I implemented the Learning Scenario “Dragon Tales in Europe“ (SOI-RO-154), created by Despoina Kyriakaki with my 9 years old students, having a beginner-level English knowledge. The activities aimed to strengthen students’ ability to work with images in various ways, including the description, drawing, commenting, story writing. Besides, students developed their teamwork and debating skills.
It’s all about dragons…
In the first part of the lesson, I used the Europeana Gallery: dragons in myth and science. The students’ knowledge about fairy tales with dragons was resumed. In the Romanian fairy tales, the dragon (balaurul) has three or seven heads, is winged and abducts the emperor girls. He is always defeated in a straight fight by the saving hero.
The European context of the project allowed us to use the supporting text “The Reluctant Dragon”, written by Kenneth Grahame, which was found in the student reading book. The students read the text, analysed it, performed brief dramatizations and described the main characters, listing their physical and spiritual qualities.
Telling a story in English
In order to practice their language skills, I asked the students to write narrative texts, inspired by this theme and to illustrate them. They worked individually, and in the end, each student read his work. By voting, students selected the most successful work. The criteria referred to the content (imagination, correct spelling, introductory formulas, vocabulary), but also to the form: placing the text on the page, clarity of writing, illustrations. Finally, the students’ works were exposed in the classroom.
Regarding the integration in the basic curriculum, I tried to make connections between language, arts and personal development. The specific competencies and the learning activities targeted were the following:
- Language: Expression of ideas in familiar contexts; Transmission of information through a suite of logically linked statements,
- Personal development: Exploring relationship skills others, Use active listening elements,
- Art: Expressing personal ideas and experiences through the use of line, point, colour and shape.
The assessment focused on learning experiences and skills acquired. I systematically observed the students’ behaviour and of course, I appreciated the products of their activity.
How did my students like it?
The students liked the lesson. Especially, they liked the Europeana resources that were introduced to them, the text they read, the short dramatizations, the written expression, the democratic exercise of choosing the favourite work, the opportunity to make an exhibition.
Tales are representations of life in fantastic forms, where good overcomes evil. Each child draws different meanings from them, depending on their needs, interests, desires, expectations at that time. A story or a fairy tale is like a travel ticket in a world full of new experiences. With this lesson, I celebrated with my students the International Fairytale Day. For the dissemination of the activity and for the exchange of experience with colleagues from the country, I created an online event on eTwinning, attended by 16 Romanian teachers.