As I wrote many times, I am fond of looking for new and unconventional concepts to practice content from the lesson.
This time Oxford University Press materials were really handy. The publisher provided an extra worksheet to the festival chapter, which was my inspiration to do something on my own.
My third graders are about to invent their own festivals!
I gave out empty pieces of paper for each child and started to explain what’s going to happen during this lesson.
I put one sheet on the board and wrote my own example of a holiday. It was called Chocolate Day.
I started by writing seven aspects of the holiday, namely,
WHAT DO WE DO
I elicited their meanings and started filling the empty spaces next to these words using a different coloured pen.
I gave students some time to look at it and get to grips with the cheat sheet that I had prepared for them. Instead of explaining what they are supposed to write, I gave my own example.
After that, I wrote a checklist on the board that they need to complete. We briefly discussed these points and they started to work.
In this free writing activity, I did not focus on grammar or slight spelling mistakes. The aim was to give them the freedom to make up their own creative festivals after a number of lessons on different celebrations around the world. Students were encouraged to think outside of the box (the crazier ideas – the better!) and I did not limit their writing process. (Of course, besides the checklist.)
This project was done with 3rd graders, so kids between 8 and 9 years old. I am sure they are skilled enough to write this simple passage. I supported and scaffolded them during each step of the task. Despite having extra materials to use, I was ready and willing to help.
Here are some examples of my students’ works. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Try to notice the differences between the level of advance between them. Some really tried to focus on accuracy, while others went with the flow and didn’t bother with grammar or spelling.
I displayed their works and praised them for attempting and fulfilling so well this challenging task.
Have you ever tried such a project with your children?
Share your thoughts in comments.