Building Language with Visuals
Cross-posted from Ms Marcelle’s Blog
Having just returned from the ELLSA (English Language Learning Specialists Asia) conference I wanted to try out some ideas I got from Jen Lemery’s workshop on Utilizing Visual Arts to Enhance Language Output and Cognitive Understanding. Jen showed us Ormie the Pig, an animation short and demonstrated through the use of Brainframes how to generate language with EAL students so that they were better able to write with detail.
Building the language
My own aims were to pre-teach and practise language before my grade 4 students would watch The Mekong River’s Controversial Dams video as part of their unit of inquiry on Peace and Conflict. The see- think-wonder routine was a good way to build language and cognitive understanding so they would have more confidence to participate in class later on.
The children first viewed some scenes of an unspoiled Mekong river and then they were introduced to some pictures of people protesting, the construction of dams and the effect on the environment.
Here are their responses:
Practising the language
Later, children wrote why they thought there was a conflict. They played snowball and read out each other’s sentences. To practise language, we ended by playing the Change Places circle game. ‘Change places if you think the dams are affecting people who live on the Mekong banks.’ If they exchanged places, they would have to say to the person sitting next to them ‘I think dams are affecting people who live on the Mekong banks, because…’