Implementation of ‘The power of voice and brush’ (SOI-GR-59)

My name is Sofronia Maravelaki and I teach English in Iraklia’s Junior High School in Greece. The school is situated in Iraklia, a small town in the Prefecture of Serres. Our school comprises a diverse multicultural environment with students coming from families from the local population, Roma families and migrant families from Albania and Bulgaria.

Why this learning scenario?

The learning scenario I chose to implement is called “The Power of voice and brush”, by Katarzyna Siwczak. The scenario focuses on the development of the four language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) in English and aims at the enrichment of students’ vocabulary on the topic of art. The lesson also helps students to develop their knowledge of famous artists and their paintings. Students also have the opportunity to practice several ICT skills by using the interactive whiteboard, mobile devices and online tools.

The scenario was implemented with the students of the 8th grade (2nd grade of Junior High, 13-14 years old) in the context of an EFL classroom. The scenario was originally addressed to 16-19 year-old students, so the activities of the scenario were adapted to match the students’ age and proficiency in English. It took 3 sessions of 45 minutes to implement it.

Session 1: discovering Europeana

The first session took place in the classroom and the students worked individually. They were introduced to the Europeana platform by playing the Hangman game on the interactive whiteboard (IWB) which they enjoyed a lot.

Then, they browsed the platform on the IWB to get acquainted with the online environment. The teacher presented them with the Europeana Collection of Art and People of Art. Shortly after, they played the Kahoot game from their mobile phones while watching the results on the IWB. So, the first part with the basic information about Europeana was successfully introduced.

Then, the teacher opened the document with the QR codes on the IWB and the students used their mobile phones to scan the codes and see how the codes led them to the information about the paintings on the Europeana platform. There is no wifi connection in the classrooms so the students used their own mobile data network for online access. The Greek Ministry of Education does not allow the use of mobile phones at school by students so the teacher asked permission from the Principal in order for the students to bring their own devices to the lesson. As a result, the first session aimed at making the students familiar with the procedure.

Session 2: Group activity

During the second session, the students formed groups of four. Each group scanned 3 or 4 QR codes from the IWB and recorded their voices on their mobile phones while reading the description of the paintings. The students did not use Flipgrid as they had trouble signing in from their mobile devices because of the bad mobile data network of the area. After that, we took each recording from each phone and saved it in a file on the IWB computer. Then the teacher played the recordings and each group of students matched the recordings with the Google slides presented at the IWB.

Session 3: WheelDecide!

On the next day, the students listened again to the recordings and then they played WheelDecide. The group of students who found almost all of the answers to the questions won the game. I believe that students enjoyed the activity and the noise and the clutter they produced was for a good cause!

Final comments

The students, because of their young age, are acquainted neither with Polish nor with Greek painters and their work, so the last activity of the scenario was not implemented. This activity is an opportunity to collaborate with the Arts teacher who will introduce students to Greek painters and give them information about trends and paintings during a specific period of Greek history. The scenario was also an excellent opportunity to test the use of BYOD in the classroom for the first time. If there was a wifi connection, it would be easier to work with tablets also and the data network connection would be quicker, more reliable and more efficient.

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

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