Saturday, 12 November 2011

Mining in progress - YLE graded readers

My strong readers on Wednesday have been doing great work lately, and impressed me with their discovery of past tense /ed/ ending sounds...after they figured out what verbs were. We don't usually dwell on grammatical terms, but we have reached the stage when we do need to start differentiating/labelling things. The reader we have just read was a good starting point. They had colour-coded the past tense /ed/ endings red/blue/purple, according to the pronunciation. This lot are all verbs, we agreed. The current reader they are reading features irregular past tenses for the first time...handy, we just got that page in the textbook too - stroke of luck or what?!

Then we looked at 'things' eg rocket, computer...before trying to figure out what 'red', 'big' etc were - and what they went before/added detail to (erm, nouns?)

So we made three columns in our notebooks, and then had a race to find 10 of each (nouns, adjectives, and verbs - in the present tense ie transform the past tense back) from the reader. Absolutely milking the material to death, by way of speed reading, skimming, scanning, analysing, categorising - and competitive too (I've got 7 adjectives!").With a young reader title like this, you can be sure they'll get almost the same sets of words; suggestion for a thicker book would be a point for every word that your friends did not write down, encouraging them to dig into the text for the juicy (new?) words.

After all that heavy brain work (and aggressive writing!) we needed a game. Silly Sentences seemed random (to them!) but they quickly got the idea - categorising words again. The lovely thing about this game is that the different parts of speech are colour coded, and jigsawed so that that will only go in the right order. Kunpei found a pattern he liked and stuck with it (photo). Takuro won, though, as he found the other 'secret' of success which was finding words that rhymed. Toru? He was the real winner, as he decided he was only going to make sensible sentences - smart lad!

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