NeuroELT

7 PRINCIPLES – ONE TEXT – MULTIPLE ACTIVITIES – ONE FINALE

Here’s my attempt to connect the things we are learning from neuroscience with particular learning objectives, and design a set of more “brain-compatible” activities to be used in the ELT classroom. Based on the poem Planet Earth by Michael Jackson, they introduce and complement the topic Ends of the Earth (New Headway Advanced, Unit 11).

             Planet Earth

Planet Earth, my home, my place
A capricious anomaly in the sea of space
Planet Earth, are you just
Floating by, a cloud of dust
A minor globe, about to bust
A piece of metal bound to rust
A speck of matter in a mindless void
A lonely spaceship, a large asteroid

Cold as a rock without a hue
Held together with a bit of glue
Something tells me this isn’t true
You are my sweetheart, soft and blue
Do you care, have you a part
In the deepest emotions of my own heart
Tender with breezes, caressing and whole
Alive with music, haunting my soul.

In my veins I’ve felt the mystery
Of corridors of time, books of history
Life songs of ages throbbing in my blood
Have danced the rhythm of the tide and flood
Your misty clouds, your electric storm

Were turbulent tempests in my own form
I’ve licked the salt, the bitter, the sweet
Of every encounter, of passion, of heat
Your riotous color, your fragrance, your taste
Have thrilled my senses beyond all haste

In your beauty I’ve known the how
Of timeless bliss, this moment of now.

Planet Earth, are you just
Floating by, a cloud of dust
A minor globe, about to bust
A piece of metal bound to rust
A speck of matter in a mindless void
A lonely spaceship, a large asteroid

Cold as a rock without a hue
Held together with a bit of glue
Something tells me this isn’t true
You are my sweetheart, soft and blue
Do you care, have you a part
In the deepest emotions of my own heart
Tender with breezes, caressing and whole
Alive with music, haunting my soul.

Planet Earth, gentle and blue
With all my heart, I love you.”

(Source: http://www.metrolyrics.com/planet-earth-lyrics-michael-jackson.html)

1. Emotion. People remember what moves them and what is personally relevant. I suppose the blend of the poem, images and music makes the video incredibly moving and the easiest task here would be to “watch and enjoy”.

2. Choice. It is the perception of choice that stimulates the brain. Before students watch the video, split them into small teams (OR students may work individually) and hand out jumbled strips of the poem’s stanzas. Ask students to put them in the right order. When put in the right order, the letters on each strip will make up the name of the writer.

Handout Planet Earth

3. Novelty. It is an out-of-the-textbook activity, which already increases variety. One of the ways to build in surprises here may be to ask students to predict what they will hear. Before students watch the video, give the title of the poem (Planet Earth) and ask to write down 10 words they think are used in the poem.

4. Challenge. Ask students to highlight the key words in each stanza. Ask to explain the choice of words and which associations they evoke. In addition, you may work with word nuances – synonyms, antonyms, words with emotional connotations, etc.

5. Senses. Multi-sensory input leads to greater recall and more creative thinking. To include something for the three major sensory modalities (visual, auditory and haptic), ask students to focus on the images used in the video. After students have watched the video, split them into small teams and ask to draw images for each stanza.

6. Personalization. Personal experience increases memory. Ask students to practise reading the poem in their teams and make a recording of the poem.

7. Creativity. Time to create. Ask students to make a doodle video of the poem using the recording and drawings they made. Ask students to present their videos in class.

Enjoy and happy teaching!

Resources to learn morehttp://tinyurl.com/NeuroELT

earth

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