Curriculum Development Part 5: Week 1 Recap, Planning Week 2

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In my last post, I talked about planning the overall structure party unit as well as the first week.  In this post, I’m back with a recap of week one and planning week two! 

Week One Recap

This week focused primarily on understanding the steps for planning a party, and the greatest challenges for students were the texts themselves,  as this is a new unit with new vocabulary and authentic texts.  There were also some technical challenges with accessing the vocabulary lists the first few days which didn’t help.  However, by the end of the week, following activities like breaking the texts into jigsaw discussions and continued repetition of the party planning words, students did seem to have a clear idea of possible steps in planning a party, and which ones would be relevant to our party.  Including questions specifically targeting sociolinguistic and pragmatic elements on the homework also seems to be helpful in getting students to notice and think about these parts of language, instead of just focusing on vocabulary and grammar (which is still important, but not the only important part of language!)

Week Two Planning

For this week, each day focused on a specific step in planning a party, and I searched for texts that supported this step, coming up with the following plan (click on the day to see the supporting text):

Monday:

I can understand the necessary information to reserve a room for the celebration

I can write a request to reserve a room for the celebration

Tuesday:

I can order food for the party according to my budget

Wednesday:

I can discuss ideas for decorating for the party with my classmates

Thursday:

I can discuss appropriate clothing for the party

I can decide on appropriate dress for our party

Friday: Multiple Examples

I can write invitations

As with Week 1, some of these texts are quite challenging for my students, and quite frankly, I find some of them a little boring, and would prefer to find more appealing texts in the future. However, there is only so much time to spend searching for texts, so at some point I have to go with what I have.

As with the first week, after planning the schedule, I then analyzed the texts for necessary vocabulary, grammar, pragmatic, sociolinguistic, and cultural elements.  Using this analysis, I made an example text homework, helping students focus on what they understand, don’t understand, and sociolinguistic and pragmatic elements, as well as a google drive chart focused on vocabulary and grammar for them to study and create their own sentences related to the Can-Dos in preparation for class.  In class, we focus on activities that have them doing whatever the Can-Do is for that day, using the homework text as a model.

Week 3 will involve putting the students in committees to plan the actual party, and I hope to be back with that in a few weeks!