Lesson skeleton: YLs and drawing
October 19, 2011 10 Comments
This is an idea I’ve been using quite frequently lately as an introduction to a topic in a coursebook. It works well with lower-level young learners who, despite a lack of language, have many ideas they want to express.
1. Put a title on the board or a picture on the board and ask learners to draw it. For example “when I am happy” or “what does a cool person look like” and ask learners to draw the answer to the question.
2. Monitor what learners are drawing and consider the sort of language they will need to describe their picture.
3. Inevitably, some learners will finish more quickly than others. Move around the classroom and ask learners to explain their pictures to you. Have a selection of cards on which you can write chunks to help them explain their picture. In this way, the language you input is directly linked to a context and very easy for them to understand in terms of meaning.
4. Once you have done the whole class, ask them to write a description of their picture using the vocabulary.
5. At this point, you can direct learners’ attention to the relevant part of the coursebook as an extension of your springboard activity.
6. Or, one of the following may work as an extension activity:
a) Create a classroom survey using all the pictures, including language like “we all/some of us/a few of us/half of us/ like/likes___” “we often/sometimes/rarely/hardly ever/never do/go/eat (for daily routines).
b) Ask learners to describe their pictures and draw what they hear. If the initial drawing activity does not take too much time, otherwise they may be tired of drawing.
c) Write language on the board and ask learners to match it to which picture they think it corresponds. Put the pictures on tables and ask them to walk around in pairs and complete the activity.
d) Put some true/false statements on the board. Clarify any vocabulary they may not understand and ask them to answer the questions using the pictures and/or explanations.
e) Put a question box on the board and ask learners to make questions to ask others about their pictures.
- Creates a personal context in which you can input vocabulary.
- Creates interest and engages students before opening their course book.
- Gives learners an opportunity to express what they want without language before trying with language.
- High flyers can write a longer description with more language, while weaker students can still express themselves and feel positive about completing the task well.
- Make sure the picture is not too time-consuming or the lesson could turn into art class.
- If learners do not like drawing, they are unlikely to respond to the stimulus. I have not come across this problem yet but I am sure there will be a class one day that hates drawing.
- A lot of personalised language inputted in this activity. If it’s necessary for the whole class to be on the same page, then an extension activity in which language is clarified and contextualised in all pictures may be necessary, otherwise extending, revising etc will be problematic.