Monday, March 17, 2014

Teacher Ideas: Themes Of Interest

Thanks to Kevin for another great installment in our Teacher Ideas series. (Submissions welcome!) Read his account of generating interesting themes for his Saturday classes.

Themes Of Interest, by Kevin Lathrop

Students learn the best - quickest, most efficiently - when the content of the class is interesting. Of course, everyone varies in what themes they find of interest. An instructor of mine in graduate school counseled that in the search for effective materials the best resource is students themselves. In my Level 4 Saturday course, I asked students to choose from among their own stories those they found the most interesting and then to identify the themes.  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Activity Roundup: Classic Paintings Updated, Political Cartoons, The Annie Remake

Here are some current things you could bring into the classroom.

Check out this fascinating photo series at the Guardian. Halley Docherty took classic paintings of city streets and superimposed them over current shots from Google Street View. These images could serve as conversation or writing prompts: How have cities changed in 100 (or more) years? How have cities remained the same? How do you think cities will look 100 years from now?

If you want to talk about current events from multiple viewpoints, the NPR series Double Take Cartoons offers two distinct takes on a single new item each day. Political cartoons are a great way to develop critical thinking skills, and this feature doubles the chances for students to practice that skill.

The official trailer for the remake of Annie was released yesterday. How many students have seen the original? Do people generally like or dislike remakes? What are the challenges in remaking a classic film?