Theme Weaving: Tapestries of Learning Presentation


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A new concept in Learning, Theme Weaving addresses all the best aspects of Active Learning and Project Based Learning. Student are given more control over content of learning while teachers guide them in learning what they need to in order to make their understanding and communication of what they have learned more effective.

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  • contextualize teaching & curriculum in students’ experiences and skills.
    Challenge students toward cognitive complexity.
    Engage students through dialogue, especially instructional conversation.
  • Activity sheets and supplemental materials are prepared in advance for this example.
  • Theme Weaving: Tapestries of Learning Presentation

    1. 1. A Learning Facilitation Concept Developed by William M. Tweedie © 2000 Kenmac Educan International & W.M. Tweedie
    2. 2. Learning Outcomes: Objectives By the end of the workshop you will: • Know What Theme Weaving is • Practice Outlining a Theme Weave • Begin Applying Theme Weaving as an Instructional Model
    3. 3. What is Theme Weaving? • A process of independent creative thinking, while collaborating in research and producing products to demonstrate learning. • Theme Weaving begins with discovering the many theme threads in a story, a film, work of art, or any learning material. • Each new thread discovered must relate to the previous. Students must be aware of these relationships. • Ideally, students choose the themes to explore but a wide variety is desirable.
    4. 4. • Facilitator guides the formation of groups allowing for individual exploration • Each group or individual should explore a different theme • Each group or individual must produce a product reflecting their learning so you can evaluate. • Can be undertaken in a single lesson or extended through homework or in Project work What is Theme Weaving?
    5. 5. Theme Weaving Meets the CREDE 5 Standards of Effective Pedagogy • Teachers and Students Producing Together • Developing Language & Literacy across Curriculum • Making Meaning • Teaching Complex Thinking • Teaching through Conversation
    6. 6. Learning Styles and Strategies Allows students to work to their learning strengths and benefit from the diverse learning strengths of their classmates. Follows the Principles of Teaching for Quality Learning (Refer to your handout) Theme Weaving
    7. 7. Weaving Themes Step 1 – The Subject You can choose or create stories from the prescribed text or supplemental material that relates to it. The following is a short voiceless video from the Department of Tourism of the Province of British Columbia in Canada entitled: Call of the Water Let’s Watch.
    8. 8. Insert Your Visual (video, picture) Here or handout your material
    9. 9. It is important to prepare students and set learning objectives! like all activities in Active Learning, requires skill in Managing Motivation Theme Weaving
    10. 10. • Let’s watch again. This time: • Discover as many different Themes as you can. • The facilitator can assign themes to students but it is preferable they have some control over the decision making process. For example: • In pairs or groups, the most themes will get the first choice of what Theme they wish to explore. • The pair or group that comes up with the most original Theme (voted on by the class) will get second choice, second most – third choice etc. • Talk in whispers as you don’t want to give your ideas to others! Theme Weaving
    11. 11. • Step 2 - The process of exploring and developing the Theme begins. – If vocabulary is your focus, lexical lists may be created – If writing and grammar are your focus, paragraphs or stories may be written – If speaking is your focus, class presentations may be prepared – All the Themes must be woven into the fabric of the original ‘story’ - parts to whole and • Step 3 - Presented so each group can benefit from the work of others: sequenced reading, wall displays, portfolio work, story telling, etc. Theme Weaving
    12. 12. Extending the Weave Step 4 - Here’s the fun part! • Each Theme discovered can lead to other themes linked to but NOT found in the text, video, etc. • Students imaginations are fully engaged and Relevance kicks into full gear as they begin to explore other topics they are interested in. • The facilitator’s role as guide is important here as s/he can lead the students to important learning by suggesting ideas, relating the topic to their lives and interests, etc.
    13. 13. To Illustrate, let’s look at one of the most popular Themes from the video: Wildlife First, through visuals, we identify and learn about some of the creatures indigenous to British Columbia. Extending the Weave
    14. 14. Make it a challenge whenever possible! 1.How many wildlife creatures can you find in the picture? 2.How many can you name in English? 3.How many of these were in the Video? 4.How many exist in your home country?
    15. 15. • Poems and Rhymes about Wildlife • Wildlife and Currency: Wildlife is worth saving! • Wildlife Idioms, Sayings, Proverbs • Sounds of the Wild (e.g. identifying the sounds with the pictures activity) • Comparing Wildlife of Countries • Grouping Wildlife into Categories (Phyla, time periods…) Extending the Weave
    16. 16. Outlining a Weave Choose 2 or 3 Themes from units in a textbook you are using or any material of interest to your students. 1st - Weave these themes into one general topic • Review the Learning Outcomes • Create a story 2nd - Read the story to the class • The class can follow along in the source material for picture or other prompts
    17. 17. • 3rd - Begin the theme weaving • Ask the class what themes (aspects) interested them in the story • Decide on the most appropriate way the class can demonstrate their learning – give them the objective • 4th - Decide on your groupings and have them begin exploring their themes • 5th - Explore ways the themes can be extended Outlining a Weave
    18. 18. • Actively engaged in Practical and Relevant tasks • Learning independently in cooperation with their peers • Carefully guided • Closely monitored Young minds will astonish you with their creativity and how quickly they learn! Theme Weaving
    19. 19. Thank you! And Happy Weaving! William M. Tweedie 013 699 8398