Implementation of “Μουσική και χρώματα” (SOI-GR-393)

Author: Vasiliki Sansoniou, English teacher

School/Organization: 5th Primary School of Tripoli, Greece

The learning scenario “Μουσική και χρώματα” created by Παρασκευή Φώτη (EL-CUR-743) is addressed to kindergarten students aiming at offering them the opportunity to explore Van Gong’s painting “Sunflowers” while listening to Vivaldi’s “Four seasons: Autumn”.  The scenario enables students to familiarize with art forms such as Painting and Music and cultivate their critical thinking and cultural expression. 

The present implementation of that scenario is tailored to meet primary school students’ needs, promoting vocabulary recycling in the English lesson, while exploiting cultural elements. It opts to give learners opportunities to learn, consolidate and extend vocabulary items, while they explore Van Gong’s work of art and come to know the digital collection of Europeana. 

The implementation of the above scenario 

Teaching situation and learners profile

A forty-five-minute learning session based on the scenario “Μουσική και χρώματα” was designed for a group of twenty-four eleven-year-old students, who attend the fifth grade of Greek Primary School. The learners under discussion are taught English as a foreign language for forty-five-minute lessons three times a week and have been taught English at school for four years.

 The implementation of the learning scenario chosen was meant to supplement the existing syllabus and the English coursebook integrating subjects such as Art, Music and Computer science, and at the same time to place language learning in a meaningful cultural context. 

        In the lesson the students were expected to study Van Gong’s painting “Sunflowers”, to cooperate in groups, to revise, consolidate and extend knowledge of vocabulary expressing their impressions evoked by the painting, to perform the task of making a bookmark and to use  answergarden and WordArt .

Description of the learning process

         During the warm-up stage which lasted about fifteen minutes, the Europeana resources   Sunflowers  and  Self-portrait were presented by the teacher as prompts to arouse the students’ interest and introduce the topic of Van Gong’s art. Next, the learners watched the following short videos: Sunflowers, 5 Surprising Facts about Van Gong’s Sunflowers and Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience on YouTube. 

       After that, they were asked in groups, with the help of their teacher, to write down any words brought to their minds while studying the painting “Sunflowers”(e.g. joy, hope, bright, impressive, sunshine, etc). The learners were invited to submit the vocabulary items elicited in an  answergarden under the topic “Van Gong’s Sunflowers”- an activity which lasted about 15 minutes. 

       Finally, the students were asked to create wordclouds with the words  elicited using  WordArt,  print  their wordclouds,  cut them out and stick them to cardstock paper in order to make bookmarks, which was another fifteen-minute task.

Evaluation of the lesson

        The implementation of that learning scenario helped the students extend their English vocabulary in an authentic, varied and interesting context, enriching their cultural knowledge in an engaging way. The web tools attracted their interest and increased their motivation to work on the specific task, while the focus on group work enabled them to learn from peers and give each other feedback. Moreover, they were impressed by Van Gong’s artwork and satisfied with the bookmarks they created, as they love being engaged in crafts. 

       In a nutshell, the learning scenario implemented would be suggested to fellow-teachers as a scenario with unlimited opportunities for modifications of suitable tasks, tailored to best-meet the needs, interests, abilities and language level of any group of students. 

Concluding notes

      It is realized that shifting from textbook materials and traditional activities to web resources and suitable learning scenarios leads to a more effective and engaging way of teaching and learning. Moreover, images rather than verbal stimuli can be used as powerful means of producing language in teaching contexts.       Within this framework, Europeana’s collection of cultural heritage offers students a glimpse to cultural diversity, developing intercultural awareness and seems to hold an unlimited potential for use in various teaching and learning contexts.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? Μουσική και Χρώματα (EL-CUR-743) created by Παρασκευή Φώτη

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CC0 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Statens Museum for Kunst.

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