Thursday, August 22, 2019

Writing activity: Writing via 5 senses (for intermediate level ESL learners)


Subject: English
Level: Intermediate (CEFR level: B1-B2)
SOLO taxonomy level: Multistructural  (Describe, list, combine)
Previous knowledge: Simple tenses & continuous tenses
Teaching materials: Mahjong papers, markers pens, dictionaries

Learning objectives:
1. List down a list of words related to the 5 senses.
3. Combine verbs related to the 5 senses and objects.
2. Produce a narrative in one paragraph by using the verbs of the 5 senses and the objects related to it.

Activities:

Pre-writing:
1. Introduce students to the 5 senses - touch, smell, sound, sight, taste

2. Relate the senses to verbs. Give one example and then ask students to give other examples for each sense. (Eg. sight - watch, see, observe, look)

3. For each verb given for the senses, ask students what objects they can relate with the particular verb. (Eg. sight - watch (movie), observe (people), etc.) 

4. Explain to students that they are going to list the 5 senses and the verbs related to it together with objects. 

5. Tell students that they are going to draw a table such as this one below. Draw on the whiteboard and model for the students as to how they should proceed with the activity. This is to be done in their individual notebook.


An issue during the implementation of this phase in my classroom:

As for 'touch', my students tend to use only 'touch' as the verb as they have limited vocabulary. During the presentation phase, teach them that the vocabulary of verbs for 'touch' is wide. Give multiple examples of verbs that are related to 'touch' and then proceed with asking them with a few verbs that are related that they can come up with on their own. Refer to the dictionary if they have to. 

6. Divide students into groups in order for them to engage in discussions. Assign each group different situations for them to describe using the 5 senses (eg. concert, festival celebration, wedding, at the beach). Tell them that they only have 20 minutes to complete the task.

7. After they are done, instruct the representative of the group to write what they've discussed on the whiteboard. Check their work with the whole class. Below are pictures of my students' work on the whiteboard:



During writing:
1. Briefly refresh the rules of simple tenses and simple continuous tenses with the students.

2. Tell the students that they are going to produce a narrative essay of not more than 100 words based on the previous task that they have done.

3. Distribute mahjong papers and marker pens to each group. Tell them they only have 20 minutes to complete the task.

Post-writing:
4. After they have completed the task, instruct students to paste the mahjong papers on the whiteboard. 

5. The students will be the ones to detect the incorrect verb forms. Instruct students to raise up their hands if they spot any grammatical mistakes.

Rationale: Instead of the teacher who is the one doing the correcting, this approach will allow the students to participate actively and apply their understanding of the correct verb forms. The role of the teacher is to just give prompts and write the corrections on the mahjong paper.

Below are pictures of my students' work after the post-writing phase:


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