November 11th, 1998
ESL Lesson Plan
Students: 15-20 upper-grade primary students with intermediate English language proficiency, any native language background
Objectives: To enable the students to be able to listen to a story and comprehend, in a manner of writing down the story sentence by sentence, possibly in the exact words. And also to be able to read their own writings to others and make them understand.
Materials: One picture book for children, paper, pens, and studentsí concentration
The teacher asks the students to listen very carefully and reads to them a short story from a picture book. The teacher stops after each sentence and asks the students what they think what is going to happen nest and why. After this story, the teacher asks them questions to make sure they have understood the basic story line.
Then the students are split into groups of 4-6 people. The teacher gives each group member a card that has a number on it (1-6). The desks are arranged so that the students canít hear each other easily, then the students are asked to take a seat where they are assigned. The seats are arranged in lines to separate groups.
The further procedure is the following: The teacher explains to the students that they are going to be listening to the story again, but this time only sentence by sentence and they are expected to write down the sentence as they listen. And the teacher goes on to explain the procedure in more details.
The students with the number one card from each group come up to the teacher.
The teacher reads to them the first sentence of the story. The students write down the words as they listen. The request to repeat the sentence can be made twice at most. After finishing the sentence, those number one students go back to their seats and invite the students with number two card to come to them, and dictate what they have written down. As the number two students finish writing down the sentence, They invite the number three students to go up to them. As they do, the number four students take over number three students place and everyone else moves up one seat towards the front, and the number one students takes over the last seats. When the number three students get done with writing, the number two students go up to the teacher and the teacher has them write down the next sentence. This procedure continues until the teacher finishes reading the story.
When everyone finished this task, the teacher reads the story again, but this time the students also reads along with the teacher, looking at their writings.
The students speak up when they have written down something different from the book, and the teacher discusses it with the class. Then as a follow-up activity, the teacher asks them detailed questions about the story. Afterwards, the teacher tells the students to read the story they wrote down on their notebooks to their friends or family members when they get home.
1) picture book
Picture book is excellent because it provides visual aids to help students understand the story more easily. It is important to note that the teacher needs to review some difficult vocabularies with the students before reading this story. It is ideal to select a book with no unfamiliar wards to the students for this particular activity.
2) stops after each sentence and asks
This procedure helps the students think as they listen. It helps them understand the story more effectively then just listening to the story without using imagination or familiar information and so forth.
3) they have understood the basic story line For the students to get the main idea and understand how the story goes is quite important for this activity. Although they are not expected to know every little detail, the teacher needs to help them learn what is going on in this story through appropriate content questions.
4) a card
The teacher uses color cards to distinguish different groups. The color tells the students which group they are in.
5) canít hear each other easily
The purpose of this activity is for each student to listen to the sentence from the one in front of him/her and write down, then read his/her own writing to the next person. So it would be better if the students canít hear what the exact sentence is when itís not his/her turn to write it yet.
6) to write down the sentence as they listen
This is more to do with listening, but writing down the sentence helps the students understand what is being said more than merely listening to it.
7) twice at most
The teacher doesnít need to push the students to write down the exact words, but this activity is for both the teacher and the students to see how much they can listen and comprehend when they try to write it down. For the students to keep asking for each word and to write it down is not the main thing in this activity. Besides, most of the sentences in this particular activity should be listened and understood relatively easily by the students.
One other main purpose of this activity is to give the students an opportunity to read what they wrote out loud. Reading their own writing should enable the students to comprehend more as they read it than reading someone elseís writings.
9) the teacher has them write down the next sentence
The teacher gives every student chances to listen to a sentence from the teacher to be fair to everyone.
10) also reads along
This step would be the review portion of the activity. Through listening, writing, reading to oneself and reading out loud during the activity, the students should be quite comfortable reading and understanding this story by this time. It also helps studentsí pronunciation. Listening, speaking, reading and writing are all related in language acquisition and therefore it is good for the students to participate in all those activities even though the emphasis might be upon reading and writing.
Writing down different things is not necessarily bad, and it shouldnít be discouraged. It can be encouraged in some cases. When a student wrote down something with the same meaning but in a different way, it is a good sign because it shows that the student really understands the meaning, and wrote it in his/her own words. Even though using the studentsí own words is not the purpose of this activity, the teacher needs to recognize it and give appropriate praises. It is also a good idea for the teacher to discuss with the class what other ways they can express the same meaning.
12) derailed questions
All the students should be very familiar with the whole story by this time, so the teacher can ask them about the specific name, specific place, what someone said, and so forth. This would be the follow-up activity.
13) to their friends or family members
It is important encourage students to read even outside the class. Reading to their close ones and showing them what they themselves have accomplished will build their confidence and implant self-motivation to read and write more.