Implementation of ‘Let’s explore Ireland, the Emerald Isle’ (SOI-HR-241)

Context

I decided to implement the learning scenario „Let’s explore Ireland, the Emerald Isle“ by Ivana Hrastović-Mandarić in my English language class, in the seventh grade of primary school. The students have been studying English as a foreign language for seven years and their language proficiency level according to CEFR is A1 and some students are at A2 level.

The topic of Ireland correlated with my curriculum in the domain of intracultural competence and learning about English speaking countries in order to better understand their own. It also correlated with the Civic education domain of the curriculum because students were supposed to critically think about stereotypes, how they are developed and how to recognie stereotypes as oversimplified assumptions about a group of people or a nation.

I implemented the scenario during two classes. During the implementation I also briefly presented the possibilities of Europeana platform, its materials and galleries and the way they can be used. We also commented on the importance of copyright and how to attribute the works to their authors and why it is important. They were also familiarized with how to find materials which can be freely used.

Activities

I introduced the topic by using a Jigsaw puzzle of the map of Ireland. Students matched the pieces of the digital puzzle to get a map of Ireland. The activity was interesting to students and they responded well. Then the students scanned the QR code which led them to Mentimeter application. They used their mobile phones. Students wrote their associations to Ireland. Then we commented on the results.

We explored the materials on the Europeana platform, commented on the materials and students also read a text about Ireland from their textbooks. This was not predicted in the scenario, but I used the text from their textbooks because it was well suited for the topic. They used all the acquired information to answer the questions about Ireland on a worksheet.

I introduced some stereotypes about the Irish on Padlet. The students read a text about stereotypes from the British council pages. In pairs they answered questions about stereotypes and cultural characteristics on a worksheet. We commented on their answers and had a class discussion on stereotypes and if they can be positive or negative.

Students’ worksheet

Then I put students into groups of 4 and they chose a topic they wanted to explore further (tourist attractions, food and drink, music, dance, legends, famous Irishmen/women). I shared a link to collaborative google presentation and every group had a task to edit two pages according to their topic. In Ivana’s learning scenario, Storyjumper application was chosen for this task and I decided to use google presentation to make it easier for my students because they already have experience with making google presentations. In the next class they presented their topics and we did self- and peer evaluation of their work.

Here is the link to my students’ collaborative presentation:

Students presentation

Learning outcomes

By doing these activities students broadened their knowledge of Irish culture, history and tradition, which could be seen in the collaborative presentation. They developed their collaborative skills by working in groups and pairs. Students also practiced their critical thinking skills by exploring cultural stereotypes. They developed their digital skills and creativity by using different tools: Jigsaw puzzle, Mentimeter, Padlet and google presentations.

By implementing this scenario we have also achieved the outcomes of the National English Language Curriculum: students understand texts and find key information from the text, they write a short text about Ireland and take part in a short discussion on the topic of stereotypes. We have also achieved the outcomes from the intracultural domain of the National curriculum: students compare and find similarities and differences between their own culture and the Irish culture.

Teaching outcomes

Using Europeana resources has brought authentic, interesting and original materials into the English language classroom. Students were guided in the use of the platform and got familiarized with the platform so that they can use it independently for some future projects. Students have also learnt about copyright, which is a very imortant issue and I think they are not sufficiently informed about copyright restrictions and the importance of copyright.

This learning scenario met and exceeded all my needs to explore the topic of Ireland and I would recommend it to all teachers who teach students about Irish culture or deal with the topic of stereotypes.

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

Let’s explore Ireland, the Emerald Isle

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Public Domain Mark 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Girona City Council.

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