Implementation of ‘Yes, you can!’ (SOI-MT-495)

The learning scenario Yes, you can! (LS-TR-710) by Ozgu Ozturk was carried out at a Boys’ Secondary School. It was fitting for me because I was able to incorporate it with my current language unit of ‘Sports’ that I am covering with two of my Year 8 classes, consisting of 20 students and 24 students at the ages of 12-13 in a school in Malta. The objectives of this lesson are for students to work out unfamiliar words in a text and to prepare questions to ask a paralympic athlete. The learning objectives are aligned with those presented in Malta’s Learning Outcome Framework.

The following procedure was used:

Step 1: Students worked in groups on a relay race game. They had to come up to the board in a line and pass over the marker to the next student. They had to come up with as many sports in the Olympic Games as possible.

Figure 1 – A student working on the jigsaw puzzle, with help of his classmates, to uncover the picture of the paralympic athlete

Step 2: One student uses the teacher’s laptop to solve the puzzle: with the help of his classmates to uncover the picture of a Paralympic Athlete. This introduced the topic of the Paralympics.

Figure 2 – Students working in groups to create questions to ask Paralympic Athlete

Step 3: Students watch a video of the trailer for the 2016 Paralympic Games, and while they watch, they tick three things from this checklist: a musician playing the drums, a girl watching a horror movie, an athlete jumping over a bar, a mother playing with her baby, a family making a barbeque and people driving a truck.

Figure 3 – Class working in groups in a game of relay race to list sports in the Olympic Games

Step 4: The teacher informs students of the objectives for today, which are to work out the meaning of unfamiliar words from a text and create a set of questions to ask a paralympic athlete. The teacher informs them that they will get to ask questions to a local paralympic athlete, Thomas Borg. Here, the teacher gives the students some information about this local athlete and shows them a few pictures of him in action.

Step 5: The teacher also provides information about the Europeana Project and website and its purpose. The teacher then provides students with text about the history of the paralympic games taken from Europeana resources.

Step 6: Students first read and highlight any unfamiliar words. They then share the words with their partner, and together, they try to discuss the meaning of the words based on the context. The teacher takes feedback from the students.

Step 7: Students work in groups of 3/4 to create four or five questions that they would like to ask to the paralympic athlete Thomas Borg. Follow-up session: In the following lesson, the students get the chance to meet local athlete Thomas Borg via video call and ask him the questions they have prepared. After the session, the students write on post-it notes what they find most inspiring from their meeting with Thomas Borg.

Figure 4 – Both classes join together to meet local Paralympic Athlete Thomas Borg
Figure 5 – Students asking their questions to Thomas Borg

Recommendations for future use: Teachers who use this implementation are encouraged to contact local Paralympic athletes to answer the students’ questions. Alternatively, the students could prepare the questions and then play roles in a role-play where one student is the Paralympic athlete, and the other student is the interviewer.

Figure 6 – The post-it notes that the students wrote containing what struck them the most in their virtual meeting with Thomas Borg

Outcomes of the activity: I believe the learning outcomes of the lesson for the students were achieved as students could figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words from the text. The students worked very well together in their team to create grammatically accurate questions. Throughout the lesson, the students had many opportunities to practice various 21st Century Skills such as Creative thinking (when creating the questions to ask), Collaboration (when working with peers and in groups) and Communication (speaking in groups and asking their questions). As an educator, this experience has helped me broaden my horizons in using my teaching material, and I aim to use other resources from the Europeana Teaching website in the future. It has aided me in thinking in a more creative way and taking a chance by asking a Paralympic Athlete to answer the students’ questions, thus making the lesson more interesting for them. Apart from all that, I think the best thing that came out of this experience was raising more awareness of the Paralympic games and people with disabilities in general.

Link to the learning scenario implemented: Yes, you can! (LS-TR-710)

Do you want to discover more stories of implementation? Click here.

CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the National Library of Israel.

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