However, I’m always on the look out for ideas to add a bit of creativity to the lessons I do with the full class - much needed at times when you have 30+ ten year-olds and very dry, dull books to use. We recently read a chapter in The Wizard of Oz in which Dorothy and the others finally make it to the Emerald City and meet the mysterious Wizard. The students often find this chapter confusing as each character goes to see the Wizard separately and is greeted by a different sight. They find this difficult to follow especially if they are familiar with the classic 1939 film in which all the characters see the Wizard together.
With young learners, I’ve found that flow charts are a great way to display the sequence of events in a narrative so I thought it would be an ideal way to show the experiences of each different character. Rather than have it all written it out on the board and in notebooks (which in itself would take an entire lesson), I decided to make use of bubbl.us on the projection screen. Prior to the lesson, I prepared an outline of empty bubbles with a few question prompts at the side and in class I asked the students to read through the chapter in groups and find the missing information:
They then came to the computer (unfortunately, just one computer in the classroom) and filled in each bubble until we had a completed class version, which looked something like this:
We were then able to print out the finished product for them to stick in their notebooks (we have yet to reach the point of class email accounts, blogs or wikis to keep the lesson paperless). Breaking down the chapter like this helped them visualise the events much more clearly and got them involved in a comprehension activity that went deeper than just a few questions.
To finish, we watched the meeting with the Wizard from the film and did one more flow chart highlighting the differences when compared to the book, again printed and put side-by-side with the other flow chart in their books:
For more ideas on using graphic organisers in class, check out these links:
I'd love to hear about how you use flowcharts, mind-mapping tools and other graphic organisers in class!