Sunday, 22 March 2009

Term papers, grammar, multiculturalism and a dog

Right now I feel panic and frustration lurking in every corner and corridor; there are so many things I should have done, and there simply is not enough time for it all. Tomorrow I will meet one of my groups for the last time before their term tests next week, and the main focus will be on the upcoming tests. This term test will be the last chance for the students to really show their skills when it comes to writing English papers, and I will therefore start this week's lesson by giving them time to browse through all the comments I have given them on their papers this year, and also time to dig into various grammar topics. I made this collection of task and activities on grammar last week, hoping that everyone would find some exercises that could help them improving their grammar. We started working on these exercises last week, and I hope that some saw that this could actually help them; many asked if I could explain a bit more, and some said that they finally understood why I corrected them when they wrote "everybody are doing their best." Most of the exercises in this lesson plan are taken either from the Tracks/Passage pages or from Exploring English. I find it useful that these pages explain the grammatical topics in Norwegian, and that the English terminology is listed at the same pages.

This week I have also planned to continue working on multicultural Britain. The film last week was a success, and this week it is time to look at some facts and figures concerning immigration to the UK and how multiculturalism affects the British society. As I have said before, I have had some problems finding up to date-information on the topic, but hopefully we will manage by the resources available. My idea is that the students are to work in groups of four preparing a presentation on multiculturalism, hoping that a group activity will keep most of them busy and forcing them to read some of the texts I have picked out for them.

Last stop on this week's agenda is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Most of the students have managed to get hold of a copy of the novel, and it is time to start working on it. Knowing that reading is not the favourite occupation of many of the students, I believe it is necessary to give them time for reading at school, at least in the beginning. I suppose most of the students will find that reading the novel is not all that hard, and therefore I want them to do a close reading of at least parts of the book. My colleague Ann gave me the idea of letting the students pick out central paragraphs in the novel and then to explain their choice. I have therefore planned this rubric for them, and I will introduce it before they start reading so that they know what to put focus on. My colleagues Anne and Kjetil also suggested that we put focus on the characters and Anne has prepared this rubric in which the students have to fill in information and reflections on the various characters we meet in the novel.

My guess is that I have more than enough activities to fill the days this week, too, and that I have probably tried to squeeze too much into one day. My main goal, however, is to present activities that will engage my students in various way, and that they feel that they have actually done a good day's work by the end of class.



  1. This page could also be useful when dealing with this topic:

  2. Some more ideas when you read Haddon's novel:

    1. Act out parts of it, or a short cut of the entire novel
    2. Write a short story about one of the incidents
    3. Act out a potential trial between Mother and Father.
    4. Write down things that you notice in your classroom. Compare and make categories...

    You have perhaps already seen my blog?

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