Class 5. These lessons sprung from the chapter in the book (WOW! 5 Ch 6  Eat your Lolly, Molly!) which was more or less a dialogue about children buying ice-cream from an ice-cream van.


  • Overall aim: to revise and practise buying and selling situations, speaking, reading, writing.                     
  • Aim for this lesson: to make ice-cream adverts to be used later for buying and selling. Revising vocabulary.
  • Thinking Aims: to notice what’s relevant in a particular situation (function), using opposites to be inventive, ENV - noticing the nature of things (ice-cream).

1. Feature constructor (as warm-up and to elicit/remind of vocabulary):They wrote down all the adjectives/words they could think of that describe ice-cream. I wrote their suggestions on the board in two boxes. The result was more or less as below:-

sweet cold  freezing vanilla round white  brown            tasty delicious  chocolate  cheap  expensive melts easily   hard     sticky soft                                                   pink       green     in a box

2. In pairs they took a word from each box and decided what the two words together could describe, eg delicious and brown = chocolate cake

3. Step 1: A challenge with limitations and a new point of view

TASK: Make an advert for a completely different type of ice-cream, a type you’ve never seen before. The advert has to have 5 slogans for the new ice-cream, it has to have a title and it has to include prices. It should also have a picture.

This stumped most of them. What could it be if it’s not ordinary ice-cream?

4. Step 2: Building the stairs. I thought that building an ENV together would help them to get a better overall picture of what we were doing – of what the parameters of ice-cream could be and of which would be most useful for them in making their advert and thinking up a new type of ice-cream. So, first we looked at what words we had for describing ice-cream and the pupils tried to sort them into parameters. They came up with taste, flavour,appearance, colour, temperature, price, feel, packaging, shape, ’solidity’. Their adjectives were the values, and the element was simply ice-cream. They understood that all these parameters were helpful in thinking about what ice-cream is like, and would have been a great help in advertising ordinary ice-cream, but they still didn’t know how to make the ice-cream different.

5. I don’t know if it can be called a tool, but I offered them the idea of looking at the parameters and then at the values (the words and things we’d thought up with the feature constructor), and thinking of the opposite value. This made an immediate difference. They really had fun thinking about these and many made very inventive adverts, though some still found it hard to get out of the ordinary way of thinking.

6. Not all of them were particularly inventive, and quite a few thought up unusual flavours, like chicken-flavoured ice-cream.Some more inventive ideas they came up with were for example, ’Ice-cream that never melts!- You can take it on holiday with you.’, ’Hot ice-cream’, ’Free ice-cream!’ (since it usually costs something!), ’Ice cream that changes colour all the time!’, ’Exploding ice-cream – you’ll only buy it once!’. They made poster adverts for these, although the drawing was done at home. In retrospect, this would have been a good task to do together with their art teacher. Once they had their idea they could have considered in the art class how to best portray it, since we didn’t have time for that in the English class.

7. Step 3: Reflecting. Reflecting wasn’t really done properly. I completely forgot that we were going to reflect on the ’tools’, the ENV and using opposites. We could have (if I had been able) talked about contradictions and if their suggestions were possible or how they might physically be made possible, but we just looked at their adverts together and they said what were good ideas in their opinion and what not and why, and it was more or less left like that. Most of them agreed they would buy what looks interesting and tasty, and nothing disgusting (like the thought of chicken ice-cream). They did notice and we talked about the need for limitations, even when being inventive, but they agreed that they could get really good ideas from seeing the crazy ones and changing them a bit.

Teacher reflections on this task. The content aims of this lesson were met, since they revised a lot of old vocabulary and learned quite a lot of new vocabulary which they needed for the task, especially for making their slogans, and which they put to use immediately and enthusiastically. They were all busy and motivated during this lesson.

However, I don’t know if any thinking aims were really met. We made an ENV – again! – though I don’t know if they understood why. I felt it was useful and I feel making these regularly gets them used to the idea of thinking in parameters and they are getting better at this. What they don’t yet understand is how much it can help with tasks, since I haven’t introduced it enough when they’re really stuck. I guess I haven’t really found such good thinking tasks yet. The idea of looking at opposites works well, but I can’t attach it myself yet to a particular thinking tool – hope I’ll learn more about this. The children find it interesting and so do I, but we’re just playing around with it at the moment. This lesson was similar in a way to the one they did about dog adverts, which seemed to work quite well.

The main reason I think I was dissatisfied with this lesson was that my aims weren’t specific enough and the task didn’t offer a specific enough situation or reason for making these ads. Who were they for? Why? Why unusual ice-cream? A more specific context would have made it easier to evaluate what they had done and would also have made a good bridge to the next lesson when they’ll try to sell their ice-creams to each other.




# Irina Buchinska 2012-02-12 19:12
I agree with you, Susan, that we need to think of as specific task as possible,e.g. re- who it is for,though, I think you can do the other way, especially if you already did advertisements. You can ask them now who would be interested to buy this ice-cream? Why? What will change, if anything if we think about other people or let's say, about the a chicken- flavour ice-cream for your dog on its birthday? This can be a good context to introduce the idea of the target audience we write something for.

What else I would like to remind about - an algorithm for doing such writing tasks - so you can reflect/could have reflected back on the way how you came to the ideas for the ice-cream : first we did that, then that, ...

Later when you come up with the idea of the 'for whom it is/can be' it can be also added to your algorithm.

And as I remember in your dog advertisement there was the idea of the aim- why I write, it's also an important part of any type of writing to have it in the student's algorithm.

Thus we should develop a habit of the students
1. to record the steps you with them or they indpendently did
while performing the task
2. to keep adding to the algorithm
3. to develop a habit/raise awareness/build the context for using the algorithm when doing another task or improve the previous version of the task.
# Susan Granlund 2012-02-16 19:58
Thanks so much for this comment, Irina. I like the idea of considering who would like these particular ice-creams, and it would of course also have helped in making the context for buying and selling them more focussed.

Thanks also for explaining so clearly how I could develop the habit of making algorithms - I really haven't done this much at all. I'll try to start doing this with the next relevant task.
# Tuula Kytövuori 2013-10-05 15:15
Susan, I think this looks interesting.
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