Yes, you can! (LS-TR-710)

We all know or have heard about the Olympic Games which are held once in every four year. But, have you known about Paralympic Games? It is also about sports and it is also held once in every four year. What’s the difference? They are for superhumans!

The Paralympic Games, also known as the Games of the Paralympiad, are a periodic series of international multi-sport events involving athletes with a variety of physical disabilities, such as impaired muscle power, impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency or leg length difference. The first official Paralympic Games were held in Rome in 1960, coinciding with the ninth Stoke Mandeville Games but no longer limited to war veterans. At the 1960 Games, 400 athletes from 23 countries competed. The Paralympic Games have been held in the same year as the Olympic Games since 1960. The Games were initially solely open to competitors in wheelchairs; however, for the first time at a Summer Paralympics, athletes with various disabilities were included at the 1976 Summer Games. The 1976 Summer Games drew 1,600 participants from 40 countries, thanks to the addition of more disability classifications.

This learning scenario has specific aims related to 11th grade English as a foreign language lesson that students will be able to exchange opinions about different kinds of sports and identify the lexis and jargon about different kinds of sports in a recorded text/ video.

With these activities, students are able to use Europeana collections and one blogpost featured on the website to search for information related to paralympic games; understand the importance of working collaboratively; develop English language skills; understand and apply the basic principles of copyrights; develop their ICT skills regarding the development of digital products; realize how important cultural heritage is in order to create a better future.

Specifically students learn about making interviews and talking about sports.

Step 1: First, the teacher asks the students if they have had anything that they thought they could not do; anything that they thought they couldn’t do but they did; how this made them feel; if they have heard about the Olympic Games. Then, what sports do they know which are included in the Olympic Games? The answers are shared in a padlet.

Step 2: Teacher shows a jigsaw puzzle to the students and asks a volunteer to solve it. Then, the teacher uses a youtube video and asks the students to put a tick for 3 people that they saw in the video. They will find the checklist in a Google form which was created for this purpose. 

Step 3: The teacher presents the main goal of this learning activity: to be able to exchange opinions about different kinds of sports and identify the lexis and jargon about different kinds of sports in a recorded text/ video.The teacher presents the Europeana project, the website, what it is for, explains how to search for information

Step 4: Following a brief search on the platform, the teacher shows the students a blog post about Paralympic sports from Europeana resources. In the meantime, students take some notes to identify the lexis and jargon about different kinds of sports in a Paralypmic Game.

Step 5: Students created teams of four and searched on the net about the categories of the paralympic sports which were established by the International Paralympic Committee. Then they will look up the other sources from the Europeana page.  Then they will share what they have found on the Padlet.

Step 6: Based on their findings from Europeana and the video they watched, they discuss this question: Were you surprised or impressed by anything? What is it? Why did it impress/ surprise you? They will be able to talk about the sports that they have learned and use the lexis and jargon they have learned.

Step 7: Students prepare some interview questions that they would ask paralympic athletes if they had the opportunity. They work in an online collaborative work tool Jamboard. In this scenario, I suggest the teachers reach some paralympic sportsmen/ women from their own country or from another country via email or social media, and invite them in an online class to surprise them. It would make them really happy to see them. I would record the meeting and share it with the other classrooms, as well.

Feedback: The students complete a reflection paper about the content of the lesson. What is the most interesting thing that they see/ hear/ think & feel? What would they like to say & do about the topic? What are the gain points and pain points of the scenario? They will fill in a chart downloadable from Google Slides.

In my experience, once we have implemented these activities, the aims of the lesson have been fulfilled, because students have learned how to use Europeana and how to find information. Furthermore, they have improved their teamwork and collaboration skills, online research abilities, and language competences.

Would you like to know more about this learning scenario? You can download it below:

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CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the National Library of Israel.

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