That is a question I was asked in my first ever High School English teacher interview. My answer was simple. 1. I want my students to start to develop a good English language proficiency. 2. I want my students to be able to think for themselves. 3. I want my students to love learning.
I remember them clearly because they have not changed. I'm not a fan of the "Factory model" of education. I want my students to take something more from my class.
That is what inspired this project I did with my Grade 5s.
The assignment was simple:
1) Pick an animal. ANY animal.
2) Do some research and answer a few questions.
3) Write a script for an informational video.
4) Create a video to share what you have learnt with the class.
The results were great! Here I have a video created by one of my Grade 5 students on her choice of animal - rats.
I'm not in a High School anymore. My students are in Grade 5. Throwing my learners in the deep end could be setting them up for failure, and I really didn't want them to fail at the first assignment of this type. So, with the freedom of choice, came some guidance.
I gave each student a research form that had a number of questions to guide them in their research. From here, they wrote their summary paragraphs and started planning their Adobe Voice video. Over the next two lessons, the learners planned and recorded their videos - finding their images through Google.
Once they were satisfied with their video, they showed it to a partner who gave them feedback. I believe feedback is very important. My students know that in order to produce their best work, they must be open to receiving feedback on what works and what doesn't work. We watched a YouTube video called Austin's Butterfly and had a good discussion about it earlier on in the term.
Once they were 100% happy with their video, they shared it with the class. As an extension, I got the learners to come up with 3 questions based on their video, which I typed up and distributed to the class. While they were watching, the class answered the listening comprehension style questions in their workbooks.
"But I don't have time for this kind of project," you might say.
This is the best part! We got a whole week of CAPS skills and I hardly had to do anything except provide support.
Listening and speaking
- Learners recorded information in their videos which they presented to the class.
- Learners listened for information when they were watching the other learners' presentation and answering the questions.
Reading and viewing
- Learners read for information when they did their research on the different websites.
Writing and presenting
- Learners wrote summaries of the information they found.
Language structures and conventions
- Learners wrote questions based on the information they presented.
Best of all, they had fun while learning.
If you'd like to see the worksheets and resources with step-by-step guidance on how to set up and use Adobe Voice, you can check out my resource pack on Teacha here.