Rich Task

16 01 2008

I set this blog up ages ago with great intentions and then did not even open it again!

I am going to make a concerted effort now to start and keep this up as my primary 7 class have just started a rich task on African books that myself and other teachers from our cluster wrote.

 Having discussed the fact that the standard of writing was poor in our classes we decided to make up  a rich task that would have the children writing in as many different forms as possible.  The context of Africa came about because I visited Malawi during the summer with LECT (League for exchange of Commonwealth countries) and have used this experience to share information with staff and pupils in my school and with others in the cluster.  Read more about my trip on our school website – http://www.take2theweb.com/pub/sso/castlefield/li.html

 The children began their rich task by filling out a pre-assessment sheet on how well they thought they were doing at things like language, ICT, creativity, independance and self-confidence.  They were then asked to highlight two areas that they felt needed work on from the answers they gave.  The children were invited to discuss these if they wished.  It was really interesting to hear what individual children had highlighted as problem areas as they were just the sames that I would have picked out for them.  This shows that they were probably thinking quite carefully and being honest!

We then had some brainstorming sessions, looking at what they knew already about Africa and what they wanted to know.  I also had a hypothetical question about how they would make an African child feel welcome in the class as a lead in for doing craft/art/music activities to tie in with the rich task and what they would do our World Book Day which is going to be tied to this rich task and will involve them reading their African stories to others in the school.

Their work in groups was very noisy, and for some people not particularily productive.   They were asked to assess themselves in their groups and they were rather more kind to themselves than I would have been.

Next we will be looking at conventions of non-fiction as I would like them in their groups to produce a booklet about something to do with Africa of their choice, so either concentrating on a country or an aspect of something like health.

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