October 20, 1998
Lesson Plan: Scanning for Information
Class: early intermediate, 20 students
Language spoken: mostly adult Spanish speakers
Objective: Students will be able to apply the reading technique of scanning to real world texts. In this lessons students will look for specific information (time, date, place/location, etc.) from a bus schedule in order to communicate the necessary information to someone else.
Materials: Overhead transparency of bus schedule, 20 authentic bus schedules
Introduction: The teacher begins with a personal experience about trying to get onto the right bus without a schedule. (The discussion might include how the teacher needed the information quickly and didn't have time to read the entire schedule). Ask students what information the teacher should scan for. Write the following on the board-time(departure and arrival), place(starting point, destination), names of the bus stops, etc.
Practice 1: The teacher places a copy of a bus schedule on the overhead and assumes the role of someone who needs bus schedule information. Ask questions that require the students to look at the overhead and scan the text for the information. As the class answers the questions, the teacher can underline the information.
Practice 2: Hand out bus schedules and have students get into groups of three. For this information gap activity have the first student ask for the bus information by using an envelope containing information about time, dates, locations for the bus schedule. If the card in the envelope says 3:00pm, the student can then ask: "Is there a bus leaving at 3:00pm?" The second student in the group answers the first student's question by scanning the bus schedule for that particular piece of information (time) and giving it to the other student. The third person makes sure that the target information (time, place, etc,) is provided. Students can switch roles for more practice.
Practice 3: Ask for volunteers to perform the activity in front of the class. Students can use authentic bus schedules in order to practice a real life scenario in a comfortable class environment.
Application: For homework students are assigned to bring in another bus schedule or a slightly different kind of schedule. As part of the warm-up/review for the next class, students will be asked to scan the text for specific information and fill out a worksheet that asks for specific information (time, place, names, etc.)