I implemented ‘World Café Stories‘ learning scenario created by Nataša Tram with my after school speaking club students. These sixteen students are eager to use English outside the classroom. We come together twice a week. Each week we discuss something new, using different methods and tools. As that week’s topic was tangible and intangible heritage, I decided to integrate Europeana resources into my activity. The students in the club are 14 – 17 years old.
Why did I choose “World café Stories”?
The reason I chose this learning scenario was that I had been using the world café method for two years and I was pretty much experienced with it. When applying the world café method, students have the opportunity to be active. Students love moving around while they learn something. Since my students were familiar with this learning approach, it wasn’t difficult for them to follow the instructions. However, I made some little changes while implementing this scenario.
How did it work?
First of all, I divided the students into four groups as it was indicated in the original learning scenario. Students rolled the dice to choose the host for each team. There were four students in each group and four stations. These four host students stayed still at their desks during the whole activity but all the other visitor students were active and visited other desks.
I used a piece of relaxing music to motivate students to be creative while they were writing some parts of the stories. When the music stopped the visitor students changed their desks to contribute to another group’s story. There were QR codes on each table. Each QR code represented a picture from Europeana. Differently to the original learning scenario, I made up four characters coming from different eras of history. I wrote the beginning of the story for each group.
- There were four rounds. During the first round, all the teams read the beginning of the stories they had and then they scanned the QR codes on their desks to see the pictures taken from Europeana. We only needed four mobile devices for this activity, which were provided by the school authorities. Each host created a Google Doc for the collaborative writing task. We needed computers to write stories. Therefore, we did this activity in the school’s library.
- During the next 2 rounds, the hosts read the stories to the new members. With the ideas of the new members, stories were shaped in unexpected ways.
- During the last round, all the students returned to their first team desk. They read the completed stories which they had known only the beginning of them. All the groups’ members drew one or two pictures to illustrate the stories.
- Finally, the hosts presented the illustrated stories to everyone. These stories were also showcased on the school notice boards.
All the students in the club really appreciated the lesson. They learnt about Europeana resources and had fun at the same time. Students had to communicate in English orally to carry out a collaborative writing task. They used digital technologies which appeal to the teenagers very much. Students also enjoyed integrating different disciplines into speaking activities.
I strongly recommend teachers of different disciplines to use both “World Café” method and to implement “World Café Stories” learning scenario created by Nataša Tram. Besides teaching how to use copyright materials in their lessons, these teachers can also enrich their lessons, using Europeana resources and digital teaching tools.
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World Cafe Stories by Natasa Tram
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