Friday, 5 August 2016

'Let the game begin!' An exciting Grade 7 literature project based on a novel - from Anthony Peters of Parklands College

This is another guest post from Anthony Peters @apeters522, a very innovative English High School teacher from Parklands College in Cape Town who delights in using technology in the classroom creatively. We are always delighted to publish posts by Anthony. You can view all his previous posts on our blog via the Anthony Peters label under ‘Quick links’ on the right side. This is part 1 of an exciting Grade 7 Literature project. Anthony will provide an update on how it is progressing!

This quarter, the grade 7 learners are undertaking an exciting literature project based on the novel The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. Throughout its reading, the learners will have to decide between sixteen potential murderers who are all eager to receive a  '$200,000,000.00 inheritance from a wealthy but mysterious businessman. However, this particular individual bizarrely predicted his own murder and has initiated a game to not only divide his wealth but to catch his murderer! 

Nobody can be trusted (including the English educator!) so it is will be up to the learners (in groups) to discern friend from foe. Clues will be left encoded in the Morning Announcements in order to help grade 7 navigate through this intricate plot. 

In order to keep track of all the suspect details, the learners are using their own ‘secret’ Google Doc to make notes, and crucially, to engage with a pertinent line of questioning in order to determine who can be trusted and who should never be. 

During the English Masterclass lessons, the learners will be continuing with the novel in reading circles. The learners have four roles which must be divided between the group members. These include: Researcher, Information Collator, Question Developer and Team Manager. This scenario helps develop several other skills involving organisation, collaboration and group acknowledgement. Such skills will be invaluable when entering the FET phase and their future careers. Crucially, this student-centred approach empowers each learner by making them responsible for their own learning and encourages the highly necessary higher-order thinking and reasoning skills in order to uncover the guilty character(s)! 

Let the Westing Game begin!

SchoolNet says:
Thanks for this post, Anthony. It is amazing how you can make your English lessons so exciting and fun with deep learning taking place at the same time!  Thank you again to you and the creative English Department at Parklands College in Cape Town for sharing another inspiring lesson with us.

Antony tweets regularly with updates on this great project. Follow him on @apeters522  

We will be posting part 2 of this Grade 7 Literature project next week. Keep tuned!

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