EAL Self Study Task
Five minutes peace
I have chosen Five Minutes Peace to use with a year one in a class that includes EAL learners. I have chosen this book because it's beautifully illustrated and the pictures accurately support the text on each page. Children who struggle to follow the English will be able to use the pictures to help them understand the story. Five minutes peace is written in the active voice. Books written in the active voice are easier for EAL learners to access. Because this book is about elephants, one doesn't have to worry about whether ethnic minorities and their cultures have been accurately represented. This book also contains some basic number language which will help EAL with number vocabulary, for example: 1 min, 3 1/2 times, 4 1/2 pages and 3 min 45 seconds of peace. The theme of this book is one that I imagine is universal to all cultures. Children from all cultural backgrounds will share the experience of their parent or guardian wanting to get a bit of peace from the children.
The learning objective for my sequence of activities comes from the PNS for year one strand three: group discussion and interaction, take turns to speak, listen to others suggestions and talk about what they are going to do and strand four: drama, explore familiar themes and characters through improvisation and role-play.
At the beginning of this sequence of activities, the class would read through the text at least once.
Quadrant A (context embedded, low cognitive demand)
The pictures from the book Five Minutes Peace could be scanned and put on the interactive whiteboard. Using these pictures in sequence, the children could play I spy with my little eye. Playing I spy with my little eye would help EAL learners to become familiar with the vocabulary involved in this book. After playing I spy, the teacher could go back through the pictures with the children and they could re-tell the story using the vocabulary acquired. The children could then work in groups using elephant glove puppets to retell the story using the pictures to help. By the end of these activities the children should be gaining familiarity with these texts. Going over the story in these various ways would help EAL learners become familiar with its theme.
Quadrant B (context embedded, high cognitive demand)
Staying within the context of the book Five Minutes Peace, I would increase the cognitive demand by asking children to think about what happens after Mrs large has had her three min and forty five seconds of peace. The book tells us that Mrs Large’s children come to join her, but what do they do? Have they come to apologise or are they still seeking her attention? In mixed ability groups with EAL children spread around the class, workings with children where English is their first language, I would ask the children to discuss what Mrs Large’s children do. I would also ask them to discuss what they would do if they were Mrs Large’s children. The children would then act out their new scene after being given time to practice and refine it.
Quadrant D (context reduced, high cognitive demand)
Taking the theme from the book of needing five minutes peace, I would ask the children in their groups to come up with a little role-play of a teacher needing five minutes peace at break time. The children would need to think about what had happened to the teacher that morning that meant she felt like she needed five minutes peace? The children would need to think about where the teacher was going to go to get her five minutes peace, does the teacher get five minutes peace or is she interrupted? If she is interrupted, who is she interrupted by and what do they want? In the group the children would need to think about the emotions of the teacher, how are they going to use drama to convey these emotions to their audience? The children could then perform their drama to the rest of the class. The class could then do peer assessment, in pairs they could discuss what they liked about the drama and how it could be improved. These thoughts could be then fed back to the rest of the class and the group who has shown their drama could uses the ideas to improve their work.