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Idea: Immersion Wall

One of the key things for me as I move towards a more project based approach is to try and get the student immersed in the period we’re studying a little more. So this week I tried an introductory lesson to Elizabeth I – had a massive pile of textbooks in the middle of the room, and after a few minutes talking a little bit about what we already knew, students set off to complete a fact file for display. They could choose what to focus on and how it was to be presented, but they had to get them completed by the end of the lesson. I wandered around discussing searching strategies with students and talking about what they had found, but at the end while I had some great pieces of work I didn’t think I’d got any sense of Elizabeth or the Elizabethian period. Thinking cap back on.

Cue tonight’s idea. Don’t know if it’ll work, but I’ll try it the next time I start a new topic.

The immersion wall consists of a long sheet of paper (probably wallpaper backing paper) with 50 (ish) questions on. It gets pinned up along the wall and the class need to find the answers to as many as they can. They add them to the wall with sticky notes? or sheets of A5? coloured paper. Initially with pins – later we can stick down the best answers (having discussed what they are)

Follow up homework – find me one picture that sums up what we’ve been studying. Bring in a picture for the wall, and write down why you chose it.

Advantages –

  • Class effort will hopefully get more discussion and talking.
  • Keeps the longer term visual element, but is more focussed.
  • Maintains element of freedom but allows me to highlight key issues and ideas more directly

 

Help me out here – what have I missed. What could go wrong? How could this be even better?

Dave Stacey

2 Comments

  1. A great idea Dave! Here’s a twist you may wish to consider adding in future – if on your wall you provide topical categories about the time period, for example: geography, ideology, religion, technology, politics, culture, etc then you could have your students generate the questions themselves, place them in the appropriate category and then discover the answers. They may find taking ownership for their own discovery even more authentic, and you can always give them a few starter questions to get them thinking along the lines you want – but also by dividing it into topics you should be able to do comparisons with our society more easily.

    You could also head to http://www.wallwisher.com and do your immersion wall online. Hope this helps stir the pot a bit – as always great to read your ideas!

  2. Hi Brandon,

    I love the categories idea – it might help create a sense of continuity if I do this with several projects.

    I do use wallwisher, and linoit, but I want something that’s visible for the duration of the project here.

    Thanks!

    D

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