Finnish grammar class: revision of sentences and clauses.
AIMS:  CONTENT: To revise sentences and clauses, making sure that pupils can define the words, understand the concepts and are able to use them. There is no completely new information
THINKING: Introducing the multi-screen model to help them to gain an overall picture of the sentence, to reoganise the information they already have and to see how it all fits together.


TASK: To write clear rules and information on a sheet of paper in such a way that a computer could choose the correct path from the given rules and examples in order to do a particular exercise.

MATERIALS: Their Finnish coursebooks, which have this grammar information spread throught several chapters disjointedly, with a great deal of writing and lots of explanations, their notebooks and a sheet on which to write their final instructions.

LESSON: I elicited from them the terms they remembered connected with a sentence and we came up with the following:-

We then looked at the idea of a model with the main concept first, gradually breaking down into smaller parts, and we discussed which of the above concepts would come first. In this way we gradually built up the model together. They found this easy, as it was revision, and many of them remembered quite a lot. However, they were all very interested. We used a colour code to denote the different levels.

They then had to, in pairs or groups, think up /find from their books clear definitions and examples for each of the concepts and add them to the model / diagram in such a way that the computer would be able to follow it.

We then returned to the model we’d done together and they made suggestions and we decided as a class which would be the best definitions/ examples to use. You can see our final ‘model’ in the materials section. (Note: in Finnish we use the word ‘virke’ to denote a complete sentence of any kind, so it is the overall concept. The next concept is ‘lause’, which is usually translated by ‘sentence’ in English, but is also a clause. I hope that doesn’t make the chart too confusing. At least it was clear to the pupils!)

After writing out the model onto their computer/robot sheets, they had exercises to do for which they could use the model, if needed. After the exercises, which they did well, I asked if the tool had helped and all said yes, and all put their hands up when I aksed who now understood the concepts better.
My question: Is this really using the multi-screen model? Have you any other suggestions?


# Alexander Sokol 2011-04-05 08:55
Thanks, Anni. Let me try (it's always difficult with a language you don't know :).

If I got you right, you wanted the pupils see the vertical axis of the multi-screen model as a tool for helping organise information. If so, we can speak about two aspects: a) the use of the multi-screen model for helping the pupils organise info on a particular topic and b) the multi-screen model as a tool for thinking.

I'll start with a. What I miss in the material you share in the Materials section is connections. Visual things are important, so it'd be nice to see what is the system, what its sub-systems are and a part of which super-systems it is. The next thing is also very important. The multi-screen model can't be built unless we define the function of the system. So, whatever we put in the middle, we should define the function / purpose. Then we can check if super-systems and sub-systems are defined well. I think this should work well with sentences. Morever, it should also logically bring the pupils to understanding why there are different types of sentence (affirmative, exclamatory, etc - as this depends on the super-system).

The second aspect, as I wrote, is making a step towards seeing the multi-screen model as a general tool. This takes time, of course. A step in that directtion could be dealing with the meta level separately, eg asking the pupils directly what we did to perform the task and introduce the model. We can then offer them a task where the use of the model could be helpful and see if they do it. Or, to make it easier, give specific tasks related to the model. An example of the former would be inviting them to organise knowledge on another language (grammar?) topic you want to them to revise. An example of the latter would be to build the vertical axis of some system they like (eg a particular computer game, an ice-hockey club, etc.) Or the same task with the language / grammar topic if you find it more relevant (eg a word)
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