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Theme-based instruction by Mind Map: Theme-based instruction

1. Identify the language focus (vocabulary & grammar)

1.1. Note the grammar patterns and language functions. You may need to simplify the grammar in some of the texts you plan to use. What’s the weather like today? It’s ___ today. Is it ___ ? Our favourite weather is ___. ___ is wearing ___. Take off, put on

1.2. Note the new vocabulary and vocabulary to review. You may need to pre-teach some vocabulary as well as review the vocabulary needed to understand the activities or the text. Weather: sunny, cloudy ... Clothes: hat, jacket, gloves ... Review names and characteristics of animals

2. Identify content objectives (links to other content areas)

2.1. The more you can link what the children are learning in English to what they are learning in their other subjects, the deeper the learning will be, both in English and in their other subjects.

2.2. Those links might be to mathematics, science, social studies, art, music, or physical education (gym). Some will come to you naturally as you consider the theme or analyze the text that is the basis for the theme.

2.3. For example: Review animals - Identify where different types of animals live Identify differences in the way people dress in different weather Do a bar graph of class favourite weather

3. Identify learning strategies/critical thinking skills

3.1. Try to develop your students critical thinking skills, skills that encourage questioning and developing opinions and that can be applied in their language learning. Bloom's taxonomy (Remember, Understand, Apply, Analyze, Evaluate, Create) can be of great help.

3.2. For example: Predict what something is going to be about Listen/read for a main idea Classify information Guess the meaning of a word from context Visualise a situation Take notes Ask clarification questions

3.3. Try not to focus so much on repetition of language and ignore the possibility of building in learning strategies needed in any academic class.

3.4. For example: Make predictions (confirm / disconfirm them): where animals live, what children wear in different countries

4. Select a theme or topic OR Select an appropriate text or visual and identify the theme(s) in the text or visuals

4.1. Theme first: Identify a theme that is either in the textbook or that you want to use, based on your knowledge of your learners' interest. Brainstorm connections you could make and the kinds of activities you might use.

4.2. Text first: Choose a story, poem, song, video, or other text that will be engaging to your children and then identify the themes that emerge from that text.

5. Develop activities (that ...)

5.1. Foster authentic language use Involve the use of all four skills Draw upon children’s prior knowledge

5.2. Lead to higher levels of understanding Use a variety of grouping strategies Use a variety of media to make things understandable

5.3. Motivate learners to use English in a variety of situations and tasks Engage learners in critical thinking Interest the teacher

5.4. Allow evaluation of the students’ progress Appeal to different learning styles and multiple intelligences Are varied (songs, chants, games, stories, poems, role plays, projects)

6. Sequence the activities

6.1. Engage learners in receptive tasks before productive tasks; listening and speaking before reading and writing

6.2. Present language (vocabulary and grammar) before asking students to practise

6.3. Use controlled practice activities before more independent ones

6.4. Connect one activitity to the next

6.5. Sequence the content to recycle language

6.6. Order the tasks to mirror their real-life application