Explore Oxplore

I’ve just come across this fancy new portal created by the Oxford University, Oxplore. It is a gem. I will just write how it works and how I’ve started using it with my students.The portal aims teenagers. Thus, it is colourful, vivid and eye-catching. It attracts the attention of the visitor. It is easy to navigate and fun to spend time there.

 As it aims 11-18 year-olds it asks big questions (YES-NO) that they will find interesting. These questions are easily debatable but before we debate, the portal let us know a lot of things about the issues.. Promoting critical thinking, It gives the students a chance to see every coin has two sides. It also gives possibilities for differentiation as the portal offers different sources, quizzes, articles and a video. Moreover, the site is prepared by the University of Oxford so the information you get is reliable.

 If you like the site and want to contribute by asking your ‘big questions’ you can send your questions, or encourage your students to ask their questions which will be sent to the team to be another big Oxplore question.

I prepared an Oxplore activity handout so that we can also discuss the questions in the class. You can have a look at it screenshot of my handout and I’d like to hear how you will use the website.

handout

Choices We Make, a Poetry Lesson

“Let us go singing as far as we go: the road will be less tedious.”

Virgil

th-6

Choices are important in our lives. Sometimes there are times we regret, there are times we pray for what we’ve chosen.

I have a group of mixed-ability students in grade 11 studying mostly languages. Some of them are not happy because that was not what they actually wanted but that was the only option to take.

I had a very disappointing lesson the other day and when I arrived home I thought what I could do for them to realize or do something for themselves until the next fork appears on the road they had chosen. And I decided to go to the class with a poem. Yes, I chose The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost as I thought with a little help, they would be able to understand the poem and we’d be able to talk about our decisions. To sum up, it was a great lesson. We all enjoyed it and I think they also revised their decisions or their attitudes towards their choices.

Now I’d like to tell you how I planned the lesson. First of all I found some very valuable lesson ideas on the poem and took some inspiration from them and I prepared one suitable for my students.

First I asked what the word ‘road’ meant. Then I asked what it could be used as a metaphor. We looked at the picture I chose as a warm up. ( If you search Google/Yahoo images as “Two Roads”, you’ll get some pictures of the woods that come to a fork)

The students described the picture and then I asked them what they would do if they were in this picture, how they would feel, how they would decide. The best part of the lesson was actually here and I hadn’t predicted that while preparing it. They talked about how they would be both nervous and excited. We talked about what they could encounter on the road, where these roads might take them.

Then we brainstormed words/ideas related with roads. I chose a recording of the poem on YouTube and told students to listen and jot down any words or phrases they heard/caught/liked.

After listening to the poem twice, I gave them the handouts and told them to read the poem and find if the words they had heard were really in the poem. Then we discussed the poem. We talked about if the poet was happy with his choice, if the poem was sad or happy or hopeful. Now I’m waiting for their bookmarks on the poem. They’ll use the ideas from here.

wordle created with AnswerGarden
wordle created with AnswerGarden

Tagxedo link of AnswerGarden words/phrases