How to teach ‘I like/I don’t like’ + food? Let’s have a project.

The best way to teach anything is to personalise it and let students have fun while doing activity and learning.

Materials? Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

I asked pupils to cut out pieces of food they like and don’t like from supermarkets’ leaflets and bring them to the lesson devoted to food project.

Stages of the project

  1. Group division
  2. Giving roles to students (they can volunteer, but if not I make them volunteer)
  3. Brainstorming
  4. Designing
  5. Sticking and writing
  6. Final touch (extra picture, etc)

Roles

Students in small groups sit together. Groups can be 4 up to 6 pupils. Sometimes they may choose groups themselves, but usually I count to 4,5,6 or 7 (depending how many groups we need).

Then special roles are given.

Some were responsible for decision making, gluing things, communicating with the teacher, solving problems in group, and more if it is necessary.

I usually give funny names to these roles to make them more attractive. So, I have a bunch of gluers, askers, writers, etc.

Asker is an interesting role. Person who has got this role is the only person who is allowed to walk around the classroom and talk to the teacher. They ask about unknown food items and have to go back to their tables and explain which word is that. While the project is lasting more and more words appear on the board. For the 1st graders it is complicated to remember and look for the words they need, so I give them some clues by sketching a small pic of the food item. These pictures help not only to find the words quicker, but also to learn new vocabulary items.

The process

The first task is a brainstorm about products they want to use in the project and where shall they put them (the ‘I like…’ side or ‘I don’t like…’ one). Here the solver and decision maker are irreplaceable. They lead the conversation and deal with all unnecessary interruption in the group talking time. I don’t take part in this. I’ m just the observer. Of course, I need to interfere with their work if I see any kind of violence towards other group members. Unfortunately, it is not just exaggeration. I had some situations when reasonable arguments were not enough, and some kids wanted to use their fists instead ☹

I’m in charge of time management. I give them set amount of time for each stage of work. I want them to notice how the time flows and learn how to organise their team work better.

I put the clock on the board and draw lines. When clock’s hands are here you have to finish the discussion, and when the hands are there you have to end the gluing and writing stage. If I have the interactive board in my classroom I use some digital clocks like this one.

More entertaining way of showing pupils how the time passes is to use hourglass, egg timer or ignited bomb that is about to blow up. Online-stopwatch.com has a great variety of timers that can be displayed on the projector or interactive board. I try to apply such attractions to the very last stage. Funny timers can be very disruptive yet entertaining, so it is worth using them in the class.

When the project is finished, all works are displayed in the school corridor and proud authors can show their friends the work they have done.

Not-so-short, but simple activity which takes the whole lesson. The peer interactions were worth observing. How they manage to deal with some problems and communicate with each other.

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