I am Daniela Bunea, teacher of English as a Foreign Language at a secondary school in Sibiu, which is a town in the centre of Romania. I implemented Tomislav Pavlovic’s learning scenario with my 12-year old students (learners of English – A2 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) in December 2019. At the end of this article, you can find a collage of photos taken during the lesson.
The idea of the learning scenario
Finding out about true heroines and heroes of the human mind, ingenuity and talent is a deed my students have constantly embraced willingly, no matter their age and interests. There has always been at least a piece of information arousing this student’s curiosity, or a fact surprising that student, or an emotion affecting some of them in a profound way
It was the same now – pupils did research on the most important inventions and discoveries that contributed to humanity by using the Europeana website as a resource. They worked in groups and made posters about the chosen invention, discovery or achievement and presented them in front of the class. Self-, peer- and teacher-assessment followed.
Working in class
I had planned to follow the learning scenario rather closely. Yet, as it sometimes happens, we, being spontaneous entities and all, at some point I had to let go of the plan and listen to my students, empathise, connect, accept and use offers, and improvise.
It was good that the learning scenario sparked possibilities, thus giving us all, students and teacher alike, the opportunity to engage with the original plan while using the ambient energy in the class.
The grammar being reinforced was the Past Passive. In the end, we created a gallery of posters depicting the most important inventions, discoveries and achievements of Romanian women during the last 200 years. Among the names chosen by my students, there are Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu, Nadia Comaneci and Ana Aslan.
Creating the posters
The students needed to abide by the following rules when creating group posters:
- coloured title (= Fascinating Romanian Women Series) with felt tip pens;
- vertical flow;
- at least 2 paragraphs in boxes/circles (+ no spelling or grammar mistakes) with: name, her greatest invention (WHAT, WHEN), why her contribution is important for humanity;
- 2 or more good coloured pictures;
- at least 1 drawing (coloured pencils/felt tip pens and black liner);
- on the back of the poster: names of authors.
Reflecting on the learning experience
I used the Self-assessment card presented by Tomislav Pavlovic in Annex 2 of his learning scenario and the Group self-evaluation sheet from Annex 1. My students mainly appreciated their collaboration and the sharing of facts and ideas and valued each other’s end-products and presentations. The rubric I employed for the presentation session is as follows:
- Complete and well organised;
- Complete but organised in a rather confusing manner;
- Information/picture(s)/drawing missing.
- Interesting and well organised;
- Interesting but organised in a rather confusing manner;
- Not prepared well enough.
All in all, it was a good 2-hour lesson, and its main learning outcome consisted of the understanding that one needs to recognise and make sense of their nation’s past in order to be able to embrace the future in their homeland. Moreover, the achievements of these exceptional Romanian women have proved to be an inspiration for STEAM careers in which present-day students, girls and boys alike, can make a difference in the future.
Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario?
Inventions and Discoveries by Tomislav Pavlovic
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The featured image used to illustrate this article belongs to the public domain and has been found on Europeana Collections.