Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Full Lesson Rationale

This lesson sequence is based on the novel The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and is designed for a medium ability Year 8 class.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas has been chosen for its inclusion on the Board of Studies recommended reading, its vast learning opportunities including the setting of World War II and themes of friendship, acceptance, and morality, as well as the multitude of lesson possibilities including WWII, characterization, war propaganda and comparisons between the novel and the film.

This lesson sequence is presented as a blog/ICT project for a number of reasons. Firstly, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is not only a novel, it also has a film of the same name and there are innumerous resources available for a study of this novel available on the internet. These include articles, reviews, YouTube videos, information as well as the vast amount of information on Germany, WWII and concentration camps which can be gleaned from internet sources. Secondly, blogs are a fast-growing type of communication and learning that many savvy students would be well aware of and familiar with, and many would have the basic knowledge of navigating such blogs. This format in particular is simple and easy to follow for most students, and students can access this lesson sequence from school computers as well as their homes or anywhere with the internet. Students can be followers of the blog and be regularly updated on changes and new posts, and can contribute to their own learning via the comments section. Further, by having all lessons available at once, students are able to extend themselves and read ahead, and the use of extra website resources allows students the opportunity to read and explore the topics more widely than possible in a standard classroom. This lesson sequence is presented in the format of a blog and will be used by students both within the classroom and from their homes. Students are active participants in creating the blog through their answers to activities, and also have the resources and history of their learning during the sequence to reflect on during and at the finish of the lesson sequence. This is similar to real learning setups used in schools across NSW where class resources and learning activities are based on Moodle. This project involves students more intensely so that they follow the blog in class, refer to it at home and during assignments, and comment and create blog pages themselves so that they are actively contributing and learning as a group.

This lesson sequence will emphasise Bloom’s Taxonomy, Multiple Intelligences and Group Collaborative work in order to appeal to the full range of students, promote the most effective learning for all individuals and the use of this specific text as novel and film as well as the use of a web blog further enhances learning by various means and technologies as a way to include and interest all students.

As this lesson sequence is for two weeks, students will only have two official assessment tasks, one of which will be due a few weeks after the sequence has ended. Each lesson contains activities for students to develop their skills, both individually and within small groups, which also allows for some assessment. Marking criteria will include demonstrating knowledge of text, understanding of thematic and other concerns, consideration of techniques, consideration of medium and comparisons between medium, and ability to communicate these ideas effectively.

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