– by Jenny Leung –
After flipping your lesson, all of a sudden you will have so much more time to do things that you always wanted to do but couldn’t. I’m sure you’ve got lots of insights from other International Faculty members already! But I would like to share one recent lesson of mine with you.
I was teaching my G.8 ESL students the story “Happy Prince.” I flipped the storytelling part and also the analysis. So no more storytelling and analysis in the group space. What else could I do in class with the story? I let my students experience it. I believe students learn deeply by doing and experiencing.
For the lessons, I prepared some “jewel” candies the students could pretend were the rubies and sapphires in Happy Prince. I gave these “jewels” to my kids and they had to set their rules to decide how to use the jewels, and who to help or not, because they didn’t have unlimited resources.
Then I would take on a role and ask my students for help. I might be a rich man with an ill daughter. I might be a gambler. Or I might be a poor boy who would like to date a beautiful girl, and more. They needed to decide if they would give me the jewels or not.
The process was fun! I was very satisfied because there were serious and meaningful discussions! They would even debate within their own groups. Then, they asked me really critical questions!
In one scenario, I was a rich man with a dying daughter. My kids asked me, “What does ‘poor’ mean to you?” “Are you willing to give all your money to the poor if your daughter is cured?” In the gambler’s scenario, my kids said they would help the gambler to quit his gambling addiction and help his family instead of just giving him money. Wow! I never expected that! I almost couldn’t answer some of the questions!!
I believe if I simply gave them scenarios on papers to discuss, they wouldn’t be that involved. Besides, without flipping the class, I definitely couldn’t spare so much time to let students play with this knowledge and content, without homework, without assessment.
Of course, at the end, everyone got the candies. It was fun. After all, learning has to be fun! Right?
Do you have any in-class task that you could only do after you flip the class? Share with us!! =)
Jenny, this is an amazing example of the limitless options in the group space. I would like to hear about other lessons similar to this one and how the students responded. I think this is a fantastic idea.
Jenny what you have done is provide a place in which you can really see who your students “are” and not simply what they “can do.” I think that is a huge distinction and one that will help you take your students to the next level – whatever that may be. I look forward to hearing about your next lesson.