Friday, 17 September 2010

Thought Tree

How can you get students to consider the attributes of a successful student?
I was inspired by http://www.reflect-action.org/?q=node/41 a website that promotes Reflecting through the use of graphics.

What do you need? - A big piece of paper, some coloured pens and pencils, red and green card, post-it notes, drawing pins and students.

1 Draw a picture of a tree on your whiteboard. 

Elicit the parts of the tree. Make sure you elicit the trunk as this is an important part of the tree.

You can expand the Thought Tree by exploring things you can see above and below the tree. Then transfer this to people. e.g. You can see if a person is a man or woman, you can't see if they are vegetarian or a meat eater. Put post-it notes on the tree to capture the class' ideas.

4 Elicit the functions of the different parts of the tree. Roots bring in water. Leaves and fruit grow if the tree is healthy.

5 Introduce the lexis INPUT and OUTPUT. The inputs must pass through the classroom in the same way the roots draw water in and to the branches via the trunk. The outputs eventually leave the tree (leaves, flowers and fruit).

Watch the video to see what my students produced.


This was done with a group of Beginner ESOL students.

I repeated it with an Entry 2 group, they came up with inputs like; USB pen, good personality, watch, a good nights' sleep and energy.



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