Scene from a musical lesson idea

I. Overview of the lesson

Generally, all children like not only singing songs and dancing to music, but also watching musicals. My students are 6 years old in Korean age and are introduced to various kinds of musicals in musical class. One day, I demonstrated a scene from a musical. At the beginning of the lesson, I introduced a song with the lines I taught in the lesson. The learners liked the song and movements because the gestures looked very funny. I acted out some dialogue with a hand puppet about getting a stomachache from eating too much ice-cream.

The situation was very familiar to the students, and lines in the scene were not too difficult for them. As a result, they were interested in my presentation. I checked their comprehension and then had them repeat chorally and individually in order to memorize the lines. Next they were supposed to practice target expressions with a partner. They had the chance to both ask and answer one time. I asked how they felt when their friends or family were sick, how they felt when they had a stomachache, and what they can say to their friends or family when they have a stomachache.

II. Theoretical justification of the activities -Risk taking

In this lesson, T-S-S-T was employed to force students to take risks in the warm-up and presentation. My young learners don’t have the ability to express their opinions fully in English. Therefore, I often use T-S-S-T in class in order to get the students accustomed to taking risks and asking and answering questions by themselves without excessive fear of misspeaking.

My students are familiar with the T-S-S-T method and are often given the opportunity to take chances with their second language. In the warm-up, I put them in a position to take some risks. I demonstrated the following scene from the target musical consisting of dialogue between myself and a hand puppet:

Me: “Ouch! Ouch!”

Puppet: “What’s the matter?”

Me: “I have a (stomachache).”

Puppet: “Why?”

Me: “Because I (ate too much ice cream).”

Puppet: “You should (stop eating ice-cream).”

Me: “Okay!”

I then posed the question, “Where am I sick?” The students were then asked to pose the same question to their classmates and answer with the target phrase “You (have a stomachache).” We then proceeded in the same way with 5 additional scenarios involving the vocabulary: “headache,” “toothache,” “itch,” “feel dizzy,” and “sunburn.”

Higher level questions were utilized in the presentation to lead the students to be successful language learners. I struggled to stimulate the students to express their opinions using the language targets; “What’s the matter?”, “Because I have…”, and “You should…” I asked the students some higher-level questions, such as: “How do you feel when you have a stomachache?”, “What can you say to your friends when they have a headache?”, and “What should you do when you have a toothache?” Some high risk-takers wanted to answer the questions but just raised their hand and couldn’t use the target expressions.

To control the activity, I gave positive feedback to the students who were successful and to those who were helping their classmates and negative feedback to students who raised their hands excitedly, but had no answer. Also, there were some students who were not willing to gamble at all with the activity. I tried to help by giving them confidence through cueing them to produce the desired response.

The opportunity to guess words was in the presentation so that the students could interact with the new vocabulary. I provided the target vocabulary based on illness such as; “headache,” “sunburn,” “toothache,” “itch,” and “dizzy.” Some vocabulary items, such as: “headache” and “stomachache” were familiar to them, but they had difficulty understanding the meaning of “sunburn.” I tried to convince them to tolerate the ambiguity of the unfamiliar word. However, they had a lot of difficulty getting past their inability to grasp this new vocabulary. As a result, I showed gestures and facial expressions to the students to try to help them. This was somewhat effective to encourage the students to predict the meaning of the words, but not enough. So I translated the new vocabulary into Korean to help them understand more fully.

After the class was finished, I reviewed the lesson and thought of one suggestion to help the students’ learning: if I had used pictures to demonstrate illnesses, the students would have understood the new target vocabulary, such as “sunburn,” “sun cream,” and “diet” much more easily.

III. Conclusion

According to the theory of Risk-Taking, the teacher should provide some opportunity for failure to the students and let them adventure with the target language. To follow it, I employed T-S-S-T, the higher level questions, and guessing words in this lesson.

In addition, the teacher should keep in mind the features of the low risk-takers and encourage them to produce correct answers without too much extended pressure. So I chose methods like cueing, modeling, chunking, and correcting errors.

Also, if the high risk-takers interrupt the class too much and exert a bad influence on their classmates, the educator should control them to speak or write with appropriate language.

Submitted by Mi Hee

Filed Under: Teaching methodology

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