Learners becoming teachers

As part of our Horror Unit, Year 9 English Extension are going to be teaching each other about the element of the horror genre in which they have become “experts”. They have been working in friendship groups in class over the last 2 weeks to become experts in either plot, theme, setting, style or characters, and have watched ‘Psycho’ to get examples for the way in which each of these elements are used in the horror genre. Now they must share this expertise with other members of the class.

In order to do this I have shared my own processes with the class, going through the steps I take and the factors I take into consideration when I am teaching them something. This not only gives students a scaffold from which to develop their lesson, but also encourages them to reflect on the teaching and learning process and their own learning style and goals. Attached is a link to the webdoc I used to scaffold their preparation of their resource. Webdoc is a great tool for this exercise, as you can embed videos, sounds, images, webpages, and applications in a document, and then embed the document in sites like edmodo.

They are required to either teach small groups or the class as a whole using both a discussion and a teaching resource. The discussion ensures that the class are able to have an input into what they are being taught and suggest things which the group may not have thought of, whilst the resource ensures that all students will have access to the information-even those who are not present on the day. I have explained to the class that this is an important consideration in teaching because everyone must have the same opportunity to access the information.

I am thoroughly impressed with how creative these students have been, and I will be using some of their teaching ideas myself in the future! Here are just a few of their brilliant ideas:

-Creating a Facebook group as a way to ensure all students receive the information

-Making a cartoon to explain how intertextuality is used in horror films

-Making a crossword to assess students’ prior knowledge

-Making graphic organiser to stimulate class discussion on the similarities between characters in different horror movies.

-Making a Prezi to ensure all those away are able to access the information

-Designing an activity in which the class completes the horror story to draw on their existing knowledge of plot in horror movies.

As a bonus, students have all been on task, engaged, and actually excited about this activity! It is a great way to embed teaching of presentation skills, teaching them to use new web apps (we had mini-tutorials within groups of how to use Prezi and Toondoo, and one group has discovered a crossword making app which they want to share with others), and getting them to appreciate the different skill sets each group member brings to a group.

They have also discovered that worksheets are “boring”, and so perhaps will be able to take this knowledge into other classes and transform their learning experience.

Stay tuned-I hope to get them to write a blog post on the activity for my blog! And I will definitely be sharing the resources they come up with too!