of new vocabulary they will have to actively use throughout the project! Win-win!

Here is a description of what this stage of the project looked like.

Materials and Equipment

1. Coloured paper
2. Scissors, tape and glue sticks (LOTS of scissors:-)
3. Large chart paper
4. Coloured markers (3-4 sets works best)
5. A camera you can use to document their creativity!
6. Space to store all the crazy props! We just used a table.

The Process

1. You can set up all the materials before class begins or, as was the case for our class, I just showed students where to get the materials, how to politely ask for materials and then let them go and get whatever their group needed.
2. Monitor each group's progress and yes, still pick on pronunciation and grammar errors - this is important so that the students understand that project work does not equal mental vacation time! They need to be applying their knowledge in real time.
3. Offering "creative suggestions" is sometimes helpful, but too much kills the flow of ideas in the group. Learn when to just leave things alone. Having said that, sometimes you get some awesome results from a quick suggestion.

An Example? In the picture below is a refrigerator. This group also created a "door" for it, and on the door it said "Samsung", a Korean manufacturer. There were a couple of Japanese students in group and so I asked them who made good fridges in Japan. Apparently, Hitachi is quite good :-) This sparked a very interesting group conversation (while they continued working) about fridges in different countries. This lead to another Japanese student recalling a famous Hitachi commercial, which she then sang and translated for her group (the translating process was very interesting to watch and became quite a collaborative affair!).
All that from one question! I think that is a very positive result for everyone involved.

- Posted from my iPad

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