Grade 6 students have been learning about health conditions and I decided to change things up with this Grade this week and focus on writing. As a class, we watched a Mr. Bean cartoon (here) and I made screenshots of the video to make a comic strip. The students were given their assignment with the following criteria:
– Have at least 4 panels to create your story
– Use English!
– Use some/all of the key expressions: “What’s the matter?” “You look sick.” “I have a …” and “You should…”
The comic strip did not have to be just about a health condition – it just needed to have some of the key expressions somewhere in the comic strip. And for the most part, the students were very enthusiastic and focused on making the comic. There’s also the students who take a little more generic route and only use the key expressions but at least they’re using the key expressions and clearly they understand the context in which the language is used in.
I’m looking forward to seeing how these comic strips turn out – they were given as homework. Students have a week before they come back to see me, so that should be more than enough sufficient time. I’ll share some of their work once they’re submitted – I have some amazingly talented and creative kids.
For Chapter 3 with the Grade 4s, we have been learning about family members and for this week’s lesson, we put together our family trees. I found the Family Tree and apple templates online and if I managed to perfect my cherry blossom, I’d have changed the apples. But keeping the apples in are a good way to bring that little bit of culture into the class. Why is it that the family trees we do in Canada and US usually on apple trees?
Anyways, the students seemed to enjoy it. Even if we had to stress and repeat many times that students had to write in a little introduction for each apple – they were very focused on colouring and perfecting their family members, including their pets.
My family tree I made for the students as a model. They were really curious as to why I only included my grandmothers and seemed shocked to find out that I never knew my grandfathers who both passed away before I was born.
Blue apples, why not?
Writing the introductions…
This is a very cute family.
I thought the grandfather in particular was adorable in this…
… But I want to know why the mother looks so adorably angry.
Me: “Why is your apple down here?”
Student: “I fall down.”
I don’t think he realizes the implications of the fallen apple but I thought he was adorably peculiar and that it was worthy of a photo.
My need to organize is spreading into the classroom. At the beginning of the term, I spent a lot of time cleaning up the English classroom because things were a mess and there was a lot of dust gathered. In one drawer, I put in all the odd pencils, pens, highlighters, markers, and the like. I was way too tired to even think about organizing it. Until today when I decided it was time to organize it and see what many students of the past has decided to leave behind in English class. At the end, I quickly searched up how to make paper boxes to categorize and divide them up. I feel a lot better looking into the drawer now. And since some of my students come unprepared into my classroom, I am now ready. Pencil, anyone?
After starting my week with six classes of rambunctious Grade 4 students who only get more enthusiastic and loud when they play board games, I was ready for a little more quiet and productive lessons with my Grade 5 students. This week, they have been learning about directions and I decided to make a neighbourhood map-making activity. The students had to draw, colour, and label their maps of the school neighbourhood and include some of their favourite locations. They would then write out directions on the back of the maps, using the key expressions they have learned.
I loved how hard at work they got once they started as they started mapping out their homes and the surrounding areas. I have no problem with loud, rambunctious and enthusiastic classes – but there’s also nothing wrong with quiet, focused, and artsy activities, as long as the students get something out of it and are productive in class.
Okay, so we got slightly distracted once they noticed my camera. Otherwise, they were absolute angels hard at work.
Other notable classroom moments:
~ I played an activity with the Grade 6 students that I called “Guess Who?” but they started to say ~kasu (singer in Korean, I believe?) So, I wrote the words on the whiteboard… and then a student goes, “AHHHHH, GUESSSSSSSS!” and he pulls at his tshirt, that’s from Guess. The entire class cracked up – as did I… it seemed funnier in the moment.
~ Last week, I put together a “Whose photo is it?” PowerPoint activity for my Grade 5 students. Each photo would be covered up and revealed in parts, as the students tried to guess whose photo is was. I had Hyorin (SISTAR) as one of the photos. And in every single class, the students would go “Carmen teacher! Carmen teacher’s photo!” for the first two slides.
Thanks, kids. I’m flattered. ^^
I have found that that Grade 6 students here seem more shy in general than the students I taught back in Toronto. Even so, I do have one class that is more confident and willing to participate in optional activities like a talent show I suggested. Even though one act dropped out at the last minute, I still had a few of my students put on a talent show for their classmates. It completely made my week at work.
A little Taekwondo demonstration from the class leader.
The girls dancing to Infinite’s “Nothing’s Over.”