Last but not least…Station 3!

In the second session my group and I worked in this station together with Station number 1. We had a worksheet with some activities and we had to divide them into pre/actual and post-teaching activities. I think that dividing the activities into pre/actual and post-teaching activities is very helpful when planning a lesson as it can help you to create a dynamic and fluid lesson due to the fact that you’ve got different activities you want to discuss with your students in three different moments: to introduce the topic, to actually work with it and to finish the lesson. We also had to create a comic and a word cloud. It was fun! These tools are amazing!

station 3

The PRE-TEACHING ACTIVITIES could be considered the following ones:

d) Discussion:

This is a warming-up activity because we want our students to activate their previous knowledge of the topic, the author, etc.

f) Think pair-share:

Students have to predict the plot of a story taking into account headlines/titles. They also have to make comments on their reflections with the rest of the class.

Having students talking in pairs or small groups is something useful as they feel more comfortable than talking to the teacher in front of the whole class; however, we have to make sure they are talking in English and  be there if they have problems with vocabulary. If you create a friendly atmosphere in the classroom and let them know that making mistakes is ok because that’s the way in which someone learns they’ll feel better; the key is to mantain a positive attitude towards them and the language and so they’ll develop a positive attitude and their level of anxiety will decrease.

The ACTUAL TEACHING ACTIVITY is the:

c) Analysis:

It is a reading comprehension activity. Students have to find out and justify if the information in the statements is true or false.

We can also show the students some excerpts of the story in different pieces of papers, in groups, they have to arrange the story in order and justify why the order they chose is correct. With this type of exercise they are talking to each other, agreeing and disagreeing and they have to be very coordinated and share their ideas to come up with the correct order.

and regarding the POST-TEACHING ACTIVITIES:

a) Writing:

Once they have read the short story, students have to carry on writing a different ending for the story: in the end, Mrs. Bixby’s coat is still in the pawnshop and she is planning a strategy to get it back.

b) Discussion:

Students discuss the real ending of the story and what will happen next.

e) Role play:

Students work in pairs and they have to perform Mr and Mrs Bixby’s conversation by the end of the story.

I personally like all of the activities proposed but if I had to choose, I’d pick up the role play. I like using a little bit of drama in class as students can show their creativity and funny side of themselves. It is very  motivating for them if they can design the stage, the clothes or objects they want to use for the scene.

We could also suggest our students to create a Voki avatar (http://www.voki.com/) of either Mr or Mrs Bixby and tell the story from the point of view of each other in a very short way. Students will love this tool and they can practice their digital competence while learning how to summarise a whole text.

– In the next activity we had to represent a scene of the short story through either goanimate (http://goanimate.com/) or bitstrips (http://www.bitstrips.com/).

I used goanimate to create the scene, it was very easy to use. You just need to choose the avatars, the setting of the scene and typing what you want your characters to say or record your own voice!

Here is my goanimate contribution to my group: http://goanimate.com/videos/0I5g-Pp7MF8U?utm_source=linkshare

I would use goanimate with my students because you can review structures, lots of vocabulary, develop their creativity and create fantastic stories!

– The scene can be posted on Edmodo (http://www.edmodo.com/), Kidblog (http://kidblog.org/home/) or Fakebook (http://www.classtools.net/fb/home/page). Those are useful ICTs we can use in our class, they are in fact similar to famous social networks but they have educational purposes so we can use them for free and are more suitable for teenagers.
Our group thought that the scene can be a useful tool to make students write. Creating a writing activity based on a comic can be appealing for teenagers.
 
– In the last activity of the station we work with Word-cloud (http://www.wordle.net/) where you can create posters with words. “Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.”
We decided that we can use wordle to foster writing and stimulating students to flow their creativity.  The activity would consist n doing a writing using the words given in the word-cloud patchwork to build up a possible denouement for the story. Here is the tool they need to use to write their own ending for the story of Mr. & Mrs. Bixby:http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/6604013/UntitledWord-clouds are fantastic to work with words and they can be adapted to create multiple activities as: creative writing, summaries, posters, presentations…etc. We can adapt them into pre/actual and post-teaching activities.So, this is it, here’s the final station me and my group have been working with. The next post will be about two interesting short stories of my choice and soon I’ll come up with some active techniques to teach English trough them! I hope you find them useful!Sara
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