Posts Tagged ‘Teaching Ideas’

Picture This: April Fools’ Day
April 1, 2011

April Fools’ Day is celebrated widely as a day for practical jokes. The day supposedly started in 1564, when France moved the new year from the end of March to January 1. It is also commonly thought to have been first mentioned in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in 1392.

Credit: Bridgeman Education (available through Global Grid for Learning)

Teaching Activity (age 9-14)

Learners could write a short sketch about playing an April Fools’ Day joke. They could storyboard it using storyboard software, act and film it, or develop it as an animated sequence or a comic strip.

Learner Outcomes

Using ICT to tell a story

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Picture This: Eiffel Tower Opens in 1889
March 31, 2011

Credit: Corbis Images (available through Global Grid for Learning)

Teaching Activity (age 9-14)

  • The Eiffel Tower is approximately 300m tall. It has three viewing platforms.
  • The first platform is approximately 58m high.
  • The second platform is approximately 11 m high.
  • The third platform is approximately 276m high.
  • Its feet stand within a square with sides of approximately 125m.

Draw a diagram of the Eiffel Tower to scale, showing the relative positions of the platforms. You need to work out a scale that will fit comfortably on the piece of paper you decide to use. Include a note of the scale you have used and label the measurements of the tower.

Look at a range of photographs of the tower to help you to draw its design.

Learner Outcomes

Devising a scale and converting measurements according to the scale; drawing a diagram to scale

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Picture This: Vincent Van Gogh Born on This Day
March 30, 2011

Credit: Corbis Images (available through Global Grid for Learning)

Teaching Activity (age 11-16)

Invite learners to explore a range of images of sunflowers on the Global Grid for Learning (GGfL) database and then to use one of these to create a new electronic image, either in the style of Van Gogh or in a style of their own choosing.

  • They could download an image electronically and work on it in Photoshop to add different effects.
  • They could download one or more images to create an electronic collage.

Create an electronic gallery of the results.

Learner Outcomes

Producing original and imaginative images; using media and technology creatively

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Picture This: Founding of São Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
March 29, 2011

Credit: Corbis Images (available through Global Grid for Learning)

Teaching Activity (age 11-14)

Use an atlas to identify a range of three or four places around the world with the name, or variations of the name, ‘Salvador’. Plot these on a globe or map.

  • Which two cities of those that they have found are the greatest distance apart?
  • Which are the closest?
  • Which countries are represented in their list?
  • Which languages are represented in the place names they have found?
  • What is the climate of each city? Which is the hottest place, and which the coolest?
  • What is the location of each city like (e.g. coastal, mountainous, etc.)?

From what they have found out, can they begin to imagine what each city might be like? Share ideas and note down their expectations. Then ask them to find a range of images of each city and discuss whether they look anything like they imagined.

Learner Outcomes

Understanding the characteristics of real places; developing geographical imaginations of places

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Picture This: Treaties of Rome Signed to Form EEC
March 25, 2011

In Rome, March 25, 1957, two treaties were signed that gave birth to the European Economic Community, with Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and West Germany becoming the first member countries.

Credit: Bridgeman Education (available through Global Grid for Learning)

Teaching Activity (age 14-16)

Learners create a PowerPoint sequence showing the growth of the EEC / European Union since the establishment of the EEC. Using the same map of Europe on each slide, they shade member countries at different dates, and create captions and a key to show the year and identify the member countries on each slide. The slides should be presented chronologically so the development can be viewed as it unfolded over time.

If appropriate, individuals or groups could work on a slide each and then bring their work together into a single presentation.

They should then be able to use their results to ask and answer questions about the Union:

  • How many countries originally joined?
  • In which year did [any particular country] join?
  • Which other countries joined at the same time?
  • How many countries are now members of the EU?

Learner Outcomes

Using ICT to represent changes over time; understanding developments in European history

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Picture This: Elvis Presley Inducted Into the U.S Army
March 24, 2011

Elvis Presley, the ‘King of Rock and ‘Roll’ and one of the most popular singers of the 20th century, was inducted into the U.S army on March 24, 1958.

Credit: Corbis Images (available through Global Grid for Learning)

Teaching Activity (age 14-16)

Learners prepare a Powerpoint presentation to help them tell a brief biography of Elvis Presley. Encourage them to use archive photographs and captions on their slides to structure their talk, and to write brief notes rather than a lengthy script. Explain how to include prompts on their notes to cue when to go to the next slide. Encourage them to reduce their notes to short bullet point prompts, to help them focus on speaking spontaneously rather than reading a full script aloud.

You could film the presentations to give learners the opportunity to review their work and identify areas for improvement:

  • Did they speak clearly, audibly and at a suitable pace?
  • Did they make eye contact with the audience?
  • Did the slides relate to what they were saying?
  • Did their information make sense?

Learner Outcomes

Giving a presentation; using presentation technology; self-appraisal

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Picture This: Wrights Brothers Apply for Patent for Their ‘Flying Machine’
March 23, 2011

On March 23, 1903, the Wrights Brothers first applied for a patent for their flying machine. Having written the application themselves, it was later rejected. After hiring a patent attorney and reapplying they were granted the patent in 1906.

Credit: Corbis Images (available through Global Grid for Learning)

Teaching Activity (age 7-11)

Introduce the word ‘patent’ and check learners’ understanding of the concept. Ask learners to look the word up and support them in making sense of the definitions they find as necessary. Encourage them to identify a few examples of patented products or ideas.

Discuss examples of some everyday products (for example, the Coca Cola bottle shape; ball point pen technology). Can learners think of some of their own favourite everyday products and find out who invented them and whether the products are associated with patents?

Learners could then use their new knowledge to write a brief informative paragraph defining explaining the concept of a ‘patent’, and why it is important.

Learner Outcomes

Vocabulary extension; researching a concept; writing an explanation text

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Picture This: Gutenberg Bible Becomes the First Printed Book
March 22, 2011

On March 22, 1457, the Gutenberg Bible became the first book printed using movable type printing press.

Credit: Corbis Images (available through Global Grid for Learning)

Teaching Activity (age 12-16)

Collect and share examples of illuminated letters and styles of typography by searching GGfL On Demand using search terms such as ‘Gutenberg’ and ‘illuminated manuscript’. Look also at a contrasting range of present-day typefaces available on class computers. What is the character of each font? What is each one suitable for? What is each one not suitable for?

Learners could design their own illuminated letter or a whole alphabet font, either by using design and illustration software, or by designing on paper and then scanning their work to create a set of files that they can combine to use as typography. Alternatively they could photocopy their individual letters and assemble them by hand. Some learners might like to use photography to assemble an alphabet where each letter is created by an image of an everyday object (for example, the bars of a gate might make a letter ‘M’; a curved flower stem might form ‘C’).

Challenge the learners to set their name or a short poem, motto or message in their designed or photographed typeface or in the style of an illuminated manuscript with a decorated initial letter.

Afterwards, discuss the process of design and the technology of printing, ‘then and now’.

Learner Outcomes

Using software for design purposes; comparing ‘then and now’; applying design technology for a practical task; understanding suitability of different fonts for different purposes

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Picture This: Steven Spielberg Wins His First Academy Award for Best Director
March 21, 2011

Credit: Corbis Images (available through Global Grid for Learning)

Teaching Activity (age 8-16)

Check learners’ awareness of film industry awards and briefly discuss any recent award ceremonies that they might be familiar with.

Explain that they are going to do their own awards ceremony. You could base the awards either on the learners’ own work, or on a range of books, films, TV programmes and so on that they are all familiar with. Depending on age of the group and time and resources available, you can make this an extended project to run over several days, or adapt it as a mini-activity for a single session. Take suggestions for categories such as ‘Best comedy’, ‘Best actor’, ‘Best illustration’, ‘Funniest story’ and so on, as appropriate for the works they are going to review. Write the categories on signs placed around the room.

Each learner researches and submits one or two items for consideration. Examples could include short film clips, multimedia presentations, photographs, illustrations, stories or factual work. Organise the learners into groups. Each group reviews a selection of the entries and decides which awards category to nominate it in.

When all the entries have been placed in their category, stage a display or presentation of the nominations in each category, and help the learners to organise a secret ballot to decide the winning entry for each category. Groups privately count the votes for one category each and prepare a secret envelope with the result for their category. Finally, organise an awards ceremony with as much detail (red carpet, dressing up, silver foil awards, making award and acceptance speeches, and so on) as time and resources will allow.

Learner Outcomes

Team-working; reviewing and appraising; organising and counting a vote; creative modelling based on existing artefacts; speaking for specific purposes

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Picture This: Happy St Patrick’s Day
March 17, 2011

Credit: Corbis Images (available through Global Grid for Learning)

Teaching Activity (age 11-14)

Learners could research and write up the story of St Patrick as a storyboard, either electronically or on paper. (A variety of free storyboarding software is available online.) They could then use the storyboard either to create a dramatic video, for example a short animated sequence using shadow puppetry, or as live action with the script read over as a narration, or develop a fuller cartoon strip rendition on paper.

Learner Outcomes

Developing and producing a script; creating a dramatic feature on video or paper, interpreting a story in other formats

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