The Ugly Duckling Goes to School

Every teacher is responsable for creating a safe learning environment at school and encourage the pupils to respect each other.

As part of the first edition of the FELT summer school “Volunteers who Teach English”, our Teambuilding Coordinators, Ana Spinu and Gabriela Popenco, created a Magic Box and all the pupils, volunteers and staff members were encouraged to leave a message, a suggestion, an annonimous feedback to us, etc.

This was an amazing communication tool. All the pupils, all the volunteers and the team members were waiting for the Teambuilding Coordinator to open the magic box and share the messages with us.

One day we have still received a message that we didn’t want to carry. It addressed one of the pupils. As I was  responsable for the  summer school English langauge curriculum, I decided to give a  completely different task and resources for the last English languge class in the 6th form. Colesnic Nicolina and Zaharco Iulia have volunteered to teach this last lesson. I gave them 8 pictures from the famous tale: The Ugly Duckling.  We had to organise a Round Up lesson, develop vocabulary and grammar exercises to review the structures taught during the week and promote a lesson for the 6th graders.

The most important task was of course to touch upon  behaviour issues at school and to encourage the pupils to reflect about the situation when we feel as the Ugly Duckling, to raise awareness about how pleasant it was during the week to receive the magic box messages and respect our classmates, friends, teachers… everyone around us!

Initially it seemed a very challanging task, but after considering the types of the excersies we’ve done during the week, and the vocabulary and grammar content, Nicolina and Iulia  started to plan the lesson. As a warm up activity I sugested using a sequence of this tale from a you tube cartoon. The students have carefully chosen the necessary sequence. It had no words and the pupils had to write down any words that would describe what they saw in the video.

This is how the lesson started. Then the pupils were encouraged to make up senteces describing the video sequence. They also  had to work as a group as well arranging all the pictures in the correct order and making complex senteces using before and after. This is how the students consolidated the structures from the previous lesson: using simple  past tense and the connectives before and after. The next activity encouraged the pupils to work in pairs in order to describe the 8 picture cards representing scenes from this tale. The new vocabulary was written on the whiteboard so that every pupil could use it if  necessary. At this poin I expected the pupils to make a chain story and retell in this way the tale of the Ugly Duckling.

The students decided to ask the pupils to make up a dialogue using their card and presente it in front of the class. The pupils did a great job! And so did the volunteering students.

At the end of the lesson the students asked questions which helped the pupils reflect about how the Ugly Duckling felt, how they felt performing this role, the time when they felt as an Ugly Duckling, the way they felt when receiving the Magic box messages, and how to contibute to making schools a safe and pleasant learning environment for every child.

The pupils received a motivational sticker and left  for their house feeling good and inspired by the video and the lesson. We hope on the 1st of September none of them will feel as the  Ugly Duckling coming to school.

Thank you to the volunteering students, Colesnic Nicolina and Zaharco Iulia, who were open to plan and implement such a lesson.

I also greatly appreciate the support of the administration of the high-school Balauresti who contributed with a projector and a screen for this and other activities. Your assistance has been invaluable to us during the summer school.

Again, thank you so much. I greatly appreciate your generosity, comittment, attitude and love for teaching English language and promoting volunteering as a way of professional development and active citizenship.

Best Regards,

Daniela Murgulet

FELT School Program Manager

This activity was organised in the framework of the 1st edition of FELT summer school.

The project is financially supported by the US Embassy in Chisinau, the Foundation “Leichtenstein Development Service” and community contributions from the partner insitutions and the Ltd “Rogob”.

“Acest eveniment este realizat gratie sustinerii generoase a poporului american prin intemediul Departamentului de Stat al Statelor Unite. Continutul acestui program tine de responsabilitatea Asociaţiei “Centrul Penteru Educaţie Continuă” si nu reflecta neaparat opiniile Departamentului de Stat sau ale Guvernului Statelor Unite ale Americii.”

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