Idea #73: Beginning a Unit

7

March 26, 2012 by Kara

So there I am, sitting, staring at the goals, and trying to figure out how to start the unit. I could give them a vocab list. They could make their own with pictures. They could match descriptions to the vocab word. This all seems so overwhelming! There are so many places in the city! Also brain theory says that students learn information in chunks of 7 or so.

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Well, I’m going to try a different approach and begin the learning around the culture. This time I’m going to teach one place a day and teach how to describe it in detail using their prior knowledge. Today I started with “movie theater.” I will introduce it with an example in the target language (Hunger Game trailer and tweets for movie theater). The tweets use the word “cine” several times. Then they will fill out the graphic organizer about that place. Next step, they will choose one place they like to hang out and create a learning center for their classmates with culture (I will help with this: El Corte Inglés for mall, Parc Guell for parks, a bullring for stadium), useful words and an activity.

I’ll let you know how it’s going later!

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7 thoughts on “Idea #73: Beginning a Unit

  1. Susan says:

    What an interesting approach. I like the idea of introducing a few things at a time. I didn’t know about the chunks of 7 or so, but it makes sense when you think about memorizing phone numbers or breaking up social security numbers or other numbers into 3s and 4s with the dashes. I’ve been trying to think of a way to make a picture “Simon” game somehow where the students see building patterns of pictures and try to remember/recite them…like the color game Simon. Let me know if you have any ideas…I was thinking of power point, but it’s still rolling around in my head. :D I LOVE your blog.

    • Kara says:

      Exactly! The book that made me reflect on my teaching is “How the Brain Learns” by David Sousa. He talks about chunking and when the brain absorbs the most during a lesson. Good pool reading for the summer!

      Let me think more about the Simon game…

  2. Susan says:

    Thanks for the link…just bought it for my Kindle.

  3. kate says:

    What app are you using? Is this a link to a doc you’ve created or did you use an app to make your organizer? (It’s killing me because I can’t figure out which app it is.. LOL .. help! It’s like getting partial song lyrics stuck in your head! LOL)

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