Implementation of “Stop-Pause-Listen” (SOI-GR-308)

Author: Panagiota Koufopoulou, EFL Teacher

School/Organization: 4th Experimental Primary School of Hermoupolis, Syros

This year, during their English classes, the students are being involved in a social-emotional training programme in order to foster their communicative skills as a way of facilitating their relationships as well as assisting their learning procedures. The learning scenario “Stop-Pause-Listen” encourages students to elaborate on family issues as portrayed in famous myths they have already learned about in their history lessons but from a different perspective this time. The students’ interest in mythology and art was the key reason for choosing the particular scenario.

Working towards active listening in the English Classroom

Students worked on the learning scenario for about one hour a week for three weeks. Having detected the need to improve their social-emotional skills, the fifteen (15) students of the fifth grade (10-11 years old) have been involved in a relevant training programme. Several changes have been made to the syllabus so as to expose students to different situations which proved that active listening is deemed important not only in academic context but also in informal situations with our family and friends. As for the arts, students have been acquainted with various painters during their Art lessons and have pointed out that they wish to express themselves artistically also in their written activities in English. Especially for students with learning difficulties, the opportunity to complete activities without the fear of making language errors highlights the importance of adding elements of art in the language lesson. By being given the chance to draw instead of writing and expressing their opinion on works of art instead of texts, which entails deciphering the written code, they can gain their classmates’ applause and admiration. Some adaptations have been made on the learning scenario due to lack of access to a computer lab and in an effort to work towards the curriculum requirements some tasks have been added. For the needs of the implementation, a separate module was created in our eclass ( to make material accessible at home.

 Implementing the scenario
First steps

Trying to elicit students’ prior knowledge on the story of Daedalus and Icarus, I used the painting “The Fall of Icarus” as a prompt. They brainstormed and created a mindmap on the board summarizing the basic ideas. After discussing various depictions of the myth in works of art in the collection Daedalus and Icarus, they were asked to give a different end in the story either by drawing or writing about it, aiming to examine how successful communication can affect our life.

Interestingly enough, the story was given endings with different forms of misunderstandings, both happy and sad ones. This created an engaging and entertaining atmosphere in the classroom! 

Communication and vocabulary development

Taking into account the fact that the vocabulary activity of the scenario is too demanding for the specific group of students, it was adapted. Working in pairs they had to reconstruct  what Daedalus and Icarus said by putting the words in the right order in Greek. Then, the English equivalent was read out loud and the pair with the Greek translation had to detect it. After that, we used the computer and the class smart TV to play the game. At this stage, students felt more confident and could remember the content of the utterances. They laughed a lot with idioms and phrases like “OK, boomer” since they could easily relate to the father- son communication and connect it to their experience with parents and grandparents.

Parents- children in Greek Mythology

Little did students remember about famous parents-children of Greek mythology. Therefore, we spent an hour discussing some of them before they had to choose one parent-child pair and write down the reasons for their disagreement. In the next lesson, they drew two-three scenes, like a comic-strip, to present the basic stages of their relationship using appropriate phrases and words in speech bubbles or as a dialogue.

Turning the story into pictures

Listen to communicate

Having worked extensively on communication matters, through a supplementary activity, students were asked to role play situations inspired by the exhibition Family Matters and the appendix of the scenario. We had a great time making works of art and pictures come alive!  

Being creative during the implementation

 Through the implementation of this learning scenario my students managed to consolidate what active listening means, and delve into functions previously introduced through the social-emotional training programme activities. In addition to that, they learned about Europeana and discussed Creative Commons licenses. Encouraging them to express themselves in drawing and / or writing, they developed their creativity and confidence. They worked on listening and writing multimodal texts, improved their collaborative skills and had the chance to use their body as a way to put their message across. Finally, while completing the exit slip of the learning scenario most students were positive towards the overall implementation.  Obviously, certain adaptations were required in order to cater for my students’ needs and preferences.

I was amazed at the wealth of material which can be found in Europeana resources. I feel I have enriched my lessons. The learning scenario helped me explore the possibilities offered and proved to me that the material is flexible and can be used while teaching different subjects. There is no age limit which makes it appropriate for use with young and old students. Apart from content knowledge, it has been a great opportunity for my students to be exposed to material they can relate to and feel motivated to develop their world knowledge. 

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? Stop-Pause-Listen: Η ενεργή ακρόαση ως μέσω επίλυσης οικογενειακών διαφορών (EL-CUR-667) created by Theodora

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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 Koninklijke Bibliotheek.

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