I was inspired by many different and wonderful ESL sites online and decided to run our very own One Word Many Voices competition. There were countless administrative issues in trying to have students logon simultaneously and respond in real time. To cut a long story short, we decided on todaysmeet.com which provided the 140 characters limit that I wanted. And the result….?
Writing fury. Click-clacking keys. Excited boys! Silly responses! Good fun in real time!
I modelled an example. Then, we trialled a few words based on our theme for the term, ‘Health and Beauty’. The first word entered was ‘oil’ and some responses were:
Oil, the currency of the world. Fluctuates though the economy, and fills the fat man’s greed. by Jay
Our once golden beaches become black murky bogs reeking of death and destruction inaccessible to eveyone. by Charlie
Oil is precious. It is also known as Black Gold, and it has been fought for by many countries. It also is a detriment to the environment. by Gyumin
Our next word was ‘science’ and the boys lapped it up…or most boys did.
Science has brought us to the point when you can hold a taco in one hand and you can print it using a 3D printer and printing a taco. by Jay
science can help you a lot but on the other hand it can ruin one’s life. by Bradley
On reflection, I should have laid down stricter ground rules. Experience and research has shown that boys do need a more guided/controlled approach to activities. A few were responsible enough to challenge themselves to devise intelligent responses. I could put it down to a new activity which caused this frenzy of silly responses. However, I know that it’s classroom management that needs working Overall, I think it was a good start to incorporating a competitive element, technology and the curriculum in a 15-minute time slot. We did lots of scaffolding and recycling of vocabulary before we got online.
Thank you Year 9 boys for that experience.