Implementation of ‘Black Cats, Broken Mirrors and Others – Let’s Talk About Superstitions'(SOI-HR-157)

As soon as I read the title and the first few activities of Rafal Mazur’s Learning Scenario I had already had in mind how to implement this LS into my English class and turn it into a Cultural Heritage lesson with my 15-16- year-old students. I couldn’t use all of Rafal’s activities and I added some of mine.

Even though Rafal’s LS is more focused on finding superstitions in literature works like Harry Potter series written by J.K. Rowling, my focus was more on the activities related to general superstitons and amulets used for protection and comparing the Croatian heritage on superstitions with similar ones if existing, in other European or world-wide countries. The reason for this was that my students hadn’t read any of the novels by J.K. Rowling and this lesson could be motivational for them to read some of the books from the Harry Potter series.

How I adjusted it to my class

I started the lesson by adding my own activity and that was for students to identify the meaning of the word superstion. They had to listen to Stevie Wonder’s song ‘Superstion‘ from Youtube and describe what the main idea of the song was.  My second activity was using Mentimeter for brainstorming the topic.

Using the Mentimeter collaboration tool I asked them to write at least 3 superstitions known to them and to vote yes or no if they thought they were superstitious themselves. The students were very talkative and explained how their parents or grandparents believed in many superstitions, some I hadn’t even heard of. I loved the way they opened and shared their experiences. It was also good to learn that most of them actually were not superstitious and found those things funny, but still intriguing.

Before introducing Rafal’s first activity, a Kahoot quiz on amulets, I had to explain to my students what amulets usually represented and then I asked them if they had ever seen anyone wearing one.

Rafal’s Kahoot quiz was actually a Blind Kahoot version for my students as they had to quess what type of amulet they saw and what it was used for.

After the quiz and introduction to amulets and lucky charms, the students used their mobile phones and scanned QR codes prepared by Rafal in his LS that took them to the Europeana site where they read and learnt more about various kind of amulets.

Working in groups

Instead of having students analyze superstitions in literature as Rafal suggested my students were supposed to work in groups and, in 15 minutes, write down a list of at least 6 international superstitions that were also common for Croatia and try to identify those that could be related only to Croatian heritage. And, they were also to think of any lucky charms or amulates for protection that they might have heard of. To get more ideas on world-known superstitions the students could search the Internet or even watch a suggested Youtube video Top 10 Superstitions.

During the class feedback we wrote a list of superstitons on the blackboard and had a short dicussion.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario?

Black Cats, Broken Mirrors and Others – Let’s Talk About Superstitions by Rafał Mazur

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CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana Collections and provided by the Wellcome Collection.

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