The learning scenario above was implemented in one of my Medieval History classes of 26 students (16-year-old). I was searching for something to fit my students’ interests, and after an informal poll that I made amongst them (they had to choose between Medieval manuscripts and their making procedure or the myths which are connected to Dragons), they unanimously chose the Dragons!
1st teaching hour:
- K-W-L Charts: I distributed them a K-W-L Chart to fill in (Know-Want to know- Learn 3 column chart) before dealing with the topic. This is an assessment tool that helps both self-assessment and gives teachers feedback about what students learnt at the end of the lesson.
- Brainstorming: Students were asked to fill in a Padlet (instead of a Poplet suggested in the LS) with the first one or two words that came to their mind when they hear the word “Dragon”. Μany of them connected the mythical creatures with China, films and TV series (Harry Potter, The Game of Thrones) and some others with The Medieval Era in general or with the adoration of St George.
- Getting to know the Europeana platform: I introduced the students to the Europeana platform and guided them to navigate its Collections and Galleries (we used Greek as the usage language). Several of them were impressed by the richness of the cultural items that one can find and use and the variety of the topics.
2nd teaching hour
- Reading: The students read “Here be the Dragons” as suggested in the LS along with a Greek on line article on the symbolism of dragons and slaying them. This was obligatory in order to understand the symbolism of the mythic creature and relate it with the Medieval era and its connection, especially with the Christian religion (both catholic and orthodox).
- Producing the posters: In this phase, students used web tools to produce posters (i.e Canva, imgflip). They enjoyed it very much and some of them, who had advanced skills in ICT, extended the task to a Gif and a Meme!
In order to cover the goals of my specific lesson and taking into consideration my student’s age, the aims of the original LS were adjusted. Emphasis was given at the symbolic dimension of Dragons and its relation with Christianity, especially during the Middle Ages. For this, firstly I used the K-W-L Chart and the articles.
It was very interesting that one student remarked, after browsing the Europeana collection, that in China the use of dragon figures is on everyday objects (like vases and plates), while in European cultures it was depicted in mythical or religious themes. A very important aim of the LS was to connect History (and especially the gloomy Medieval Era) with students’ interests and with the use of New Technologies. The Europeana Gallery provided a rich collection of material for the students to work and the web tools were chosen by the students, as they are competent enough in that area.
Students were not familiar with the Europeana platform and content. For that reason 1 teaching hour was devoted to that: they worked in groups of 2 or 3 in the school ICT Laboratory, browse the Europeana platform and collaborate in order to produce a poster or a leaflet, along with their story.
Due to lack of time and the fact that the implementation was done during a History lesson and not a Language (or a CLIL) lesson, an article in students’ mother tongue was preferred to be given instead of the very rich material proposed in the Annex of the original LS.
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