(Take into account that our tasks have been designed to complement teh ones offered by the book, so teh timing may vary according to the studnets needs in each lesson)
1. WARM-UP: Guess the country!
In order to develop this activity, students will be divided in groups of five, and they will have to cooperate in order to gather all the information they need to win!
Before the game starts...
The teacher will hang posters on a wall in the corridor, outside the classroom. Each poster will deal with one country. Each will contain pictures which portray both the famous character who lives in it and funny or peculiar facts about that country. Moreover, eah poster will include the instructions of the activity itself
During the game...
Three members of the group will have to go outside the classroom and check the posters the teacher will have hanged onto the walls. They will have to remember what they have seen and then come back into the classroom and tell their peers. They will have 5 / 10 minutes, depending on the complexity of the facts. After that, all the group will have to reconstruct the facts and read them out loud. The group who understands and gathers more facts, will win!
This activity is great because...
Students with ADHD are assigned a role which consists of dealing with a very visual kind of material, rather tan a long text about facts of a given country, so they will be more motivated. Moreover, they will be able to access the instructions of the activity, so they can keep focused.
Gifted students will feel integrated and motivated as well. They will be able to connect the ideas more easily as well as to contribute with their own previous knowledge about the matter, more even look up more information about the country they are interested in.
It implies movement and therefore kinesthetic learners can benefit from it.
It deals with visual material and thus visual learners will find it easier to learn
It is necessary to cooperate in order to win, and therefore we are fostering cooperative learning and teaching.
It deals with the interpersonal intelligence as well, since students will have to reach agreements and understand each other in order to reach their goal.
For instance, in a poster about Tasmania we will have images such as:
2. Vocabulary (10-15 minutes)
The vocabulary section of this unit will be practiced using the poster that the students have been working on in the warm-up. The teacher will give each group a series of flashcards containing each an adjective of opinion. Then, they have to match each item with the character of the poster that bets represents that feelings, according to them. The idea is that they work in groups, helping each other while discussing the meaning of the new words (if none of them knows the meaning, they can look it up in the dictionary).
The fact of using again the poster will be beneficial for students with ADHD. As we are using the vocabulary items of the book, maybe some of the older students remember them from the previous year, so they can participate in the activity by helping their peers to guess the right meaning and the picture which bets matches each definition. In turn, for this activity gifted students will switch groups, so they will be working on a poster of a different culture, a fact that may arise their curiosity and their interest in the lesson.
3. Grammar task:
Make sentences with the comparative “(not) as…as” and the superlative using the given cards with the adjectives.
REMEMBER: You should be as creative as possible.
With this activity, the typical fill-in-the-gaps or the matching exercises will be avoided because students are bored of them and they usually do them systematically without thinking of the process. So, students will be divided into groups in order to build sentences using the comparative and superlative basing them on the cards that the teacher will give them. In these cards they will have the main adjectives that they should include in their sentences. One member per group will do the mimics and the others will have to guess the adjective and write down a whole sentence. Each of them has to make up the rest of the sentence so that it will be as creative as possible and, of course, without any grammar mistake. Then, this process is repeated as many times as members in the group. Students can add some more adjectives. The most creative sentences will be the winners.
This activity will help to many types of learners. For example, kinaesthetic learners would be benefited from the movements that the mimics imply. Furthermore, visual learners will associate these kinds of movements to the comparatives and superlatives. The ADHD students will feel that they can express themselves in the same way as the rest of the class and this time, they will not be sat down as usual. Moreover, they will be paying attention to the gestures because they want to give the most of them in order to win the game. The gifted students can reflect their abilities in the creativity of the sentence and the students who are retaking the course will be “distributed” in different groups so that they will not feel excluded. These students will have the obligation of working the same amount of time as the others due to the fact that this activity will be carried out in groups. Students normally enjoy with this kind of competitions and because of this, the whole class would be involved.
4. Listening task (10-15 minutes)
-Watch the video "Cultural Diversity Examples: Avoid Stereotypes while communicating", and then answer the following questions using your own words:
- What did the man really mean when he asked the woman "Where are you from" a second time?
- Why did he ask the question more slowly?
- Was the woman being sarcastic when she repeated the man's questions? Why would she do so?
The video about racial stereotypes will be played two times for the students to get the general meaning (they have to pay attention to the message, not to each individual word). The purpose of this activity is to arise intercultural awareness in the students, so they will learn to appreciate the richness of social diversity. If there is spare time, students can provide their own definition of stereotypes with examples from different countries (they are allowed to draw their ideas to better exemplify them).
By including a video, we aim to catch the attention of students with ADHD. As so, as it is a listening task completely different from the one proposed by the book, it might seem more appealing for the students retaking the year. In turn, students with high capacities can also benefit from the activity by reflecting on the damaging effect of stereotypes in their lives, and the best strategies to avoid them.
Being a more interactive activity, it has been designed to end the lesson in a more relaxed and cooperative atmosphere.
5. Speaking task (15-10 minutes)
The balloon debate (role-play). To begin with, each student is given a piece of paper with the name of a famous character from the countries studied in the lesson. Then, they are divided in groups of 5 and the teacher explains the situation:
Each group discusses around 10 minutes and then the final decision (which should have been agreed by the group) is presented to the rest of the class.
The purpose of this activity, besides practicing speaking, is for the students to learn to make responsible decisions as members of a social group. They are expected to be as creative as possible when defending the position of their character in the balloon, analyzing the question from different perspectives (social, economic, cultural, political or even religious). Thus, when analyzing the social relevance of the different characters, they will be fostering their critical thinking abilities.
During the activity, a series of visual stimuli will be projected in order to create the suitable atmosphere for drama purposes. Additionally, if the teacher presents the task in advance, students can bring customs or masks to class, so they will feel more identified with the character they have to defend. At the same time, students will be allowed to stand up and interact with the environment while performing their character. Thus, this activity has been designed to be engaging for ADHD learners. The teacher will also project the instructions and some sample sentences so they can better understand the purpose of the task.
On the other hand, students with high capacities will be given not so well-known characters, appealing thus to their curiosity to learn more, and also challenging their researching abilities. In turn, students retaking the year can take advantage of the activity to show to their peers their background knowledge on cultural icons (since they have already worked on the topic). Indeed, making an appropriate use of ICT technologies is one of the general objectives of Secondary Education.
-Choose one of the situations below to create a text of around 100-150, in which you include some of the grammatical and lexical content seen across the unit:
- What would have happened if Madonna and Albert Einstein had had a child? Would the world be a better place or not?
- Do you think life was much easier 100 years ago? Why? Why not?
- Compare two countries in terms of cultural richness (music, films, arts).
- In your opinion, if there was a universal competition of intelligence, who should win?
- Choose a topic on your own (ask the teacher for permission)
The purpose of this activity is to offer the students as many options for the writing task as possible, in an attempt to find a topic they like or may be interested in. We have tried to create a variety of situations (some of them quite unreal) so as to caught the attention of the whole class and encourage them to show all their innate potential and creativity with regards to written production. While explaining this homework task in class, some visual materials will be projected to benefit visual learners. In turn, by doing this writing they are expected to show how this unit has helped them notice the dangers of cultural stereotypes, fostering thus their role as autonomous researchers.
Jumbled reading (10-15 minutes).
Students will be given a reading text whose paragraphs are not in the correct order. In pairs, they will have to read each fragment and re-organise the information so they can understand the whole text. Then, they have to answer the following questions:
- How many countries are mentioned (directly or indirectly) in the text?
- Can you find any similarities/differences between the different explanations of the superstition?
- What legend/myth have you liked the most?
Why is Friday the 13th considered to be an unlucky day? Is it so in different countries?
This interactive task has been designed to activate students' minds. As the text deals with the same superstition present in different cultures, the idea is for them to develop both intercultural competence and critical thinking. Moreover, they are encouraged to talk about other weird superstitions they know which are very influential in different cultures.
Students retaking the year may be pleased of working on reading texts different form the ones proposed by the book, which they are tired of. In turn, the text will be adapted for students with high capacities, by omitting some keys words which they have to guess (such as the names of the countries or Gods). We want to awake their curiosity on the topic and assure active participation from the whole task. Last but not least, the fragments of the text will be hidden in the class, for the ADHD students to look for. By assigning them a specific role in the activity, we want to make sure they are able to focus all their attention in the task.
As a summary of all the lexical and grammatical contents covered in the unit, students will have to create their own flashcards, a sort of educative tools to share with younger students. The flashcards are completely up to their imagination: they can include photos, drawings, descriptions... whatever they need in order to explain, in a simple and understandable way, one of the topics they have just studied. The idea is to give a real purpose to their knowledge, while allowing them to develop their artistic nature in the language class.
This project also aims to bring together the different levels of the high school: by creating didactic material specially designing for younger learners, the students of 4th of ESO will take a greater responsibility on their learning progress. After all, we want all of them to be able to communicate useful meaning through the tools they manage.
Students will be assessed by using the interactive webpage “Kahoot” with their mobile phones. Throughout this platform, they have to answer to some questions about the grammar and vocabulary points of the unit. The funny thing is that all of them are answering at the same time, so it creates a bit of competitiveness among them.
This is an interactive way of assessing students so that the teacher can verify if the learning processes and objectives of this didactic unit have been accomplished. On the other hand, students would not be bored because they are accustomed to the ordinary exams. The way of evaluating will also take into account the effort that students have made and their individual needs (the ones with special needs too).