Friday, 30 October 2009
Picture from this page.
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
I just came across this lesson plan about the US system of government. For me it is too late, and also a bit too detailed, to use it all, but I liked the flow chart and plan to use it in class. The internet is great; there is no end to all the useful material I find there!
Monday, 26 October 2009
I have spent this morning planning tomorrow’s teaching, and as the title here suggests, our main focus in class will be on the USA. Ususally, the students come to class with a lot on their minds when we are dealing with the US, but my experience is that their knowledge about American politics and geography is not the best. This should not come as a surprise, but I believe
most many teachers tend to forget that we have been just as ignorant at some point in life as our students are when we meet them in the classroom. I also believe we sometimes forget that one of the reasons we know quite a lot about certain topics, is because we have been interested in learning about them, not only because we were told to. I know for sure I was not all that into American politics either when I was 16.
Anyway, last week I gave all my students a small group assignment on regions in the US. My aim is for them all to know that the USA consists of 50 individual states (if someone can explain to me why so many Norwegians think there are 52 states, I would be happy to know, by the way…), and that there is a great variety from one region to the other when it comes to history, economy, attitudes, etc. As a point of departure, all the students were asked to read the text “America the beautiful”. Then each of the groups were given one specific region they were to present to the others. In the presentations I want all the groups to include information about
and I really hope they have managed to dig up information about all the five points, not just the last one.
After all the presentations, we will turn to politics. I have tried to find some resources on the internet that can help them understand the three branches of government and the system of checks and balances, and I also plan on giving them a short lecture on the topic. If the texts and my lecture are not enough, perhaps these short films can help out:
My entire lesson plan can be seen here.
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Photo from "Give me your hands if we be friends..."
Monday, 12 October 2009
PS! Thank you, Kjetil for finding the online resources!
Friday, 9 October 2009
Thursday, 8 October 2009
When working on this topic, we want all of the students to prepare a presentation of a Scandinavian artist or group singing in English, and they are also going to present a song by the same artists. To prepare them for this mini-project, we have used the text "English - the Language of Rock" in the textbook "Tracks", and also some pre-reading activities dealing with English and music. You can read my entire lesson plan on this page. As you will see, I also included some grammar in the lesson plan, trying to make the students aware of the use of the definite and indefinite article.
Photo: "Guitar hero"
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Photo: John Boyne's Website
Friday, 2 October 2009
This week we have had our autumn break, and I have just enjoyed a week off from school. On Monday it is "back to business", however, and I really need to start thinking about the weeks ahead. Usually the period between the autumn break and X-mas is filled with activities, tests and projects, and this year is no exception. One of the things I am really looking forward to, though, is the huge ICT conference at our school next week. It is always inspiring to attend events like this and to get some ideas for my own teaching.
I have just listened to a debate on the radio where people from all over the country have phoned in and discussed teachers in Norwegian schools. It still amazes me that they never invite any teachers to these debates. While Tom, Dick and Harry are free to express their frustration and spell out what a lousy job we do teaching their children, the voice of the teachers is absent. I am not one of those who believe that things cannot and should not be better in our schools, but I find it quite hard believing that everything can be blamed on the teachers. I will not let this debate ruin my lazy autumn afternoon, however. Time to go out in the sun and just enjoy my day off!