Communicating High Expectations + Time on Task = 👨🏽🎓
This week’s lesson in front of an imaginary group of students is about the Genesis creation story (I still have no placement, but that is looking likely to change very soon 🤞). I’m looking to try and communicate high expectations in this class (one of Chickering and Gamson’s Seven Principles of Undergraduate Education). We also dive into analysing scripture, would be great to see how this lesson works in front of students.
I start with a little starter activity, I’d rather just go straight into the lesson. I created a little game based on the TV show Family Fortunes. I got the idea from Pete over at ELTPlanning. The activity is just a simple way to review what was learnt in lesson 1 and 2 regarding the religious population of the UK.
We then move on to checking students’ prior knowledge of the Christian creation story. We spent some time on this in lesson 3, but always good to have a refresh. The review revolves around a simple sentence relay game. Once students have the information, they have to work together, putting the creation acts in order.
The next part consists of me reading the creation story to the class (I probably won’t make the ppt, that’s just to fill up the video, and would look a bit naff in the classroom). Students have to check to see if they have the creation acts in the correct order. For me, I think the lesson should start at this point, I feel that the two starter activities are a little bit of a waste of time. I really want to communicate high expectations to my students, and I think more time spent analysing the actual creation story would be more beneficial to the students than the two earlier activities. We can go into more detail. The remainder of the class looks at analysing the extract and answering the following higher-order thinking questions:
- Can you find examples of God’s power?
- Does the story suggest the world is ordered or chaotic? Give examples.
- What does the creation story tell us about human’s role on the planet?
- Do humans have a meaning and a purpose? If so, what is it?
- “So God created mankind in his own image” What is the significance of this for Christians?
- Do ALL Christians believe the Genesis story is true?
There is a lot to unpack with these questions, but I think with some scaffolding the students will be able to answer the questions. Obviously, without having any actual students in the class, it is impossible to know how well the class will go, but challenging the students can produce good results.
We end with a GCSE type question, is it too early to introduce GCSE questions? I’m not so sure. When I taught EAL, I would often use IELTS type questions in my lessons. The questions are designed to get students thinking, and if they are a sneaky way of getting students into the habit of answering exam questions, then happy days, right?