This learning scenario is meant to be used with students who have learnt Europeana for the first time. The main aims of the lesson are to learn basic vocabulary associated with planning a trip; being able to describe what they would like to do on holiday; learning more about the famous tourist attractions around the world; to encourage students to use their creativity by browsing Europeana for suitable material; learning about how to make a good travel brochure; creating a brochure that demonstrates strong research skills ; and, finally, understand the culture being explored and to focus on a particular grammar point – adjectives. I implemented this scenario with the 9th graders (15 years old) during an English class.
As the warm-up, I presented the Europeana Homepage. I let students explore and use the navigation bar, menu and tabs. I formed groups of three and then gave them keywords to search for. They had 3 minutes to go through the results. They then presented what they found (the kind of objects they found). I explained that they are going to use the material from Europeana to start a travel agency and take travelers to the past. Having collected a variety of travel brochures. I gave each group a handful of brochures to explore. I explained to students that they were going to be designing a travel brochure, so they had to look closely for the following features: layout, highlights, illustrations, style, photos, information. Then I asked each group to talk about one of the features: asked specifically how the brochure writers use language to entice travellers; what kinds of words were used (adjectives). In this part of the lesson plan, the students were very excited to examine the brochures. They looked at them very carefully, took some notes and started to discuss about their design by browsing Europeana for ideas they looked specifically in the exhibitions and collections part of the website.
Planning the travel itinerary
I asked my students to explore Travelmap to plan the itinerary of the journey. I then gave some instructions for the online itineraries. For research, the students used the Europeana browse bar. To identify possible sites and cities to visit first they gave a date and then chose a location or monument. This search gave them an idea to identify particular cities or sites that were worth visiting. They designed an online itinerary. The groups chose the artifacts from Europeana which they would like to use for their presentation and/or brochure. They divided the material (days) and commented on the chosen photos, pictures, music: where does it come from, which year, and details on why they thought it was worth visiting that specific place.
Presenting travel details
Then when the material was ready, they prepared a presentation at home (Prezi or Emaze), to show their choices and also justified the inclusion of their particular selections. The presentations showed that the locations they chose were interesting, and were also important in helping tourists understand that particular piece of history. They presented the Classification, Provenance and Extended information data from Europeana and were aware of the usage rights. For each site there was a photo, and a brief description of the site: when does it date from? Who built it (which civilization and/or state/empire, and individual if known)? What was its purpose? Why is it worth visiting in particular (Is it spectacular? Are there interesting facts about it?) They also provided the Europeana link as a source. They included artifacts that would appeal to the eyes of past travelers.
Conception of the brochure
They used Adobe Spark to create the brochure. In this part of the plan, they learned how to use Adobe Spark and this was the most difficult part for them, because they had difficulties understanding the Adobe language and style within little amount of time. I asked for the IT teacher’s help on this stage.
We then started to discuss the design of the brochures. After the lesson, they wrote a post for the school facebook page and also they used Tricider sharing their brochure and commenting on it. They used Mentimeter for feedback from peers at the end of group presentations. In this part of the plan, the students again had some difficulties because they were new to Tricider and Mentimeter. I needed extra time for explaining how to use these tools.
The aims of the lesson have been fulfilled, the students have learned how to use Europeana and find information. They have improved their teamwork and collaboration skills, critical thinking, online research abilities and language competencies. Finally, my students enjoyed the lesson and they could give their feedback.
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