Sunday, August 9, 2009

Planning Lessons in Two Easy Steps

People remember words better when there's a context or story of some kind connecting them. One simple way to ensure that is to design lessons around themes or units like the home, the family, my body, etc. Here's how to plan a year's worth of language lessons in two easy steps:

  • Decide what themes you'd like to teach for the year and the order you'd like to teach them in. Here are some examples: Greetings, The Classroom, The Home, The Camp, My Body, My Family, The Garden, Tame Animals, Birds, Fish, Cooking, Basket Making, Sewing, Wild Animals, Counting.
  • Decide what words and phrases you'd like to introduce with each theme. In planning the phrases, it might help to think about the basic language functions you'd like to teach (commands, introducing yourself, introducing someone else, identifying people and things, asking questions, etc.). A linguist with special knowledge of your language can be a big help here and will usually be happy to help for free.
Once you've decided the themes, the vocabulary, and the phrase patterns, the next step is to consider what methods you'll use to teach that information. It could be a PowerPoint, flashcards, skits, books, a video, a webpage, walks through the woods, or all of the above! Here are some lessons in Southern Tutchone that use a method like this.