Implementation of ‘Dragon Tales in Europe‘ (SOI-GR-167)

I have implemented the learning scenario created by Despoina Kyriakaki “Dragon Tales in Europe” in the context of a multicultural and multilingual school in Italy, which provides education in mother tongue/dominant language to children living abroad. The project was directed towards Czech language classes of level 4 and 5 in Primary school (European Schools).

Context of the Implementation

I find the subject of dragons incredibly interesting for my students, and I have found a lot of inspiration for my work in this learning scenario.

This learning scenario is intended for use with 15-year-olds, but I have adapted it for use with my 9-10-year-olds.

The main objectives of the learning scenario are to support each child’s reading, writing, vocabulary development and communication skills on the exciting topic of dragons. This project represents active and holistic language learning.

Pupils also have the possibilities to talk about their feelings, emotions and listen to the stories with dragons.

Why implement this learning scenario?

This cross-curricular project develops as much as possible in the linguistic potential of each pupil. The exercises can be easily adapted for other languages. Furthermore, concerning digital competence, all activities can be extended using tablets or laptops.

Dragons in myth and science - Europeana

During all activities, the learning scenario gives priority to methods such as critical thinking, group discussion, listening to others and sharing of experiences. Also, Europeana Collections offers a lot of exciting pictures of dragons from different periods and cultures.

See the collection Dragons in myth and science.

Preparation Time of Implementation

Before the implementation, I researched online to find interesting articles in the Czech language about the possible existence of dragons in the past and descriptions of main characteristics of dragons. I added two non-fiction descriptive texts and displayed them on the classroom screen. These texts talk about and compare the animals with some of the characteristics of our imaginary dragons such as hard skin, fire-spitting, number of limbs, flight, etc.

A copy of Draco volans Linnaeus 1758 in alcohol - Europeana

I didn´t use the suggested online teaching material such as Popplet, Storyboard and Glogster because I don´t have the licence to use them, although I find them very interesting. I used the recommended link of Europeana Collections Galleries.

I added Lego Story Visualizer software which I have in class, and because my pupils are already familiar with it.

I also added a mindmap activity: the pupils created the mindmap of fantastic dragons main characteristics, such as behaviour and appearance.

I appreciate this learning scenario as a big inspiration for my lessons. Thanks to Despoina for sharing it!

Activities

The pupils shared and organised facts, stories and ideas about dragons. They improved their reading and writing skills. During the project, pupils were incredibly exciting to follow all the activities. They particularly enjoyed these activities:

  • Reading non-fiction texts and class discussions.
  • Reading and listening fairytales with dragons.
  • Discovering Europeana resources.
  • Creating mindmap about dragons, sharing ideas, class discussions.
  • Writing (description of a personal fantasy dragon).
  • Drawing a fantasy dragon.
  • Writing stories (modern or classic/folklore origin) or comics about dragons and sharing them with others.

Reading and watching Europeana Collections was an excellent example for the pupils and a big motivation for discovering more and more.

A dragon (National Library of the Netherlands) - Europeana

For my pupils, the most exciting part was to discover the possibility of the real existence of dragon-like animals by seeing how many animals have some fantastic properties such as sputtering of poisons, boiling saliva or a very strong and resistant skin.

Also, they enjoyed creating posters about fantasy dragons (on their main characteristics); they were very proud of it.

They enjoyed very much all the activities and children aged 9 – 10 years were working very seriously. During the in-class discussion, children discovered their feelings and emotions about the project.

An exciting topic at all!


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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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