Residential Placements: Spicing up lessons with items from home

By Dana Yu
@danamyu

FlyersDon’t forget that you can make your lessons your own. It is always important to understand and adhere to each school’s policies, but being creative with your class, even in small ways, can make a huge difference.

When you’re on a residential placement over summer, one way to spice up your lessons is by incorporating items from home into the classroom. No matter what age or what level, your students will be excited to learn about your culture and to see authentic bits and pieces from your life at home.

Things you can bring:

  1. Maps, postcards, and pictures of your hometown, your city or village, your school, and your neighbourhood. These will be great to pass around during self-presentations that may take place at the start of the course.
  2. Restaurant menus and fast-food flyers for lessons about ordering food or learning about cuisine. These can also give your students an idea of how much the cost of living can be.
  3. Holiday bits. Covering the seasons over a series of lessons gives great opportunities to talk about customs and how you might celebrate different holidays around the world. Sharing sweets for Halloween or writing Valentine’s Day cards can be fun ways to mix up lesson plans.
  4. Magazines and newspaper articles. Students can look at ads to observe pop culture and fashion trends or talk about celebrities. Newspaper articles can be very useful for more serious discussions about current events.
  5. Sunday cartoons and comics are also great for discussions or debates for more advanced levels. Many of the students might simply enjoy reading the colourful cartoon strips.

Other areas to brainstorm for authentic items to bring include sports, clothing, and yearbooks.

So don’t forget to add some of these items to your packing list before your big summer adventure. They will come in handy when you least expect them. If you are already on your placement and missed your chance to personally pack these items, ask a friend or relative to send them with your next care package.

Also, don’t forget that music and movie clips can always add fun to lessons. If you have internet connection at your school, you can look for music clips on musicians’ websites or YouTube.

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