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Creating student led content-based group projects
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Creating student led content-based group projects


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  • 1. Creating Student-LedContent-Based Group Projects
    By Robin Rogers
    University of Oregon
    American English Institute
  • 2. Purpose of Student-led Group Work
    Encourage creativity
    Help students develop responsibility for their own learning
    Encourage communication for a purpose
    Develop leadership skills
    Build confidence
    Learn content and vocabulary
  • 3. Reading Discussion Project:What is it?
    All students have a weekly reading assignment to read a chapter or two in one of these books.
    Authentic Texts:
    My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student, (2005) by Rebekah Nathan, Cornell University Press.
    American Ways: A Guide for Foreigners in the United States, (2003) by Gary Althen, Intercultural Press, Inc.
    In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, (2008) by Michael Pollen, Penguin Group.
    Plugged In: The Generation Y Guide to Thriving at Work, (2008) by Tamara Erickson, Harvard Business Press.
  • 4. Reading Discussion Project:What is it?
    Vocabulary Lists:
    Word Lists with 25 Academic Word List words that appear in that week’s reading are given to students at the beginning of each week as a study guide.
  • 5. Reading Discussion Project:
    Students sign up for these roles at the beginning of the term.
    They know which week they will be the leader.
    Discussion Leader (3-5 leaders/week)
    Prepares discussion questions about the weekly reading assignments.
    Leads a small group of their classmates in a discussion
    Vocabulary Leader (2-4 leaders/week)
    Creates a vocabulary review activity
    Helps students review the part of speech, synonyms, definitions and spelling of the words
  • 6. Teamwork
  • 7. Discussion Leaders: Before the Discussion
    Read the assigned reading.
    Student leaders meet with other group members to create 6-10 discussion questions about the main ideas of the chapter.
    One member of the group sends the questions to the teacher to check grammar and clarity.
    Teacher meets with the students to give comments and possible corrections.
    Students make corrections and send them back to the teacher.
    Teacher posts electronic copy of the questions for the class to use to prepare answers for discussion.
  • 8. Example of Student-Created Questions
  • 9. Vocabulary Leaders:Before the Review Activity
    Find the definitions and parts of speech for the 25 vocabulary words for their week.
    Get together with their group to plan.
    Share their ideas for activities with the teacher before the day of the review.
    Tell the teacher if any materials are needed.
    Prepare materials and Rules/Roles for the Activity.
  • 10. Model Activity: Concentration
  • 11. Learning through the process: Developing Leadership Skills
    Each Vocabulary Leader should have a role:
    Speaker: Giver of directions
    Communicate Clearly
    Set goals and rules for activity
    Know how to pronounce the words or questions
    Material Maker: Create and organize your materials and ideas
    Mediator, Score keeper and/or Time Keeper
    *Part of being a good leader is listening to your classmates.
  • 12. Teachers’ Role: Encourage Creativity
    Give clear directions
    Model the activity
    Have fun and be creative
    Set up the structure by:
    Creating unity
    Offering safety and stability through organization
    Having a consistent schedule and routine
    Having set roles for participants
  • 13. Students’ Roles: Prepare and lead
    All Students responsibilities:
    Learn vocabulary and prepare answers to questions
    Work as a team in and out of class
    Compromise and negotiate
    Balance tasks and create materials
    Develop communication skills
    Improve pronunciation and clarity
    Manage time of activity
  • 14. Planning
    Make clear students’ roles in the group
    Set up meeting times with the teacher prior to class presentation
    Teacher plays a support role and helps clarify directions with the students
  • 15. Things for students to consider when planning:
    When are you going to meet and plan?
    What ideas and questions can you contribute?
    Did you listen to others’ ideas also?
    Who is going to prepare materials?
    Who is going to explain the rules?
    Are you going to keep score and/or help your classmates?
  • 16. Evaluating Group Work
    Students can reflect on their own learning.
    Grades are given based on:
    Correct use of grammar and vocabulary
    Preparation/ On time/ Organization
    Involvement in the activity
    Use of time
    Clarity of Instructions
    Collaboration and Teamwork
  • 17. Discussion Leader Rubric
  • 18. Vocabulary Leader Rubric
  • 19. Learning through the process: Building Confidence
    Reading Discussion Project Allows Students To:
    Take risks
    Try something new
    Interact with the material
    Interact with the classmates
    Develop their English voice
    Share opinions in the discussion
    Speak English in a safe environment
  • 20. Conclusion:
    Even though group work takes a lot of time to set up, it can be very rewarding and can lead to some great results.
    Students’ comments are always positive about this project.
    If the teachers are willing to take risks and time to set it up, this project can be challenging and rewarding.