Monday, July 14, 2014

Make it Easy to Speak using Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers are visual tools and one of the scaffolding techniques that teachers can provide their students to help them think smoothly, classify ideas, find relationships, communicate more effectively, and construct meaning of their own. I always use them when teaching writing in my EFL classes and they were a great success. Today, I will not talk about how to plan writing, but I would like to share a speaking lesson utilizing such an amazing tool.

There are many ready-made graphic organizers on the web. One of the greatest websites that provides a variety of free sheets in PDF is Freeology. Below is all about the selected sheet and how to use it.
  1. Graphic Organizer’s Name: Pros and Cons Scale. 
  2. Graphic Organizer’s URL  : http://freeology.com/graphicorgs/evaluate-issues-with-this-pros-and-cons-scale/  
This graphic organizer allows students to find out which of two items weighs more. A pros and cons scale helps them visually represent, or weigh, a decision making situation. Pros are the advantages of a situation, cons are the disadvantages. Really, it is a useful tool to choose when you want to make a decision based upon advantages and disadvantages (Adapted from this resource).    

Here is an example of how to use it with students …

Lesson Title: For or Against Facebook 

Materials Needed: 
  1. Two copies of the Pros and Cons Scale graphic organizers for each group. 
  2. Pencils and pens. 
  3. Audio Recorder or Mobile Phone. 
  4. Audacity Program. 
  5. Computers and Internet Access (At home to complete their home assignment).
Students’ Level: 
  • Third-year Secondary school students aged 17-18 years old. 
Time Frame: 45 minutes   

Objectives: 

By the end of this lesson, students will: 
  1. Talk about the pros and cons of using Facebook as a social media.
  2. Listen to each other and list what others think about using Facebook.
  3. Work in groups to accomplish a task. 
Procedures:
  1. Explain to the students what they are going to do. The task is about making a decision about the use of Facebook for students.
  2. Divide the students into groups of three.
  3. Ask them to discuss the pros and cons of using Facebook orally, then use the first copy of the graphic organizer to write notes about their final decision.
  4. Tell the students that you are going to record what they are going to say.
  5. Tell each group to choose a spokesperson to tell the class about what they have discussed.
  6. Tell the spokespersons that they are going to say the pros of using Facebook first. When they all finish saying Facebook's pros, they will talk about the cons.
  7. Once you find them ready to say their Facebook's pros and cons, start recording and choosing who is going to speak.
  8. When they finish saying their results, end the recording.
  9. Tell them that they are going to listen to the recording and list all the Facebook pros and cons using the second copy of the graphic organizer.
  10. Ask them to count the number of pros and cons and decide which side they support. If they don’t agree with the final decision of the group, everyone will create a podcast at home using Audacity in which they will talk about why they are for or against the use of Facebook from their viewpoints. Then, they send them to the class wiki, so they can get feedback and comments from their colleagues.
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