Planning Beyond The Lesson
The lesson that I am going to plan beyond , is my first assessed lesson. This was a systems lesson which includes lexis.The topic of the lesson is “The Body Parts” and the objectives of the lesson are to make my students be able to talk about the body parts, to write the name of the body parts, ask and answer questions and make sentences about the topic.
The lesson included a song about the topic as a warm up session and I wanted students to do the actions of the song as a TPR activity to totally involve the students in the activity. After that, I presented the target vocabulary with a model. I wanted students to stick the word cards on the relevant parts of the body. They enjoyed the lesson and completed the activity eagerly. As a production part, they did a handout. The aim of this activity is to reinforce their knowledge with a writing task. In the game session, to reinforce what they have learned,I have prepared an empty mask and lots of colourful face and body parts pictures. One of the students wore the mask and the others came to the board one by one and sticked the face and body parts onto the mask and onto the student’s (who wore the mask) body. After sticking them, they made sentences like : “ she has 4 eyes” , “she has 6 arms”, etc. At the end of this activity , I finished my lesson.
If we evaluate the success , some of the objectives are succeeded: they can label the body parts and they can answer the questions and make sentences. But they need to practice the target vocabulary more. Although they did a handout about the topic, they still have some problems in writing and pronouncing the target vocabulary. I can set lots of games including the target language which enables students to speak more and make use of the words in the language class for increasing their success in pronunciation of the new vocabularies.
As a result , I varied the activities according to my students’ needs and I set up three different follow-up lessons.
LESSON 1: Warm – up : Box Game : Teacher brings a box with lots of body parts word cards in it. Ss choose one card and spells that word.
Presentation & Production : Simon Says : (The teacher says a body part and the students touch that part and tell it loudly, after the teacher students take turns for being the leader.)
The “Simon Says” game is good to remind the subject to students and clear their understanding. This game supports listening skill and it is used as a TPR activity. In this game, students will complete the half of gaining competence in pronunciation of the newly learnt vocabulary the other half will be completed when they pronounce the words correctly.The more they are exposed to the right pronunciation, the more they gain familiarity with the sounds.
Lesson 2 : Warm-up: Song (Students listen to a song about body parts. Before listening it, teacher gives students the flashcards of the (body parts) words of the song. When they hear their word, they stand up, put up their card and dance. )
Presentation& Production : Action Race (The Ss stand in a row in two groups, teacher says an action sentence, students run around the class doing that action, when they come back to their row they make a sentence with that word For example; Teacher says : “touch your friends’ nose” then he/she runs inside the class and tries to touch everyone’s nose)
In lesson two, I wanted to start my lesson with a song. Since they are young learners, my students like to sing and listen to a song. I decided to do this, because I wanted to start my lesson in the way they like and interested in. This will take their attention.
In the presentation and production part of the lesson, they played “action race” . This is a game in which the students stand in a row in two groups, teacher says an action sentence, students turn around the class doing that action, when they come back to their row they make a sentence with that word.
Lesson 3: Warm-up : Jumbled Letters (Teacher hangs huge letter cards on the board, and puts bodyparts flashcards in a basket. Teacher asks students to pick one flashcard from the box , tell it and write it on the board by putting the letters in the correct order.)
Presentation & Production : A self evaluation handout. ( Ss will do a handout by themselves, without any help.)
In the third follow-up lesson, teacher starts with a jumbled letters game. Teacher sticks the huge letter cards on the board, the whole alphabet in the mixed order. Then she shows her big basket full of action flashcards. Students come to the board one by one, pick one flashcard from the basket, tell the action word and try to write the word by choosing the correct letters and putting them in the correct order. In the presentation and production stages, students do handout by themselves. Throughout this activity teacher just monitors the students.After they finish, they check and discuss their answers in groups with teacher help.
I served for an important reality by putting my lessons in this order. I should use the “Simon says” game and he box game in the first lesson , because they are preparatory exercises for the target language. Students just do what the teacher says. Here, the teacher is more active than the students, they don’t use the language, they just hear get familiar to the sounds of the newly learned words.
I put the song and the “action race” in the second lesson; this is the stage when students are active. They are simple activities but let students use it, at least say it. The activities of lesson one and lesson two are just for clarifying their comprehension and to expose them to the correct pronunciation as they have some problems with pronunciation. The students (especially young learners) have a short memory, they can easily remember the information when they actively use it and speak or write. That’s why, the “action race” is an excellent game to improve their pronunciation. They will reveal their understanding and make it clear by using it actively and implementing it in their own utterances.
We can see the importance of the exposure from these lines of Michael GABRIKOW “Language exposure isn’t just a means to test yourself.It’s also an incredible exercise for your pronunciation and vocabulary” and “Being surrounding by nothing other than that language, forcing you to handle yourself using it is an intense exercise that will prove enormously helpful”.(3Oth August, 2007)
I use the jumbled letters game and the self evaluation handout as the parts of the third lesson. Because in the first lesson, students hear the target language, in the second lesson , they use it and in the third lesson , they write it.I divided the main skills into lessons so as to enable enough reinforcement and practice. Since they have some problems in writing the target vocabulary, teacher should give them a writing task like a self evaluation handout for further practice, that serves students’ needs and also they find the opportunity to evaluate themselves.
I would like to give a detailed explanation for the “action game” and explain you how would I set it up in my language class.
This is a game that children absolutely love because they will move around the classroom, do the actions like running and touching. This can be played as groups or as individual. Teacher calls one student in front of the classroom and tells him/her a word (a body part) and plays music.The student starts to run and touch each of his/her friend’s body part that teacher told before, one by one.H/she has to stop running and touching when the music stops.As a second part of the game, h/she has to make a sentence (like: “she has two eyes”.) when the music stops. Additionally, the number of the students that the player touch their told body parts is very important, too.The player who touches (the told body part) more, will be the winner. (For example, teacher says: “touch you friends’ eyes.He or she runs and touches everyone’s eyes till the music stops.Then the player make a sentence: “He has two eyes.”
This activity involves students in the target language actively in an enjoyable manner. They both have fun and practice the language. Students’ understanding should be supported in various ways. First of all, they should be familiarised wih the target language and they should be exposed to language itself as exposure has a big role in learning a language.Afterwards, they should produce the new language as it is one of the best ways to practice what they have been presented,is to participate actively or kinestheticaly and to produce the new language. Via an activity like this, both you and your students have fun and you achieve your objectives.
We have to bear everything in mind such as students’ concentration span. They cannot keep their concentration long. At this point, we should step in, as teachers. We have to prepare enjoyable activities and we have to keep each activity short. The presentation of the language should interest the students as Patsy M. Lightbown and Nina Spada stated in their book (How Languages are Learned) “If we can make our classrooms places where students enjoy coming because the content is interesting and relevant to their age and level of availability, where the learning goals are challenging yet manageable and clear, and where the atmosphere is supportive and non-threatening, we can make a positive contribution to students’ motivation to learn.”(1993:57)
In this activity, I see two different problems that my students can face while implementing this activity.
1.Noise level can increase: Students like to move around the classroom, since they are very energetic they cannot sit continuously during the lesson. We, as teachers, know this important point and prepare our lessons accordingly. But since they love to be active in the lesson, they always tend to be very noisy when they have fun. We should take precautions for this. In this activity, I would use happy and sad face pictures and give letters which I generally use in my lessons. I would draw a happy face and a sad face on the board and I would write the names of the students who participates well and stays quietly, under the happy face and who talks and makes too much noise under the sad face. At the end of the lesson, I would give letters to the students who are under the happy face. My students know what a happy/sad face and letters mean, if not teachers should explain the aim of that procedure at the beginning of the lesson. They put their letters in the box in order for me to choose the best student of the week and to give the homepack at the weekend. They love to take the homepack to their house because if they deserve it, they know that they are the best of the week. This is a good way to decrease the noise level and it also creates or supports the motivation as it is stated in an article of Parent Institute “when the rewards stop, sometimes the good behaviour stops, too. That’s especially important to remember when it comes to studying”.
2. There can be health problems: Students won’t be carefull while they are running and touching their friends’ body parts, since they are too excited to think about this point. In order to avert this problem, we can give little pictures of body parts to each student and the player can collect those pictures.(Just the body part which teacher says before the game)
1. Instıtute,Parent. (1993) The journal from internet web site: http://www.schoolfamily.com/school-family-articles/article/6296-teach-your-child-how-to-develop-inner-motivation. “Teach you child how to develop inner motivation”
2. Gabrikow, Michael. (30th August, 2007) The journal from internet web site: http://www.articlebase.com/education-articles/advanced-language-learning-language-exposure-multiple-sources-keeping-your-language-alive-206547.html Advanced Language Learning-Language Exposure,Multiple Sources,Keeping,Your Language Alive
3. Lightbown, Patsy M. , Spada, Nina. “How Languages Are Learned” Second Edition (1993)
POST LESSON EVALUATION
As an ICELT student, I had my first assessed lesson observation on the 18th December, 2008. I started my lesson with a song related to the subject : “head&shoulders&knees&toes ”. I asked my students to do the actions of the song while listening. This was the warm – up session of the lesson. By the help of this song, students became familiar to the target language.
As the presentation of the target language, I used a model of a child. Firstly, I introduced the model and showed the body parts word cards.Secondly, I wanted them to choose and stick one word card on the relevant part of the model. They came to the board one by one and did the activity. It wasn’t so difficult for them because they have the background knowledge about the subject from the previous year. Since they revise the target vocabulary by listening to the song, they refreshed their knowledge. This is a TPR activity in which students joined the lesson eagerly. My third activity was fullfilling a handout.The aim of this activity is to reinforce their knowledge with a writing task. I think using writing skill after presentation of the language, is an effective way to practise the newly learned language, especially vocabulary. My students already know the subject but they have some problems with writing the vocabulary. When they were in first grade, they studied these vocabulary just orally, that’s why, I had to reinforce it with a writing activity. I gave them jut a few minutes to think about the answers and then we did it alltogether on the board. They told the answers one by one and I wrote them on the board. I did this checking activity since I wanted them to see the correct written forms of the words and check their answers.
After implementing this activity, I did the last activity of the lesson. This was the game session to reinforce what they have learned.I have prepared an empty mask and lots of colourfull face&body parts pictures. One of the students wore the mask and the others came to the board one by one and sticked the face& body parts onto the mask and onto the student’s (who wore mask) body. After sticking them, they made sentences like : “ she has 4 eyes” , “she has 6 arms”. At the end of this activity , I finished my lesson.
All the parts of the lesson was implemented just as I arranged before,according to my time schedule.
STRENGTHS: Starting a lesson with a song is a good way to take student’s interest to the lesson,because generally if the lesson doesn’t start in an interesting way they cannot concentrate on the focus.As everbody knows, some of the best materials to introduce or present a lesson are real materials.That’s why, I always try to choose real materials.In this lesson, I used a child model for presenting the body parts.Also, this was a TPR activity, they are totally involved in the target language which was my main aim.The third activity is an another TPR activity.Thus, the mask game too, helped me to achieve my objectives.I managed to finish all of the activities properly as same as on my time schedule.
IMPROVEMENTS: In comparison to my previous experiences, there was a great progress in my classroom management.I used Happy face/ Sad face application.I draw a happy face and a sad face, then I write the names of the students who participated well under the happy face, I wrote the names of the students who lost concentration and started to talk, under the sad face.It really worked.Seeing their names under these pictures , was a great motivation for them.
During the lesson, I used a variety of correction; I used both teacher correction and peer correction. Both of them really worked.They realised their own or their friends’ mistakes, and corrected them spontaneously .This shows me that I achieved my objectives.
WEAKNESSES: Even though I did similar activities lots of times, I sometimes forget to apply some details that I already know.I started my lesson with a song to take my students’ interest to the subject and to make them familiarised with the target language. I make my students do the actions of the song But I could tell them to stand up before listening the song, In this way they could move easily. As I mentioned before, I used a handout to reinforce my students’ knowledge and I wrote the answers on the board to give chance to check their answers. I could give them a second opportunity such writing their own answers on the board.I was worrying about not finishing the lesson on the schedule, that’s why I didn’t let them to write on the board. (This activity always lasts long.) Another area which needs to be improved is pronunciation part of the lesson. I just checked their pronunciation orally just a few times, one of them occured spontaneously.My students couldn’t read the word “knee” , and I reminded them how to read it.I could have done a small pronunciation activity.In the game session of the lesson, the noise level increased.Students liked the lesson so much and they were very excited, they couldn’t help being quiet. That’s why, the rest of the class couldn’t heard the sentences of the game.
To sum up, there are both strenghts and weaknesses. But to think optimistic, I learn excellence from my mistakes. I did a nice and energetic lesson which my students liked so much and participated eagerly without any hesitation.This was my aim that I want to achieve.