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Example 2: Student Responsibility & Societal Values by Jae Cody

Phase 2: Presentational Task

Materials needed:

Description of the task:

Instructions (given orally to students in English):

For this assignment, you will work with a partner to create a skit (2-4 minutes long) for the first grade students at the German immersion school. You have already watched a short skit that was used to teach German children how to take care of their notebooks. Your skit should focus on one other aspect of being a responsible student. You must clear your topic with the teacher before beginning your work. The skit should be informational and persuasive, but also entertaining. The skits must be scripted, and there will be time for both peer and teacher feedback before the final performance on (date). Both partners should have approximately equal speaking parts.

 

Timeline for Presentational Task:

Day 1

Partner assignments and brainstorming about themes.
Review of dependent clauses and modal verbs.
Themes due before the end of class

Day 2

Explanation of task rubric and script-writing

Day 3

Script-writing

Day 4

Peer-review (homework: make appropriate corrections, copy due to teacher for teacher-editing on day 5)

Day 5

Drafts due to teacher.
Class time used for developing props, costumes, etc.

Day 6

Drafts returned with teacher feedback, review of common errors from texts.
Remaining class time to make revisions

Day 7 & 8

Class time used for other topic, with 15 minutes at the end of each class to meet with partners.
Students expected to rehearse on their own time

Day 9

Dress rehearsal in class.
Final copies of scripts are due to the teacher.
Peer feedback on skits.

Day 12

Performance!

 

I would include the timeline with the task; I have had teachers who do not make the time-frame clear (perhaps because they are unsure how long things will take), and then the tasks stretch out over weeks and months and little progress gets made. Since there will be a small number of groups, I want each group to work on a different topic so that they can be performed together. This is why they will have to clear their topics with me.

The instructions will be in English to avoid having to spend the entire first day of class going over them. I would consider using German for the timeline, since I would expect my students to be familiar with the vocabulary for different kinds of assignments.

For the peer review, I would begin by talking to the students about the audience they will be performing for. They will be told to focus on:

  • clarity of message (are there any parts that you don’t understand? Would you understand if you weren’t aware of the assignment
  • appropriateness for audience (will it be entertaining for first-graders? Are there jokes that they won’t understand?)
  • does the skit get the point across? Are there enough examples?

Groups will exchange papers and then take turns giving each other feedback. They will have a full class session, so there should be time for adequate discussion. I will circulate during this time to see what kinds of recommendations are being made.

Description of Scoring Rubric:

Scoring Rubric for Presentational Task

I made the final written text a non-negotiable item because I am more interested in the spoken language in this activity, but I want to make sure that a written product exists. Since the students will have several weeks to work on this and practice, I decided that I should evaluate accuracy on familiar forms in the rubric. “Familiar forms” will include the present tense, correct articles, and the focus forms for this unit, which are modal verbs and dependent clauses. Students will be told in advance, when the rubric is discussed, that these forms will be evaluated for accuracy. Other errors will impact their grade only if they affect comprehensibility. The rubric will be used only to evaluate the performance of the skit.

Students will see the rubric in advance. I have two categories (impact and content) that focus mainly on the purpose and genre of the activity and three that focus on the language that is used to present the content. I think that this is a good balance; I do not want students to focus so much on not making mistakes that they neglect the purpose of the activity.

I also included using a dependent clause as a non-negotiable. I would assume that a dependent clause would be necessary to present this topic (“we shouldn’t cheat because…”), but I am afraid that students will figure out a way to get around it if I don’t put it on the list.

 

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