Teaching Revolting Rhymes

Introduction I chose to base three lessons as a project on the rhyme Snow-White and the seven dwarfs from Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl, aiming at the 8th grade. The text is authentic, suitable and relevant for children at this age group. It will appeal to a wide range of pupils, and can be a tool for differentiation. I also believe that the pupils can appreciate the humor in the text by experiencing a surprising new context in a well known text. This particular RSCG, however, is chosen also as a tool to build on earlier skills that pupils have of the original fairytale (i+1).

This particular RSCG is based on an international fairytale and pupils may well recognize it and use it as a base for new knowledge and competences according to Krashen (1982) referred in Drew & Sorheim (2009). Furthermore, the project is also intended as cross-curricular with the Norwegian literature subject, while dealing with fairytales as a genre first, and implementing the subject eventually in English class. I intend to introduce the rhyme in different forms, for variation and differentiation.

In the first part I will perform an introduction and a brainstorming on the fairytale genre. The second approach will be a film of the rhyme from YouTube. In the third part the pupils will be reading and processing the text. Eventually, the class will perform a play for the rest of the 8th grade. The project includes 3 lessons over three weeks, plus homework/group work/workstations. Varying the teaching methods is taken into account at all lessons and in self study. Differentiation is achieved by various teaching approaches, both visual and oral.

? 1. Lesson a, pre-reading activities 1. 1. Presentation and brainstorming The teacher and the class discuss fairytales as a genre, using transparent words and “tease” with the play that is going to be planned in lesson 2. Presenting the subject is necessary for getting acquainted with the theme and how the pupils will process it later. The teacher uses the blackboard for visualization of vocabulary and ideas of the subject fairytales, and this rhyme in particular. The activity invites to both oral exercise and TPR for some pupils (app. 15-20 min.

) Brainstorming used as a pre-reading activity, eliciting vocabulary from earlier knowledge of the piece in Norwegian, and acquiring new vocabulary by listening and watching both the teacher and other pupils as an audio-lingual activity (Drew & Sorheim, 2009). 1. 2. Watching a short film The film Revolting Rhymes “Snow White and the seven dwarfs” (app. 7 min. ) Link: http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=zulq2oa_z0m The film is the first part of the visualizing of the fairytale. The pupils will be acquainted with the rhyme and that will facilitate reading and processing the text later.

Visualizing will also help to cater for the different needs in class, and the funny pictures and sounds will vitalize and help pupils enjoy the text as well. A number of studies support Krashen in that a text that is enjoyable is easier to learn and new vocabulary will be easier to remember, and use later (Drew & Sorheim, 2009) 1. 3. Homework Read through homework on smartboard. Clarify that the tasks are understood. Answer questions (app. 10-15 min. ) Homework on it’s learning (for 1 week):

•Use the link to the YouTube version of the rhyme and watch it once again. •Read twice the fairytale in Revolting Rhymes “Snow White and the seven dwarfs” •Record yourself reading 1 page of the rhyme and post it in it’s learning. •Write a review of the fairytale. •Write your own opinion about this version of “Snow White and the seven dwarfs” (At least 5 sentences). •Solve the exercise with true or false sentences and information gap exercises. •Crossword puzzles, optional Watching the rhyme once again allows further comprehension and gives a pronunciation aid.

Reading the text twice at home allows learners at different levels the opportunity to read individually and be well acquainted with the text, expanding and enhancing vocabulary. The recording possibility in it’s learning is a good pronunciation tool. Writing down a review helps benefit of earlier skills learning new vocabulary according to Krashens i+1 theory (1982). Furthermore, writing opens for differentiation because pupils on a higher CEFR scale will write longer texts or use more advanced vocabulary (Drew & Sorheim, 2009).

The “true or false” sentence exercises give the teacher the information as to how well the text is comprehended, and if several differentiations strategies are needed to reach the learning aims (Drew & Sorheim, 2009). Information gap exercises are provided with model sentences to suite all levels in the CEFR scale (Drew & Sorheim, 2009) Crosswords puzzles are applied here for acquiring new vocabulary. The task is optional because it is a fun and a motivating activity, most likely to be accomplished by many pupils. 2. Lesson b, while-reading activities 2. 1.

Presentation A short repetition of the theme, and explaining about the role play that the pupils are going to produce (app. 10 min) Dividing the groups allows differentiation and varying of tasks. Most roles open up for practicing both oral and writing skills (see “work cards” below). The teacher points out three coordinators, one for each group. The coordinator’s task is to “watch the English”, so pupils express themselves in English as often as possible (app. 10-15 min. ) The coordinators role in my project will be both an academic and a social one, though.

Their role is important for the group dynamics so they are required to be pupils that are kind and well liked. Their role will also be to help and implement slower learners into roles and help them be more socially accepted. The 3 coordinators will receive a “course” in helping implementing of pupils into the lot of pupils (www. trivselsleder. no, 2010) The fascinating method of using coordinators is being used in Kaland skole in Bergen, among others, in recesses. The coordinators receive a course in implementing of pupils socially, and acquire a special token for their effort, as tickets to various events, eventually.

All pupils have the opportunity to participate in the program as long as they strive to behave equally sympathetic with fellow pupils. ? 2. 2. Workstations The teacher divides the class in groups considering the skills they hold, allowing slow learners to be able to contribute (KL06) (app. 10 min). Group work (app. 35min) Work cards Group one: 10-15 pupils, a coordinator and actors (specify all roles in the play plus 2 readers) Learn the lines and practice together. Group two: 7-8 pupils 2 journalists for interviews, 1 gossip journalist and 1 newspaper journalist 2 writers are writing the news and gossip.

Please cooperate with the journalists. The newspaper is to be distributed around school some days before the play. 2 paparazzi photographers take pictures. 1 TV reporter dramatizes the news on TV. Make the headline news around the celebrities: King, queen, princess, the 7 dwarfs, the hunter. Example for headlines: QUEEN MOTHER THREATENS PRINCESS!! Try to make the news authentic, but also funny ? Group three: 2-3 pupils PR group: Produce invitations/ brochures for the play. Make posters for advertizing of the play. Use pictures/drawings from the internet.

Cooperate with the photographers from group 2on photos of the actors. Invite the rest of 8th grade. Make a little oral presentation in English for each class telling them about the play that is being produced. 2. 3. Homework Use parents as allies and create “Homework-groups”, used as the “play-groups” schools use for socializing outside school hours. The method facilitates the possibility for pupils to socialize with others they do not normally socialize with, and facilitating creative input and learning to acknowledge and respect each other’s ideas.

Group one: Learn your lines at home. Meet after school, you can either go home to one of you, or use a location at school. Use old clothes as costumes. Coordinator: Hear out the actors, and praise each of them for the good work. Group two: Make a newspaper article with photos telling of the “event” using argumentative writing. Do also a magazine article about the celebrities that can be handed out to the public. Prepare to broadcast the “news” before the play. Coordinator: Check the texts for spelling. Hear out the anchor man/woman. Praise everyone for the good work.

Group three: Meet after school and finalize the brochures/invitations. Start a campaign in school and give a good PR to the play. Use posters (self made) around the school. Coordinator: Check for spelling and language. Praise everyone for the good work. ? 3. Lesson c, post-reading activities 3. 1. Day of implementation Group 3 hands out the program/brochure and presents the play to the audience (app. 5-10 min. ) Group 2 presents the news and gossip (app. 10 min. ) Group 1 acts (app. 15 min. ) That will finalize a three week self study project for the class with guidance and aid from the teacher. 4.

Conclusion A self study in groups, after an appropriate introduction to the text, is an activity that 8th grade pupils can succeed in. The project can be fun, educational and motivating in various ways. The project might also contribute so that the class can become more cohesive when one depends evenly on everyone to succeed in the project. I also believe that classes that have good routines in cooperating are more receptive for new learning. By varying and differentiating in the approaches to the literary piece, one can reach most of the pupils and make the text more comprehensible for slower learners.

That way slower learners might be able to autonomy the text and contribute equally as KL06 requires. Conceivably, a project of this sort might suit monolingual classes as well, due to the visualizing and repetition in all parts of the project. All four skills are presented in the project, in addition to several social skills as cooperating, including, performing and tolerance. References Dahl, Roald. (2008) Revolting Rhymes. Britain. Puffin books. Munden, Juliet & Myhre, Astrid. (2007) Twinkle Twinkle. Norway. Hoyskoleforlaget. Norwegian academic press. Drew, Ion & Sorheim, Bjorn.

(2009) English teaching strategies. Norway. Det norske samlaget. Trivselsleder TL (2010) Tittel: Trivselsleder. http://www. trivselsleder. no/c-260-programinformasjon. aspx Sunnmorsposten. (2010) Tittel: Mer trivsel i friminuttene. http://www. smp. no/nyheter/article262311. ece? ref=nf Skolenettet (2010) Tittel: Undervisningsopplegg grunnskole. http://www. skolenettet. no/Web/Veiledninger/Templates/Pages/Area2Dim. aspx? id=68000&epslanguage=NO Kunnskapsloftet (2006) Tittel: Kunnskapsloftet. http://www. regjeringen. no/nb/dep/kd/tema/grunnopplaring/kunnskapsloeftet. html? id=1411