miércoles, 26 de marzo de 2014

How to use post-it notes in a reading lesson

We are all familiar with those yellow pieces of paper with the sticky back used to remind us of important information. They are really useful in everyday tasks but they can also come in handy when trying to introduce variety and fun to our reading lesson.
This activity can be adapted to any text, weather it has true/ false questions already incorporated or not.
Materials: some two or three post-it notes per student and a reading text.
Preparation: Copy from the textbook and/ or write your own TRUE/ FALSE sentences for the reading text you are using in class. Write one sentence in each post-it note. Depending on the length of the text and the number of students in your class, you will have to repeat some sentences, or write two similar sentences but with a slight difference to get students thinking. Then, stick them on the walls around the class.
Procedure: After the students have worked with the texts, form pairs and tell them to stand up and collect as many post-it notes as they can. One student must collect TRUE statements and the other FALSE ones.  As soon as each student has decided if the statement in his post-it note is true or false he must mark it T or F. When all the post-it notes have been collected, they should get together and confirm if they have collected the statements in the post-it notes correctly. They should re-read the passage. During the collection of the post-it notes, the students cannot have their books and/ or texts with them, they must use their memory. However, they can go back to their seats to consult the text. They may not talk to other people to get help. If you want to make it competitive, you can assign points for good answers and declare a winner at the end of the task. When checking answers all together, ask for support to their true/ false answers.
The same procedure may be adapted for other types of reading tasks. For example, instead of true/ false statements, the post-it notes may carry questions to which the students must find an answer to in the text. Alternatively, the post-it notes may form a “chain” of events as described in the text. The students must collect them and put them in order.

The activity is basically a true/ false task; however, the fact that the students have to stand up and walk and remember information make the activity fun and a bit more demanding than just circling Ts or Fs in the course book. The element of competitiveness will also add more fun to the activity. If by any chance you are unable to use post-it notes, cards and even pieces of paper may be used and stuck on the walls using blu-tack or cello tape.