We are winding down the school year. There are four more class periods and then finals. It is a difficult time to concentrate – both for the students and for the teacher. That is why I try to structure my end-of-the-year lessons with some low-key educational activities.
For example, my British Literature classes turned in their final research project on April 12. Since that time we have been listening to oral presentations of their reports, which consisted of a biographical research portion of a British author of choice followed by an in-depth literary analysis of one of his/her famous works. My purpose for this activity is three-fold:
- Give the students the experience to speak in front of a group for longer than 30 seconds (they are required to talk for a minimum of 15 minutes plus answer any questions classmates may have)
- Allow the teacher to hear what the student learned, just in case the writing sample is not clear (it helps greatly if I know ahead of time what they are “trying to say” – so that I can offer constructive feedback on the essay)
- Introduce a variety of British authors to students that we do not have an opportunity to study in class.