Contributors: Claudette King and Marcia Woodward, PHMS
We know that learners of all ages need to move and talk in order to stay engaged in our classes. Therefore many of our teachers use creative assignments to get students thinking, moving, talking and collaborating. One technique you might consider trying is a gallery walk. According to theteachertoolkit.com "This discussion technique allows students to be actively engaged as they walk throughout the classroom. They work together in small groups to share ideas and respond to meaningful questions, documents, images, problem-solving situations or texts."
Claudette King modified this activity to use with Novice C, Unit 14 (I Need a Doctor). She says, "My students along with Marcia Woodward's students researched various illnesses and then had to illustrate the symptoms of the illness that their group researched. As a follow up activity students from our classes did a "poster walk" to record in Spanish the symptoms for all of the illnesses that were represented. Students discovered typical symptoms of illnesses ranging from the common cold to anemia.
I feel the activity helped students to discuss the less common vocabulary for some of the illnesses. For example, we had not studied the word rash. When students were doing their research, they had to discover these terms and then think of how to illustrate them on the body of a person for their poster. The research also helped students to learn lesser taught body parts like liver or lungs. Students also searched for images on the Internet to help them know how to illustrate the symptoms of the illness. One group did not know what a liver looked like, so it was informative for them. Students also had to think creatively to determine the best way in which to illustrate the symptoms so that their classmates could understand it. This was an engaging way for the students to learn about several different illnesses as well as learn more vocabulary."
The beauty of this activity is that it can be modified depending on age, grade or topic. For example, elementary immersion teachers might use a gallery walk to build content knowledge in Science, as well as literacy skills as students read and write about the different topics. This video shows a great adaption of the gallery walk for elementary aged kids.
Thank you Claudette and Marcia for incorporating creativity, movement and conversation in your classes. I know your students appreciate it. Thank you also for sharing your work with the rest of us.
Coming soon...Student Created and Curated Museum Exhibits in the German Classroom.
What strategies for student engagement do you use in your classes? Leave a comment, or author the next post!
World Language Teacher Support Specialist (and Language Enthusiast)