Age Level: 16-28
Ability Level: Writing 2 (Correlated with levels 4 and 5 grammar)
Type of Lesson: Review
Objectives- By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
- Detect errors in sentence structure, syntax, word use, vocabulary and overall sense of written passages
- To correct errors
- To work with peers in a meaningful and effective way so as to receive feedback and constructive criticism
- Sentence Excerpts from student essays (provided by the teacher)
- White board
- Two colored markers
Preparation: Before the start of the class, the teacher will have cut excerpts from papers students wrote in the previous class, folded them and placed them into a cup to be extracted.
Location: Regular Classroom
Warm up/Anticipatory Set/Activation (5 minutes): When the students enter the room, the teacher will say, “Today are a cold day, isn’t it? Thanks you for coming to class on those cold day.” The teacher will wait for a student to question the grammar structure that was just spoken. Then, the teacher will write those two sentences on the board (in black marker) and will ask for the correct way for the sentence to be written (corrections made in blue). Next, the teacher will make the students aware that he has read the essays they had written in the previous class and that there are a number of mistakes that he would like to draw attention to.
Review (10 minutes): The teacher will ask what the most common sentence structure is in English (Subject, verb, object) and will ask for an example from a few students (for instance, Mark owns that dog; Lady wrote the book; Bill ate chicken). Then, the teacher will ask which is correct (subject/verb agreement): Stephanie like Bob or Stephanie likes Bob; Bill eat the sandwich yesterday or Bill ate the sandwich yesterday). A number of these sentences will be written; most likely the students will want to provide examples also—to which the teacher will comply and write upon the board. Once complete, the lesson will begin.
Presentation of New Material/Procedure (15 minutes): The teacher will walk over to each student and ask one to pull a slip of paper out of the cup. Written upon the paper, the teacher will explain, are sentences that were taken from student essays from the last class. The teacher will then ask each student to pick one and read it aloud while he (the teacher) writes it on the board; the rason why I did not select the students to go up to the board in write is due to time constraints as well as potential inaccuracies of transcribing—thus, it would be too time consuming for a 45 minute lesson; it would work, however, if more time were permitted. Then, the teacher will ask the student who read the sentence aloud to come to the board and ask his or her classmates to help fix the sentence; the sentence as stated by the student will be written in black ink, while corrections will be made in blue (not red- as red often intimidates).
- For example: Suppose the sentence is this: “Bill Gates ownes a homez in Seattle.” The student will call on a student to ask for one item that is incorrect and then on another to point out the next. Then, the teacher will ask the student to read the corrected sentences aloud and will then ask the class, as a whole, whether the corrections are sufficient; each student will have at least one opportunity, if not two, to “be the teacher.”
- For example: “Bill Gates owns a home (or house) in Seattle.”
- Another example: “Tired he is as walks he does his dog.” The teacher will ask the student who extracted this sentence to go to the board to ask for corrections. (He was tired from walking the dog. Or he was tired because he walked the dog).
Pronunciation (5 minutes): See presentation/procedure
Grammar (5 minutes): One of the main components of this lesson is grammar; therefore, see presentation and procedure for details.
Closing (5 minutes): As a closing activity/informal assessment, the students will watch a YouTube video entitled, “The Best of Yoda Quotes” and will be asked to notice how Yoda speaks and to discuss, at the conclusion of the video, some of the sentences Yoda utters. Plus, a little Star Wars has never hurt anyone! http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Best+of+Yoda+sentences
Rationale: Not only does this lesson embody all of the elements of the communicative approach, but it encourages students to be active in learning and teaches them how to self-correct simple and complex sentences. Furthermore, this lesson reserves anonymity in that the excerpts extracted from the cup are devoid of names and the teacher does not say, “Oh Mike, this was your problem”; the lesson addresses all and one, at the same time.
By Robert J. Platt, M.A.