I created a Transformers themed lesson for my first grade Ss. It was a pleasure for me because ever since I was a kid I've been a big fan of the animation and now the movies. It's a great topic for the high school boys because they've all seen all the movies. They knew almost as much as me. hehe
I used the same formula I've used with previous output lessons. Start with a brainstorm about the history of the transformers and a 5 minute video clip from one of the movies. One new thing I started doing this week is comprehension check. Before watching the video I told the students that they have to remember 3 things: transformer names, jobs and what they transform into. I do this because it is the content of the presentation stage. After telling the Ss this, I chose 2 or 3 Ss who didn't seem like they were listening and asked them '(name) What 3 things do you have to remember?'... usually those Ss didn't know even though I just told them. But that was not a surprise because I nominated those Ss particularly because I didn't think they would.
Instead of telling them the answer I chose another S who looked like they heard me and had him list the 3 things aloud. I then went back to the first S and had him list what he just heard. This strategy ate up 5mins of valuable time but it was effective because by then everyone was aware of what they were supposed to do. I also found that once we got to the presentation stage the Ss were better prepared for filling in the gaps in the sentences with the info in the video. It lead them to concentrate on what I deemed important while still enjoying the movie clip.
For then on the lesson went smoothly and most Ss were able to utter the presented sentence and info without reading or much cueing on my part. I feel like this year's freshmen have really come to understand what is expected of them in my class. This week even the usually behaviourly difficult classes were well behaved. I feel like they are over the hump in terms of adjusting to high school life.