The school year has started again. I am still with the Richmond School District’s International Program, yet no longer at Nanshan Experimental School where I have been for the past two years. I started this September at First Foreign Language in the district of Bao’an, Shenzhen, China. I am teaching two groups of grade 8 students this year and so far the experience has been very similar to Nanshan in many ways, and different in many ways also. These differences have been positive and will provide for a very good experience!
I have had a few weeks with my students and we are starting to settle into a routine. I have started a challenging project with them, which I plan to carry throughout the term till the January Chinese New Year Holiday. For this project we will be reading Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games and doing activities with the content of the story. Before reading I told my students I wanted to try something challenging with them, yet I promised they would learn. I asked for everyone to agree to this challenge and only had one boy say he wasn’t too sure of this plan. After talking with him and encouraging him to ask questions when he doesn’t understand he agreed.
We have started reading slowly and I provided a large amount of pre-reading information, as well as put information about characters, a timeline of events, and vocabulary on the back walls. After reading the first ten pages and showing clips from the film I gave questions to see what their level of comprehension was and I was very pleased to see they understand key elements of the book discussed early on.
I am looking forward to planning the upcoming activities and projects for The Hunger Games and think it will be a great learning opportunity for my students and myself. I hope through engaging them in such a well written story it will encourage them to want to read and in turn practice their English reading skills.
As I have over the past two years I will continue to post topics from my classroom and experiences here in China.
Doing The Hunger Games with my students is a reminder to myself to never pass by a challenge for fear of it not working. Everything can be adjusted and re-evaluated along the way, nothing is set in stone; and so a challenge is really an opportunity to be creative.
Ms. Kolshuk's Blog
Welcome to my blog where I post about my teaching practice, ideas, findings and discuss topics of an educational nature. Please feel free to comment and/or email with any topic suggestions.