After discussion... further development of ideas...
Lesson: Mother Tongue (Chinese)
Description of learning activity:
- Students are divided into groups of 4. Each group is assigned to read an article from online Zaobao.
- Students read on their own the article assigned to the group. While reading on their own, they could make use of 一声通to listen to words that they do not know how to pronounce and to use 金山词霸to find out the meaning of idioms they do not understand. This individual activity allows students to learn new words and vocabulary at their own pace. It also gives them time to understand the article and prepare for a meaningful discussion within their own group later. [Leveraging on 1:1 computing for personalised and self-directed learning within a bigger activity]
- In their own group, they brainstorm on the key points of the piece of news and discuss how to go about reporting the news. They will search for relevant and appropriate pictures and video clips to be added to the presentation.
- Using Newscaster, students put the script and various media together to create a newspaper report.
- Each group will take turn to present their report. Facilitated by the teacher, the remaining groups (i.e. the audience) post questions to clarify areas of doubts in the production. In an event that the report deals with some controversial issues, the audience could further debate on the topic (stretching beyond the current activity).
[Leveraging on small class size - richness of discussion and focus of the topic]
- Having fewer students implies there are fewer groups  and therefore each group can deal with a different topic. Since there are fewer groups, there is an opportunity for all students present and more time could be allocated for discussions arising from the topic (e.g. the reporters having to defend what they reported while audience questioned the authencity of the report). This adds richness to the whole activity. With fewer number of groups, the teacher could give more attention - to provide feedback and guide each group more closely was they prepare their report presentation.
- ... while in standard 40-student classroom, there is high likelihood of repeated topics and in the usual practice, only selected groups identified to present and there is limited time available to engage students in further discussions.
Points to ponder...
- What are students assess on? (criteria? content? skills?)
- How to assess students' understanding? (what format? feedback? marking of end product?)