The story of implementation was organized by Barbara Zadraveli around the learning scenario ‘Our Healthy Life’, originally created by Emilia Marina Alexe. It was chosen to be implemented in a similar age group as a good chance to teach part of the curriculum intended for first graders of Junior High School of the 4th Gymnasion of Preveza, in the subject of English as a Foreign Language. More specifically, it came aside Unit 3 of the class coursebook with the title ‘Teen matters! Food for thought –Your problem sorted-’, raising awareness on teenagers΄ healthy food habits, enhancing vocabulary and practising Giving Advice while developing digital skills, creativity and decision making.
It was implemented partly during online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic period and partly, the final stage of it, in the conventional classroom. The implementation followed the ‘flipped classroom methodology’ as it was planned to be delivered via e-class, an asynchronous teaching platform and Webex, a synchronous online teaching platform.
Was it integrated in the curriculum?
The scenario implemented was fully integrated into the English Language teaching the national curriculum. In the national curriculum we have sports and food, as topics and as functional language: Expressing an opinion/quantity/obligation, prohibition & lack of obligation/emotions/guessing/giving advice & reasons.
In terms of grammar, the focus was given on Nouns & quantifiers (healthy food and recipes) / Modals: must – mustn’t – don’t have to – may -might – should -shouldn’t / (Eating healthy Quiz), Comparative & superlative form of adjectives (Talking about sports and preferences). Specific competences were addressed for the present scenario such as: identifying details in messages and interactions on predictable topics when speakers speak clearly and rarely, presenting plans/exposing future intentions and projects, expressing an opinion on a practical issue, extracting the necessary information by reading instructions and regulations, selecting info from texts on everyday life, finding appropriate sources of reading and info, enhancing reading, speaking, writing skills on Food & healthy diet.
Flipping the classroom with blended learning activities
The initial plan of activities was followed as described in the Learning Scenario implemented (“Our Healthy Life“) with slight changes which had to do with the allocated time, the different age group and the specific circumstances it was implemented, that is the time of quarantine and the students being away from real classrooms situations. Also, the digital tool of padlet was used as a means of a virtual blackboard for the pupils to put up all the work produced and for interaction, comments, and questions. All activities were integrated into 4 modules (duration of 1 hour each), divided into 2 parts: 1. The asynchronous phase via the platform e-class and 2. The synchronous phase with online lessons via the platform Cisco Webex. The use of digital tools and the process of self-regulated learning were two of the most critical factors of the successful implementation. More specifically the modules were implemented as follows:
Module 1: ‘Healthy lifestyle’- Familiarizing with Europeana, leading in the theme by answering a relevant question with Answergarden, and playing the Healthy Quiz for kids. The pupils had to give each other advice practising functional language and structures: “You’d better eat/do …/You should sleep…” How did they do it ? They uploaded a printscreen of their answers on the Padlet Our Healthy Diet and Sports in our Life, a tool they had been already familiar with, and they used the giving advice useful phrases to interact with their peers’ answers and give advice to each other.
Module 2: ‘Sports in our life’- Sports is a major factor of Healthy living …Do you agree or disagree? Pupils were introduced with that lead in question to the topic. They had to answer going to a Questionnaire in the e-class pages. Besides, they were provided with the Europeana collections, pictures, and video resources to be discussed in the next online lesson (phase 1). The students were presented with a Slideshare with pictures from Europeana collections on the Webex platform and they were asked to recognize the sports and write them on the chat. Then they were asked to watch a video and try to recognize the sports, compare and contrast them with the previous collection of pictures, Europeana sports. During the production stage, it was time to play and use the vocabulary acquired to create their own puzzles in teams using the breakout sessions and upload them on their e-class assignments part (phase 2).
Module 3: ‘Life Style and Attitude’- Reading a Europeana text Lifestyle and the attitude of seniors towards health and get to know the main ideas and new vocabulary in it. As the text was relatively difficult for their level, they were provided with a detailed worksheet (Worksheet 1), uploaded on e-class pages and guiding them ( use of an online dictionary) with specific steps to follow (phase1). During the online lesson, the students discussed the ideas presented in the Europeana text and checked comprehension with the answers given on the assignments page of our e-class. Then they split into breakout sessions, where all teams had to select the main words conveying the meaning of the text and create their wordclouds. Final products had to be uploaded on our Padlet wall or sent as assignments in the e-class, Our Healthy Diet and Sports in our Life padlet, Our Healthy life and sports activities (phase 2).
Module 4: ‘Time for action – reading – searching – acting’- Students were asked to work in 3 different teams and study the Europeana recipes, 1. Recipe madeira cake 2. Recipe biscuit cake 3. Apple jelly recipe, write down ingredients and practice the use of Countable –uncountable nouns in them (Phase 1). As a follow up, the teams had to a) create their own posters on healthy living and sports, healthy recipes and actually produce them with their families, involving parents in the procedure. A detailed worksheet was provided on the e-class platform with a shared document (Worksheet 2).
b) Present all their work in the class and they were asked to bring the recipes they produced to have a real healthy breakfast in school.
c) Assess what they really achieved with the completion of the learning scenario, on a shared Google form (Self-assessment form), and also assess all activities involved (Voting- assessing Europeana activities) justifying their answers with arguments on pros and cons of each one of them (phase 2).
The whole procedure as well as the final products can be seen here:
It was an extremely interesting experience for me, teaching with Europeana and a special challenge to implement the learning scenario ‘Our Healthy Life’ , in an online teaching situation during the pandemic. I felt that my pupils needed extra support and I tried to achieve this by answering messages, communicating by mail or creating chat corners so that they did not feel alone in the process. It took a little longer than the LS as the online lessons were shorter in time and the age group was younger than the intended one. Also, I used postermywall and not Canvas for the poster creation as they were already familiar with that tool. The parents’ feedback was also very positive as they followed their children’s progress and they participated in the recipe creation procedure. All in all, it really worthed trying to let my pupils regulate their own learning and produce authentic work studying and making use of resources. The best part was experiential learning and the fun they had experimenting in creating the recipes themselves and filming the whole procedure.
Why study with Europeana? The pupils’ perspective …
- Students were confident expressing their opinion in English.
- Students regulated their own learning as they had to study resources at their own pace (e-class asynchronous platform), seek help, use forum and interact in a learning community.
- They learnt how to use Europeana as a resource engine.
- They made use of different digital tools to collaborate – Google Docs, postermywall, answergarden, padlet, wordcloud.
- They created their own digital content: posters, videos, wordclouds and PowerPoint presentations.
- They had fun and played games while learning.
“ It was fun”,
“It was funny and we learnt a lot of things”,
“An amazing experience”
“Studying European traditions and looking up info was interesting”
and many more were only some of their enthusiastic comments, that can be seen on the assessment voting tool here :Voting- assessing Europeana activities.
Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario?
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