I admit it. I'm fascinated by the prospect of the new KS3 curriculum and the opportunities which it presents us teachers with. I've been very fortunate over the last 3 years that I've been able to indulge my desires for creativity, but now the doors are open for EVEN more! And although I do, obviously, believe that ICT is one way to enhance both motivation and learning, there's nothing like letting pupils getting their hands dirty with something... real. Vincent Everett's recently been explaining on MFL resources how his Year 7s get stuck in to making a stamper trail for a nearby tourist farm. And that got me thinking... what other great ideas are out there...
So I thought I'd share a few of my ideas with you, and hopefully we can gather together a collection of ideas.
1) My own monopoly
A very simple concept buidling on providing a target for pupils to build knowledge towards. Basically, the pupils will be in charge of developing a Spanish version of monopoly using the basic template provided in the kit(available on the highstreet, amazon etc). So each colour can be broken down into major cities from each autonomia, providing excellent geographical knowledge. You can then break the class down into autonomias in order to research their cities, aware of just how bad some of them can be at workign togethter which they could even do a presentation on (in TL if provided with provided with appropriate vocab for size, location, population [using larger numbers] etc) and they then have to produce printable stickers using publisher and images of the cities. The stations gave me an opportunity when I trialled it with a Spanish club last year to investigate some festivals- always a great thing to spark an interest in the subject.
When the board itself is made pupils then use a bank of vocab to create the chance and community cards. However, of course, we then need to teach some key phrases to play the game in TL, providing the pupils with the chance to suggest useful general phrases which they might need. The year 7s that I did this with last year came up with all sorts of interesting phrases, such as "Stop cheating, or I'll get angry" and "Less chat, more play". Crucially from my perspective, they were using a number of them around the school as a whole- BINGO! And once that interest is piqued, there's then the option of investigating some of these points and exploiting their grammatical structures, all anchored in real usage.
2) Writing and performing their own fairytales
Having been a year 7 form tutor this year, I'm very aware of how bad many year 7s are at working together- a skill which I see as being really important in my classroom where I often have pupils working on challenges together. As such, an idea which I'm looking forward to trying out this year, possibly from half term onwards in the first term, is to get the pupils to work in groups and design their own fairytale.
So, the stages which will be necessary...
- Show the pupils an example of a TL fairytale- such as those available from the Northumberland GfL or el cuentacuentos. From this we can brainstorm about the differences between the Spanish version and the English which they are accustomed to, and then asking why there might be these differences. As I've noticed when using bilingual fairytales with my Kindergarten and Reception classes, pupils pick up huge amounts of knowledge through their existing knowledge coupled with images and the teacher's mimes. I find that using repetition of key phrases really focuses their minds on this.
- Divide the class into groups and think of ideas for what elements are traditionally included in a fairytale- both in terms of phrases and vocab. This will probably include things like rooms in a house, different elements of nature (trees, woodland, paths etc), basic foods (apples, porridge, soup). The fact that they're working as a group, but without the teacher support which so may pupils arrive at secondary school being used to. These ideas can then form the basis of the teaching for the next sequence of lessons.
- In their groups, pupils being to devise their own story and begin to storyboard their ideas- finding out what they can and can't express so far. The parts of the stroyboard will later develop into the slides for a Powerpoint. Feedback of further needs to be responded to in the next lesson
- Pupils are provided with key fairytale phrases e.g. once upon a time, there was a man etc. They are encouraged to use key phrases from the fairytales which they have already looked at, and with which they can be provided copies of.
- Pupils can perform their fairytales for the rest of the class / in an assembly.
So there we go, some basic ideas from me. I'd like to thank Lynne Horn for sparking an interest in fairytales (and many other things beside- thank you!).
PLease please leave a comment and we'll see what else turns up- the more ideas, the more we can all start structuring and sharing ready for a successful, dynamic transition for our ever more varied year 7s! Or even simply to use with other year groups...