Teaching English is the leading professional publication for English teachers in the UK. Published three times a year by NATE, the National Association for the Teaching of English (www.nate.org.uk), the magazine offers a wide range of practical ideas and inspiration for all teachers of English, as well as articles which offer new ways of thinking about or wider perspectives on our subject.
Issue 2 pp.52-53
Here you'll find the Teachit page from NATE's Teaching English magazine and the resource to print, download or adapt to suit you. It's all you could ask for really (oh, and then there's the teaching part, of course). To open the resource simply click on your chosen file type, or the resource name for more information.
Alison Powell offers back-up for your media and ICT teaching.
In theory I truly ♥ the opportunities that media and ICT offer for enlivening English teaching. We know that there are hundreds of amazing teaching tools available online. As well as interactive resources on Teachit, there are marvellous sites such as Bookdrum, readwritethink and TED that will bring any classroom to life. And, as I’m sure this edition of Teaching English will show, there are some ingenious strategies for using Smartboards, flip-cams, QR codes, Twitter and more to make teaching zippy, exciting and 21st century.
The reality, of course, can be a little less zap and a bit more ... well, flat. Because the truth is that no matter how ‘whizzy’ we’d like to be, your average British secondary school is more likely to have a cupboard stuffed with photocopied worksheets produced circa 1982 than a whole class set of fully-charged flip-cams. We’ve all had those lessons that don’t get off the ground because, even though you’ve booked the school’s collection of four functioning cameras, the last person to use them didn’t put the batteries on charge. Or you’ve reserved the ICT suite, only to be trumped at the last minute by a GCSE PE class doing a controlled assessment. Or you’ve put the DVD in the player and it refuses to move past the welcome menu because it turns out that last week’s supply teacher used it as a coaster and your zippy lesson meets a sticky death by coffee cup.
Still, using ICT and Media needn’t be all doom and gloom – you simply need to have a plan for when technology fails! Here are five whizzy suggestions (all of which come with a back-up!) for using a Teachit resource based on Brooke’s poem ‘The Soldier’
Five things to do with ‘The Soldier’ – plus backup …
Save copies of this resource into a student shared folder (if you’re a Teachit.works department member you can save it into My Teachit).
Working on individual computers, students cut and paste the words into the separate boxes using shortcuts CTRL+X to cut and CTRL+V to paste. Back-up: Project the resource onto a whiteboard and get students to write the words onto sticky notes before placing them into the boxes.
Once they have sorted the words, students could put their headings into a Google Image search and select pictures to accompany each of their boxes. Read the complete poem together and notice similarities between their found images and those created by the poet. Back-up: Ask students to draw pictures to accompany the words.
Ask students to create a Wordle (www.wordle. net) using the words from the poem. They should choose four words to highlight by making them bigger in the creation phase. Backup: Borrow some letter stencils from the art department and ask students to pick three or four potent words from the list to write out and decorate. This close engagement with words can help students to focus when exploring the poem
Create your own crunched poem activities using Teachit’s Cruncher tool. Back-up: Write out all the words by hand in alphabetical order. (Which would obviously take ages ... and that is why I do love ICT!)
Ask students to use this resource as a storyboard for a narrative that includes the key words from the crunched wordbank. This could be a poem or a story. You could prepare a set of images for them to use, or set them free to find their own. Share the finished stories in a Wikispace (www. wikispaces.com) or on a class blog. Back-up: In groups, students prepare a series of still images that tell a story using words from the list.
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