This school year is entirely different from the previous school years. When I decided to take the COETAIL journey, my main goal has been to start implementing technology more often. Since the last March, I have been teaching my lessons remotely and will be teaching till the end of this school year. So, I had to learn fast and start using a different approach to teaching a foreign language to elementary school students. It was a challenge, and still, it is pretty tricky. “To have a second language is to have a second soul. (Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor).”
For my Course 5 project, I have chosen the fifths grade Unit Places I Like to Visit. The unit focuses on learning about geography, nature, climate, and places of interest in Russia in Russian.
I planned to start a unit with a provocation.
What is a provocation?
It provokes thoughts and ideas; it allows demonstrating prior knowledge and come up with various questions.
Types of provocation in WL classroom:
- Open-ended questions
- Real artifacts
- Interesting photos
- Phraseological unit, idiom
The purpose of provocation is to hook the students; push questioning and sharing connections; provoke curiosity.
I created a Flipgrid task – What do I know about my plane? Students’ task was to answer the following questions in Russian: What is our planet’s name? How many continents are in the world? What are the names of the continents? How many oceans are in the world? What are the names of the oceans? On what continent/s is Russia? What oceans are around Russia? What cities in Russia do you know? – and record their answers in Flipgrid.
Feedback and students’ reflections:
“I know some names in English, not in Russia.” “I am not sure how many continents and oceans.” “I am living in Russia already 5 years but can name only two cities – Moscow and St. Petersburg.”
The follow-up task was to look at the map and find the information that you did not know and read about different approaches explaining how many continents (6 or 7) in the world. It led to a fruitful discussion. When planning a new activity, my main focus is always authentic and engaging. The practice shows that students are much more inclined to participate, acquiring new knowledge in the process.