Students As Teachers

We know that learners make effective teachers. However, I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised when my 9th grade ELLs created a compelling introductory lesson to the plight of the refugees.  This was part of our broader unit based on the purpose question of ‘Why do some people survive?’

I gave the students some relevant links as well as guidelines for designing an effective lesson such as a hook and  engaging activities.  They divided themselves into groups with each one taking responsibility for one part of the lesson.

They introduced the topic with  a TED ED video, and continued with a slide show.

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They concluded the lesson with  a handout of a Venn Diagram to check whether we understood the differences and similarities between refugees and migrants.

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The students exceeded my expectations, and I told them so.

I will close our long unit by reading aloud the powerful The Journey, by Francesca Sanna,

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and the stunning, award winning book hiding behind it, Shackleton’s Journey.  Actually, it has occurred to me as I finish this post that this book will make a powerful paired text to London’s The Call of the Wild which we have read as a class novel: dog/man against nature.

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