Subject Aim:
Consolidate use of clothes vocabulary. Expand vocabulary to categories – size, colour etc. Speaking practice.

Thinking Aim: Building ENV as a tool to help with sorting clothes. Practising using parameters and values through sorting and YES / NO – understanding idea of elimination.


First, reminding pupils of our dilema – we need to make 600 euros for Clifford to go to London. We’re going to sell old clothes and we need to sort them as well as possible to make people want to buy them, so that we make as much money as possible. How could we best sort them. Last lesson we tried and we noticed it wasn’t so easy. Now let’s do some tasks to help us think about it more clearly and sort better.

Step 2 in framework: building ENV as a tool to help with task.   
I gave pairs sets of 24 cards with different items of clothing on them.
•    Step 1: The pairs had a limited time ( a few minutes) to sort them into 2 groups. They had to be able to justify their grouping.
•    I asked for their suggestions for groupings and put them into a list on the blackboard, as the third column for ENV (values). They came up with summer and winter clothes, clothes for men and women, party and everyday clothes, tops and bottoms and more.
•    I ask them to make the cards into 4 groups, and their justifications had to be different from before.This was much more difficult and again I listed them.
•    Step 2: I then asked them to explain what these things tell us about the clothes? (eg price, colour etc.) – to elicit parameters. I wrote them up and rearrange their suggestions. At this point I started tp get confused as I suddenly thought that their grouping suggestions were actually already parameters and so it was very difficult to find parameters from them! This meant that the ENV model I tried to make on the board didn’t really work.
•    Step 3: We then practised using/understanding the parameters (that is, what they had thought up!)  through a Yes / No game. I had the twenty four pictures on the screen and they had to guess which item of clothing I was thinking of. I had planned to give them only 6 questions, but I felt they’d find asking questions about the clothes difficult, so I didn’t actually make a limitation, which was a mistake. They got the idea immediately (this class had been good at other yes/no games) and they took 12 questions, mostly because they didn’t rememeber the answers to the questions they asked. I wrote their questions on the board and kept count. We looked at how they got confused by crossing off the eliminated items which each question threw up. This was a bit slow, but they did realise that some of their questions hadn’t been helpful, for example, ‘ Is something you wear to school?’ We decided most of the clothes could be worn to school. The same went for working clothes.
•    I had planned to have them play the game again in pairs and to mark off the excluded items as they played, but there wasn’t time.

My reflections on the lesson
As I already wrote, I got confused about the parameters and I should have had limitations for the yes/no game. In the next lesson I want to ask them what the parameters we thought of were, and to try the yes/no game again, this time letting them have the 24 cards used for sorting, as they are exactly the same as the pictures we’re using for yes/no. As Kirsi suggested, they could turn over cards as items are eliminated through questions. This should make the process of elimination clearer to them as well as maybe elucidating the exact meanings of the parameters. It will act as Step 3 in the framework, reflecting and then trying again / testing the game.

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