April 4, 2013

Aim - find features in the definition of an independent person and learn the basic principles of a task of excluding of all words in a line.

Materials - The text "A kiss is not enough" from Anna Frank's Diary and TA tasks from http://www.thinking-approach.org/

The activities in the lesson of Form 12 (20 students)

The first five minutes students read the short text and had to think about the questions in Task 1.1. Then the students admitted that the text was easy to understand and their answers to the Task 1.1 were as expected - the statement "She is starting very soon" could be said by parents, relatives, teachers, friends or classmates and it could be addressed to a girl who has fairly early started sexual relationship.

The question was not discussed any more but students were divided into pairs and they had to make a definition of an independent person. As there were 10 pairs, after 5 minutes I asked the students to join into groups of four so that in the end we have only 5 definitions where to look for the features which are important. Students worked with interest, however, during the discussion they used Latvian, too.

After five minutes the groups had combined their two definitions into one and a representative of each group read the new definition. I wrote the essence of each definition on the blackboard encouraging students to give me just a short definition where the main feature is clear. The first group said that an independent person is a person who can provide himself with all the necessary things in everyday life. The second group stressed the responsibility for the person's behaviour, the third group supposed that an independent person can make all his decisions himself and also stress the responsibility of ll the activities taken, the forth group implied that an independent person accepts himself/herself and live in harmony with the world. The last group named numerous factors in their definition - living away from the parents, earning living and be able to take decisions of his/her own.

  So, the main features of the each definition I wrote on the blackboard but I'm not sure about the result - was it a real TA or not. At least students were thinking hard and their answers differ to give a few features. Should there be a follow up task?

The second part of the lesson was devoted to introducing exlusion task. I took into account that some of the students had done the common tasks of exclusion from course books but now, before TA task 2.1. I gave an example to do together - I wrote on the blackboard DOG   ELEPHANT CAR  LEMON and students had to exclude each word. The first answer was surprisingly good - Helena said that car can be excluded because that is not a part of nature like other words. With a little help from my side we excluded all words.

The next task was Task 2.1. to exclude each word from the line CUDDLE  HUG  NECK  EMBRACE It took some 5-7 minutes of thinking in pairs or groups (that depended on students' choice) and then the students started to give their answers. Some of them were really smart - they tried to find some emotional or physical colours of the given words, some of the girls tried to use grammar or lexical means to exclude the words. But some answers showed that the students haven't understood the main priciples of this task and we have to return to it.

I had planned to do also Task 3.1 or 3.2. (students' choice) but the time was up. In the last minute I introduced to students the main facts of Anna Frank's biography and their were really touched. That completely changed their point of view about the text and they went away thinking about that. I am sure this kind of emotional thinking is as crucial as logical thinking.

Well, in the conlussion I can say that I am learning myself therefore I don't trust yet to make exercises myself but I will definitely use more materials from TA site for different texts. As to myself, I feel that for now I more use TA principles as inspiration for doing things different but maybe with time my skills will grow and I will become a real TA teacher :-)

P.S. I have a very good possibility to try out TA in a very peaceful atmosphere with students from Form 12 because they have passed the exam already and they are coming to the English lessons with very positive feelings. That's the best point to start something new for them and me, too.








# Diana Bolgare 2013-04-06 13:47
Hello, though I was present at the lesson and was meant to write a separate article, I decided to write a comment, because the structural and technological side of the lesson is nicely and precisely described by Ruta. It is possible to visualise the going of the lesson and see the students' answers. Moreover the Teacher strictly followed the framework of the tasks, as described on site.
Here I'd like to comment on finding the features. Was it a real TA task ot not. I think it was a first step to a TA task: SS in groups found features of personal independence. Next step could be to apply this features to situations (personal or in the given text. SS could discuss were Anne or Peter independent or not, are they, SS themselves, independent. If yes, why, if not - why not and how could they become independent).
I think the main tonality of the lesson was a mild invitation to thinking.
SS were invited to think. The teacher was really glad, when one of the SS managed to find the feature (of a car, that it doesn't belong to a natural world), but the T. was also very helpful and wasn't frustrated when the SS failed to produce the correct features.
Here I would like to mention a friendly atmoshpere, a cosy and easy going of the lesson, and a special emotional link between the T and SS.
I also noticed a perfect time management, group work organisation and an effective dynamics (no stress, mild pace and rhythm) of the lesson.
At the end, when the T introduced the facts of Anne's Frank life, I saw that the SS were touched. Frankly, at the beginning of the lesson, I was surprised that the T said nothing about her, simply gave the text, The real meaning came to me at the end. This emotional transformation really took place and I am sure, that some SS went away thinking.
So what is more important - to make them think with their brain or with their hearts?
Joomla SEF URLs by Artio