Thursday, October 11, 2012

Writing Week 9: PB&J How-to

Week nine was the second paragraph lesson; this time, organizing by process.  Really, practicing writing directions on how to do something.  As usual, I tried to have some fun with it rather than just lecturing the entire time; for one activity, I had the students plays the old game where one was blindfolded, the second students then moved somewhere else in the classroom, and the third had to give verbal directions to the blindfolded person on how to arrive at the other person.

Other examples including giving directions based on a map of central Beijing, drawing a simple frog step by step, and watching a howdini video on how to make and decorate a butterfly cake, thinking through the directions in each case and how to express them in English so as to be clearly understood.

The final example was the highlight of the class--how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I brought bread, peanut butter, jelly, knives, plates, orange juice, and cups to class; four students in each class volunteered and I instructed them step by step in making the sandwiches.  The final step was to cut the sandwich in fourths and share with their classmates.  This may sound like a bit of a silly example, but most of my studens had never even heard of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, much less made or tried one.  Most liked it; a few didn't.  However, most had fun trying a new food that I explained to them was the staple of many American children's diet.  (Although I didn't confuse them by enlightening them as to the staple of my childhood diet--it wasn't jelly with my peanut butter on the sandwich).


Emily Fowler said...

That good ole' miracle whip... :) I love reading your posts on here! I know that you're a FABULOUS teacher.

Katy Cross said...

Hehe, yup, miracle whip. You know me well. :) Thanks for reading my blog; I really enjoy teaching, although sometimes it's hard to know exactly how to help them learn.

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