Friday, February 24, 2012

The Railway Children - understanding the novel

We went for a course in teaching the Form 3 Novel last month. The course was quite helpful and I've learned a few techniques in teaching the novel, The Railway Children.

Among the best technique that I have applied in the class was to use strips of sentences containing descriptions of events from each chapter. The students have to read the descriptions and identified the sentences that are found in the chapters that they have been assigned to.

Activities :
A)Prepare strips of sentences containing descriptions of events from each chapter. Teachers then can cut the strips and jumble them up. Divide students into groups of 3, the groups are given names - group 1 to 8. The group will then read the chapters according to their group name. ie. group 1 will be reading chapter 1 etc. (assuming there are around 23 to 24 students in a class) The strips of sentence are then jumbled up and put on the table. Students are then asked to come forward and choose the strips of sentence that relate to their chapter assigned to them. The groups are then asked to paste the strips onto a mahjong paper under the corresponding chapter (Teacher will have to write the chapter no and also the title of the chapter)
 B) Discussion of the sentences that describe the chapter will be done when all the students finish identifying the correct strips and paste them on the mahjong paper. Teacher will have to go over the chapter - highlighting the important events that happen in each chapter. Teacher should also point out the moral values related to the event. Teacher explains the difference between moral values and themes - The technique in answering both questions. C) Task 3 : Ask students, in their group , to list the moral values found/lesson learnt in/from the novel.Underneath each moral value, list the evidence found in the novel. Make sure students write at least 2/3 evidence.

In brief, I think by doing this students who really listen should be able to understand the novel and answer the exam question. However, before carrying out this activity, make sure students have read the novel at least once.

 Thank you to the group of teachers who have conducted the course and Curriculum Division in particular.

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