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Fase 1 - Understanding

Duration                                                       

4 lessons

Materials                                          

Examples of blogs (links below). Brainstorming exercises: padlet.com and Post-it  notes. Other options: Today’s meet.com, posters. Blogger or WordPress are used, depending on which the school chooses. The school can also choose another platform, though this must provide the opportunity to embed as many relevant technologies as possible. Examples of “energizers” The Creative Platform: http://www.uva.aau.dk/3D+Didaktik/Energizers/ Suggestion: “Clap 123” video on YouTube Exercises from the book “Innovative Pupils” by Rohde and Olsen.

Description of phase                      

This phase is to form the fundamental knowledge- and comprehension basis for the innovative lesson plan. The pupils are to understand blogs as a genre and in addition their customer's exact need for a blog. This happens through two processes in the FIRE-Design model: Comprehension through acquisition of existing knowledge + comprehension through exploration in and of the world.

Learning targets                               

English

 
Express oneself orally with a precision, which ensures the understanding of the customer class
Use a relatively precise vocabulary about blogs
Use a relatively precise vocabulary about the theme that the pupil is collaborating on with the partner
Choose relevant reading strategies for information searching for the blog
Understand the customer group’s fundamental values in connection with their blog order
 

Technological

 
Collect information about the chosen blog thematic on the Internet
Relate critically to the blogs presented by the teacher
Master digital tools for the contact with the customer
 

Innovative

 
Collaborate as a class about the role as a customer
Collaborate in pairs about information searching and uncovering the customer’s needs
Reflect on and assess the gathered information for own blog
Have the courage to contact the customer class

Work methods and organization                     

Lesson 1

 
1. Introduction to the lesson plan in the form of a class conversation and possible brainstorm over:
 
  • What is a blog?
  • Do you read blogs?
  • Which ones do you read?
  • What are they about?
  • Why don’t you read blogs?
 
2. The teacher shows examples of some very different blogs (see below). The class discusses, perhaps in Cooperative Learning structures, what is good and not so good in the chosen blogs. Special emphasis is placed on the language and the technological means.
 
Attached to the lesson plan is a list of inspiration for the teacher and pupils about what you can focus on when evaluating blogs. See “12 blog considerations”.
 
 
Optional homework: ‘Find other good blogs. Decide what makes them good’. The following links are examples of productions by pupils from the demonstration schools:
 
 

Lesson 2

 
The class is to both create blogs for the partner class and also order blogs themselves from the partner class. Thereby they function as both supplier and customer in the partnership. In this lesson the pupils must brainstorm over which blog-themes they have an interest in, for example a branch of sport, famous people, music, Disney movies, Family Guy, coin collections, Japanese cartoons, horses, Irish poets, professional YouTubers, internet games, English grammar or other areas. Remember that all work is conducted in English. Using various forms of brainstorms is permitted. Brainstorming can be done using 1) Technology, for example Padlet. Other tools like Today’s Meet can of course also be used 2) Physical activity, for example by putting yellow Post-it notes on the wall 3) Find more examples in “Innovative Pupils”, pp. 134-138.
 
The brainstorm should result in a large selection of blog wishes, preferably 30 or more.
 
When the wishes (‘the orders’) are ready, the teacher contacts the partner class and exchanges wishes. Preferably there is a large amount of wishes, giving the other class several options to choose from.

Lesson 3

 
This lesson cannot begin until the customer’s theme wishes have arrived. Until then the teacher can either continue with other existing work or continue working with reading blogs on the Internet and working with blogs as a genre. Based on the incoming wishes/orders from the customer, the class now has to organize and sort the wishes and divide the pupils into small blog companies each consisting of two pupils. Each company is to concentrate on one of the customer’s theme wishes, and therefore it is not given that all the customer’s wishes can be considered. When the organization is in place, each small company is to prepare some questions for the customer (see “Innovative Pupils”, page 115). The more the companies can figure out about the customer’s needs, the better they can design a good solution for their customer. The questions for the customer are recorded on a video or sound file, allowing the pupils to use oral English. Possible tools are Bambuser, YouTube with closed link, Vimeo, or Audiopal. When the pupils have the questions ready, the teacher sends these to the partner class.

The teachers in the two classes agree on when the exchange is to take place.
 
When the class receives the wishes from the partner class, ‘customer time-out’ is announced. The pupils enter into customer groups based on which areas of interest they have, thereby submitting actual experienced wishes and needs as an answer to the company’s request. The more authentic the customer is and the more authentic the wishes from the customer are, the better this customer-company relation functions as motivation for the project.
 
The reply to the company can be submitted in various manners depending on the teacher’s differentiation in relation to individual learning targets or in relation to the pupils’ wishes, for example sound file (Audiopal, Quick Voice Recorder app), film (Youtube), mail or other means.
 

Lesson 4

 
The lesson cannot begin until the class has received the customer’s answers to the clarifying questions. Again it can be agreed upon with the partner class, when exchanges are to take place. If there is a delay, the class can continue working on other tasks or work on a company profile: What is the name of your company? What is your company logo and motto? Furthermore the pupils can perhaps design a layout for the blog, which can be corrected at a later time, when they know the customer’s wishes. The pupils (the supplier) can also contact the customer further with a ‘reminder mail’. When the answers have arrived the pupils are to work in their small companies with the exercise ‘The Spot User’ (“Innovative Pupils”, p. 123). Based on this work, each mini-company is to create a working question, which is hung in the classroom, and has the following form: Our customers in class…. would like a …… (descriptive adjectives) blog about ….. (topic), because ….. (interesting observations about the customer’s requests).
 
Furthermore each group establishes an ‘idea bank’ - a poster on the wall, where ideas that arise can be placed, so they are not established as the final choice too early. Once one begins developing ideas for others, one quickly gets ideas - but these are not necessarily very innovative. Therefore they must be saved and maybe or maybe not used when the blog is written.
 
If the blog has not been created, each mini-company can now create the beginning of their blog in Blogger/Wordpress. The blog is preferably created in English. The content of the blog is developed in the next phase.
 
If some pupils suggest another platform, have good reasons why and this platform can incorporate different technologies, this is acceptable, too.
 

The teacher’s role                          

Initial initiation by leading a class conversation. Presentation of various blogs and identification of linguistic and technological areas of attention. Establishing contact to the ‘company’ in the other class. Controlling the processes the groups are to go through so all groups are doing the same thing at the same time (but with different content). Help with the necessary vocabulary, understanding the submitted material from the customer, reading other blogs and other pupil needs. Breaks from the work with physical exercises. It is important that physical movement and sensory experiences are part of most processes, especially if the energy level gets a bit low. Suggestions for such exercises can, for example, be found on The Creative Platform: http://www.uva.aau.dk/3D+Didaktik/Energizers/

Sub-product 

Work questions for each mini-company. An idea bank with possible ideas for later use. A blog for each mini-company.

English terminology                       

Written genres with focus on the blog as a genre. Criteria for assessment of texts - in this case the blog. Linguistic construction of questions Vocabulary in blogs Vocabulary in theme wishes. Reading strategies for searching: skimming and scanning Values as subjacent - in this case with the customer, but parallel with cultural values with conversation partners from other cultural settings.