Didactic Unit about
To get in touch with the subject matter it is advisable to start activating the previous knowledge of the students with for instance a brainstorming activity about human and children’s rights and obligations.
Step 1. Once the students are engaged with the topic, they have to read the following presentation about “Children’s Rights” and do the questionnaire and the exercises proposed at the end.
Step 2. Afterwards, they will have to agree on what two of the children’s rights they’re going to make an advert promoting the chosen rights. The aim of this activity is to make a class group presentation –as a ppt. or a poster– about the Children’s Rights with all the adverts.
The students can choose whether they want to make the adverts by hand and then scann them or to make them with the computer using a drawing tool. They will have to post the two adverts to Slideshare and send them to the teacher’s email account.
Step 3. Finally, as homework, they will have to look for information about a country –of a proposed list– where the children’s rights are not observed and to make a mindmap, either with Mindmeister or FreeMind, summarizing the children’s rights breakdown of the chosen country. They will also have to present their mindmaps in front of their classmates and to explain the situation of the children’s rights on their chosen country.
Step 4. To conclude this didactic unit about “Children’s Rights”, the students will have to write a reflection about what they have learnt doing this unit.
As you can see, with this activity we are promoting ICT and communication competence –both written and oral– and at the same time we are doing an interdisciplinary CLIL activity that aims at developing the interpersonal, social and civic competence of our students.
What makes a course year memorable for students and teachers? Often it is a special project enthusiastically undertaken by teacher and students together, with surprises, challenges, and finally a hard-won bit of authentic knowledge they can call their own.
Special projects can take many forms. Probably, they draw their life from the genuine excitement and dedication teachers bring to the effort. So, the project must be something you as a teacher believe in and want to do.
Online projects are a relatively new type of special project made possible by internet technology. From the beginning ICT has provided a spot for teachers to locate, participate in, develop, and discuss online collaborations. Online projects can be found in many places (example of EFL online projects).
Why online projects? / What are the benefits to students?
The opportunity to deal with real material:
Online projects enlarge students’ opportunities to deal with real material by offering entree’s into research at many levels: background research, data collection, analysis, and presentation.
Students encounter realistic challenges in designing, setting up, and carrying out these pieces of work which are more significant than traditional classrooms.
It is intrinsically interesting and fun to communicate with students from distant schools and engage in common activities.
Students share thoughts and even pictures of themselves and their schools.
Online projects give students an opportunity to take charge, be active and creative in their own learning.
Because results will be communicated to other schools, students have an added incentive to be careful and rigorous.
Students of all ability levels can contribute and get recognition.
Improved Communication Skills:
Participating in an online project requires clear communication in order to achieve understanding among participating groups. So, students will practise their writing a lot and they will improve their communication skills.
Online projects not only develop the students linguistic competences, they also develop audiovisual and ICT competences.
By definition, online projects use computers and the Internet in some way. They give students a real reason to become familiar with the internet connection at their homes, schools or libraries and to range out from there to explore the wealth of information available to them. Technology becomes a tool not an end in itself, as it should be.
ePals is the global platform for learning online
ePals is a Global Community of collaborative learners, teachers, and academic experts in 200 countries and territories.
ePals provides Connections to students, classes, and school districts worldwide that are safe and secure.
ePals is the safe and protected solution for linking classes, schools, and school districts globally via ePals SchoolMail, ePals SchoolBlog, and Classroom Match.
In the classroom or from home, guide your students’ learning with a global, online perspective. ePals provides learning units, instructional resources, best practices and member-created projects all arranged by topic. ePals teachers help us have the best and most efficient resources available for you to use in your classroom. As well, ePals continuously works with groups of educators to develop collaborative projects that include the following key components:
- Interactive: Students research and share data with global peers
- Cross-curricular: Math, sciences, languages, technology, social and cultural studies
- Inclusive: Projects accommodate multiple learning styles and age range
Here you have a mindmap summarizing an ePal project about “Global_Warming“.
This ppt is an example for the students who will have to search for information about how Christmas is celebrated around the world. They will have to choose, at least, five countries -one of each continent- and then they will have to do a ppt explaining how Christmas is celebrated in this five countries.
Then, they will have to plan a multicultural Christmas party including the different traditions about the different countries. They can also include some of our traditions.
Afterwards, all the groups will have to present their ppts orally in front of the class.
Finally, they are going to vote the best multicultural Christmas party proposal and we will celebrate Christmas at class following the traditions proposed in the voted multicultural Christmas party.
CLIL – Content and Language
This video is not to be used in class with the students, but it is for the teachers to get to know the CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) methodology and to see an example of how this new approach to the English teaching really promotes and develops the communicative competenece of our students -which is the main aim of the new curriculum.
Besides, CLIL also promotes the interdisciplinarity and the inclusion of the basic competences -another new and important aspect of the new curriculum.
‘CLIL refers to situations where subjects, or parts of subjects, are taught through a foreign language with dual-focussed aims, namely the learning of content, and the simultaneous learning of a foreign language’. (Marsh, 1994)
This approach involves learning subjects such as history, geography or others, through an additional language. It can be very successful in enhancing the learning of languages and other subjects, and developing in the youngsters a positive ‘can do’ attitude towards themselves as language learners. (Marsh, 2000)
The following video is an example of a secondary high-school that is teaching English using the CLIL methodology since the 2000 year course. I did my theacher training there and I could realize that it really works.
As the new curriculum has moved in the direction of developing the communicative competence of our students rather than just focusing in the traditional gramar-centred approach, we have to change our traditional teaching methods and apply and promote new approaches as, for instance, CLIL-based lessons.
In my opinion, it can be a challenging experience both for the students and the teacher. Do you take the challenge?