Wednesday, 22 July 2009

RSA Meeting ALL, London 14th July 2009: My 12 Best Ideas

an idea

During the meeting, we had a discussion about different ideas or activities that had a particular impact in the classroom. The following people attended the meeting: Wendy adeniji, Sarah Brooks, John Connor, Tara Deevoy, Claire Dodd, Sue Drake, Liz Fotheringham, Jane Full, Sonya Grant, Rachel Hawkes, Liz Hodgkiss, Shirley Kliment-Temple, Rachael Lawrance, Anne Prentis, Steph Reid, Kate Scapaticci, Pauline Sheath, Andrea Simpson, Jen Sutton, Sara Vaughan, Dave Wicks. I gleaned many ideas as the conversation developed but as a lot of the people were new to me, I regret I will not be able to acknowledge each idea with the person who shared it.

1. PE/Languages activity: Rules are given in the Target Language and students have to work as a team to guess the game. They then have to apply the rules to play it.

2. Caribbean carnival: Use of Creole, volcanoes and extreme weather for Geography, Soka dancing, drawing on community links and involving parents.

3. Watching films in the target language with no subtitle: watch and discuss/ write about it.

4. Exploiting text:
*Turn a text into a mind map, a flowchart-or a Wordle?
*Compare and contrast, expand the mind map or flowchart back out.
*Turn the text into a comic strip using 3rd of 1st person.
*Turn the text into a conversation/ interview-Ask students to put the questions in.
*Turn the text into a survey.
*Turn the text into a Venn’s diagram. (can work both ways: students are given the diagram and they have to write the text )

5. Research on famous families when teaching talking about yourself/ Use the MrPicassoHead website to design a family to describe.

6. Link to texts taught in English or in other subjects.

7. Cross-curricular project about the journey of a swallow: countries crossed and challenges linked to the journey. Tasks to cut up and put together as a team.

8. Get students to use small mirrors to copy target language pronunciation.

9. Re-design topic-based tasks from a textbook to be skills-based tasks e.g. Match descriptions and pictures becomes a pair/ group activity to find the partner who has the correct information: predictions, looking at cognates/ adjectives...

10. “Dessinez avec la main droite/ gauche... avec la jambe... avec le derrière”... numbers/ letters/ results of sums...

11. Demonstrate accents in French with your hands on the “Simon says” model.

12. Make an audit of the languages spoken in school and ask the different native speakers to introduce their home language in a video, also featuring pictures of the country. The video should be used at important school events to raise the profile of bilinguism and community languages. It could also be used in conjunction with a project like “Teach a friend a new language” as part of a cross-curricular event with English or EAL.

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