Thursday, November 13, 2008

GEP service learning

Lesley-Anne brought home her service learning file so I thought I'd write a post on what she'd done during the year. Service learning is their form of community service. This year, they had to mentor p2 kids who were weak in English. As part of service learning, the p5 GEP had to create their own lesson plans and materials for the sessions, in teams of two. They met up with their p2 buddies for an hour every week for a term. For the first week, the teams used the materials they developed, then for subsequent sessions, they swapped materials with other teams.

This was the lesson plan Lesley-Anne's team came up with:

Show the children the picture and tell them to talk about it (like in oral). If they can't, show them examples and then, let them try again. Also, encourage them to use adjectives to describe things. This is to help prepare them for the composition they are going to write on the picture.

Development/An English Game
Instructions: Each player will be given a set of cards and a picture. On each card is a sentence. The sentence describes the picture. The cards are all jumbled up. The players must rearrange the cards to form a coherent composition based on the picture. The first player to rearrange the sentences into a coherent composition will win.

Reward: Winning person get chicken crackers while losing person gets two sweets.

Give them the composition template with the same picture (as introduction) and tell them to write a composition. Tell them to use adjectives like they did in the introduction to improve their story. When they are done, go through their mistakes with them and tell them how to improve on them. (Covers grammar, punctuation, spelling and tenses).

At the end of the lesson, pupils should be able to write a four to six sentence essay and to sequence and organize sentences.

It's not the most sophisticated lesson plan but I think it's great to get older kids to help younger ones. Kids tend to relate better to each other and understand where the possible stumbling blocks might be. (Too bad Lesley-Anne won't mentor her own brother!) According to Lesley-Anne, they make their buddies take a simple English test during the first session and at the last session of the term. All of them had scored significantly higher in the second test, which I took to mean that they had benefited from the mentoring sessions.

For the GEP kids, I feel it gives them perspective to help kids who might not be as mentally agile as they are, to shift the focus from themselves and onto others.


Lilian said...

This is so cool. Did the team work with a group of children or was it oneGEPkid-to-oneP2kid? Really important to instil sense of giving back to the community from a young age.

monlim said...

Each team of 2 looked after 2 p2 kids, so it's essentially one-to-one.

Lesley-Anne loves working with little kids. Under her library CCA as part of community service, she has to go to one of the NLB libraries and hold story-telling sessions to the little ones. She enjoys that a lot.

Lilian said...

How cute...I can imagine her pixie-ish grin now while telling stories to little ones. I imagine she'll grow up to be a doctor, teacher or social worker, ie people-related industries.

monlim said...

But she wants to be a vet! I think she prefers animals to people, haha!

Alcovelet said...

Somehow, I think this will work out better for girls than for boys. I can't imagine boys being very nurturing!

eunice said...

It's good that they get the older children to mentor the younger ones. You must be so proud of her.

Yay, that she wants to be a vet!

monlim said...

Ad: the boys have to do it too, but they tutor boys. I guess they can better understand their own kind!

Eunice: ok lah, but I always ask her how come she can't have the same patience with her brother! (Before the 1st session, I asked "What if you end up getting Andre as your buddy?" - she looked so horrified!)

Anonymous said...

Interesting project! My elder gal is also like dat, she can have all the patience with her friends and other younger children but not to her younger sister.


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