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Unit 15: All about the past

Day three: Conversations about childhood


  • Students will be able to talk about their childhood with several classmates
  • Students will be able to describe or recount past events in an organized simple paragraph format

Setting the Stage (5 minutes)

Teacher has set up two chairs in the front of the classroom. Teacher sits down in one chair. Some kind of doll, puppet or stuffed animal is placed on the second chair. Teacher leads a class brainstorming session to give a name to the doll, an age to the doll, a place where the doll lived as a "child," etc.

Input (5 minutes)

Teacher conducts a mock interview of the doll. Teacher asks the following:

  • Do you remember the toys you played with when you were little?
  • Tell me about your toys.
  • Did you ride a bike when you were little?
  • Tell me about your bike.
  • Did you like playing with friends?
  • Tell me about your best friend when you were little.

Guided Practice (5 minutes)

Teacher moves the chair with the doll out of the way and places his or her chair in the middle area of the front of the room. Teacher asks for a volunteer who will answer some questions posed by classmates. This volunteer sits in Teacher's chair. Teacher stands behind the chair, directly behind the seated volunteer. Instructions from Teacher:

Pretend that I cannot speak. I am not deaf. I can hear everything. I am only mute. You will ask "me" questions about my childhood. (Name of volunteer) will answer your questions. If the answer is correct, then I will tap (name of volunteer)'s shoulder softly. If the answer is not correct, I will hit (name of volunteer)'s upper arm in a mock punch. (Name of volunteer) will continue to try to guess until he/she gets the right answer and the soft tap on the shoulder. (Name of volunteer) will choose who gets to ask questions. Do you all understand? Yes? Good, then let's start.

After two minutes or so, Teacher and volunteer switch places. Classmates now ask questions about the volunteer, who is standing behind Teacher. Teacher will guess the answer and will wait for soft tap or mock punch from Volunteer.

Independent Practice (20 minutes)

Teacher asks for two more volunteers to come and take places on the chair or behind of chair. These two play the interview "game" for about 3 minutes. Then two more volunteers come up and play for another 3 minutes. If the class energy level is positive, the game can continue a bit longer, but no more than a total of 20 minutes.

Closure (20 minutes)

Teacher asks the same groups from Day Two to sit together in separate areas of the classroom, such as one group in each corner and a 5th group in the middle. Teacher passes out the sheet that explains the Culminating Theme Project and Rubric and explains the culminating activity. Teacher allows for questions from the students and clarifies any questions students might have.

Teacher asks each group to assign the following roles:

  • Group facilitator (someone who can organize well)
  • Group secretary (someone who will take notes on the discussion)
  • Group timer (someone who will make sure that group discussion doesn't get "stuck" on one issue but moves along smoothly in order to complete the various steps of the project in a timely fashion)
  • Group typist (someone who will type up the group secretary's notes and provide a copy to each member of the group as well as a copy to Teacher)

Students begin to plan their project.

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