Although I have been used to placements in schools back home, today was the first time I was going to be teaching a lesson here in Shimoni and I was feeling a little apprehensive about it. The subject was English with Standard 5 class at Base Academy primary school. I was surprised to walk in the class and see there were only 8 students!
The lesson focus was on ‘present continuous tense’ and I, along with two other volunteers tried to plan this to make the lesson as enjoyable as possible. The lesson was to last for 1 hour 20 minutes which is a long time children to be sat at a desk so it was important for me to make sure that the lesson was engaging for the children and their learning was made fun.
|Mastering the present continuous at Base Academy|
The lesson introduced what the present continuous tense was and we planned to play a game of charades where children mimed an ‘–ing’ word and their team members had to guess the action which the child was completing. If they got the answer correct their team got a point. The next activity involved children coming to the front of the class and writing a sentence on the board. With it being such a small class every child was given the opportunity to do this. By giving the children the chance to be ‘teacher’ to the rest of the class, it got them excited and enthused to participate.
|Stacey, Natalie and Eveline with lovely Base Academy students|
I was keen to get reading comprehension into the lesson. At home, I would have done this in a circle on the carpet so instead I decided to change the desks around to resemble a square so everyone was facing each other making the atmosphere more relaxed and calm. The theme of the short story was a fashion show and each child was able to read a sentence each, which had not been planned, but they loved to read so I let them lead it! Afterwards we used comprehension to have a quiz between the two teams. This got the children very competitive and excited to answer the questions! Further to this, children then had to close their eyes as I explained that they had to imagine walking down a platform in front of a huge audience and they had to think about what they would be wearing. I asked the children questions, to prompt their thinking about their clothes, the colour of them, the style, and how they may be feeling etc. At first the children were wary about sharing their ideas, but when a child came forward and did so, I dared to ask for an example of how they would walk and he was more than happy to strut his stuff as if he was on a platform!
The class burst into laughter which set the mood for the rest of the lesson and everybody now wanted a turn. It was such a good feeling coming away knowing that the children had enjoyed the lesson you had delivered and I can’t wait to teach the class later in the week.
Natalie Dean – Teaching and Community Project Volunteer