Odd- One – Out


Private classes of English;

A group of 6 children aged 5-6;

Children attend the lessons once a week for 1h


1. Lesson / task description - before

Aim : to teach SS to see different features of objects

In terms of subject matter: repeat thick – thin, big – small, colours, long – short, wooden – plastic)

In terms of thinking: seeing different features of an object and ability to name a special feature of an object to make it odd

Materials I am going to use:

- prepared set of four cubes (1. Small red wooden cube with shapes 2. Small wooden cube 3. Big wooden cube with letters 4 Big light plastic with pictures)

- prepared set of three blocks (1. Long blue wooden block with shapes 2. Short wooden block 3. Long wooden block)

- prepared set of three plastic squares (1. Small thick red square 2. Big thin red square 3.Small thick yellow square)

Tasks I am going to use: Odd – One - Out

2. Lesson / task description

Procedures: First I told children to choose their sets of materials (one set for each child) than I told them that my Thinking Character wants to make friends with each of the items of their sets. But they have to prove that each of them is special. Look, how I am doing it (and I took the set of four cubes and played a dialogue between me and a Birdie, telling in mother tongue, why each of the items is special. Thinking character replied in the target language (normally – praised). So we demonstrated to children how to name features. Then I gave the children time to think (counted to 5) and my Birdie came to each of them, greeted  and asked in the target language: Hello, Let’s be friends! Why are you special?

Learners’ response and outputs: As I showed the children what they were going to do, they found the features quite easy.  They named the special features in mother tongue and the activity as was done.

Teacher’s role: The Birdie praised for the correct division and gave time to think and made a strange noise when the division was not correct.

3. Overall reflection on the lesson / task

Aim aspect: This time I demonstrated the children what they were expected to do and what to put their attention at. However I see one fault: I should have added a new feature to their sets, the one, that the me and a Thinking Character hadn’t demonstrated. Only when randomly this special feature appeared to be in a girl’s set, I guessed about it. This should have added Thinking into this task. Not only copying.  

Tasks & materials aspect. Start: preparation for the activity It was good that I prepared sets of materials, but I should have hidden thinking in them. A context was there – their items should say why they were special to make friends with a Birdie and to be praised. Build: The Birdie praised in the target language and gave time to think when the division was wrong. The Birdie or I asked for help when someone was stuck. Summarize: I asked the children, did they like the activity, what did we do, how did we divide the blocks?

Questions / conclusions for the future: To hide thinking into the prepared activity, to think one step further when planning the activity, to make more sophisticated context with one step further. (To create a fairy tale with a hero journey adventures (when S/he has to overcome difficulties in order to find the treasure, to save the princess).  One book came in mind – “A hero with a thousand faces”


# Alexander Sokol 2013-09-30 14:12
Diana, I think it'd be easier for us to visualise your class if you included at least several exchanges between the Birdie and your students. A typical mistake a child could make is to give any characteristics of his/her object, not necessarily the one that makes it different from all the other characters. It could also be useful if you had several pictures of the things you prepared for learners and uploaded them under Materials, including the link from your reflection.

I agree with you that it's important that your demonstration doesn't turn into a presentation the learners are expected to copy, otherwise the task stops being challenging for learners. Let me also draw your attention to the fact that Step 2 (Build) is not only about helping learners when they are stuck but also getting them to understand why they should act this or that way, so that they are able to do it next time when facing a similar task.
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