A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car;
but if he has a university education he may steal the whole railroad.
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) American president
The teacher’s intentions can be extremely original and at the same time effective. Even a novice teacher from time to time tries to add variety to the learning process, of course, without infringing the standards and requirements. One of the favorite innovations in the choice of the lesson form is a press-conference. If you have not experimented with this, it’s time to plan a lesson. How? We’ll show you.
Why the press-conference?
There is no necessity to talk long about the relevance of this form. It is close to modern child and interesting to him. He, being a student, acts as a journalist. And as we know, journalistic activities include a wide range of skills. And in this case it is important for teachers. You allow the student to practice the ability to ask questions, think through plan conversations, learn to build an oral presentation, to notice important, analyze and systematize.
In addition, the preparation for this lesson helps to develop the student’s independence, the establishment of his own point of view, the development of the ability to argue his words and be tactful and diplomatic.
How to organize a lesson?
This lesson requires the preparation of students. Most likely, it will be a lesson of generalization and retention of knowledge. So, we announced to the class that the next lesson will be quite unusual. Now it’s time to give the task. If you list all the roles (every student at the press-conference will play some role), it is likely that confusion may arise in connection with the mismatch between the roles and number of people willing to take the role. Classically lot will judge the situation. Let the guys pulled a piece of paper, and thus they will get the role. The roles are the following: producers, journalists-critics, journalists-analysts, the defendants, showmasters, the order commission, photographer, reporter.
The producer is the organizer of the event. So the teacher takes on the role of the director, because he is not the last violin in the orchestra, but in fact, producer holds a press-conference. He starts the event, announces the rules (the teacher helps in the drafting of the rules), and controls the press-conference, so not allow the reduction in productivity and pace. The producer’s place is at the end of rows, teacher sits next to him. You seem by looking at what is happening and direct it as needed.
There should be two showmasters. Naturally, the teacher writes their replicas, because otherwise lesson may stall. But, this is important, showmasters should know the scenario almost by heart, and sheets with replicas are just a hint. Showmasters give the word to defendants and journalists are so-called change-over bridge between the parties.
Defendants. Their number you define by yourself. It is perhaps the most crucial role. They are active participants in terms of revision the material. They have to know it well and be ready for attacks from the young “paparazzi”. Let the students do not consider such mission unfair, explain to them that, in fact, every student should know the material, and you, as a director, can change the role according to the course of action. Explain that the defendants may confer and collectively search for the answer to a question. So they will worry less and easier take a responsible role.
Journalists-critics. They prepare a number of questions designed to defendants. There should be many questions and they are distributed between the numbers of critics. Naturally, they give questions for the approval of the Director.
Journalists-analysts. Just two students. They evaluate the work of the defendants, have the right to ask additional questions, contact the critics. After each thematic block they make mini conclusions.
Order commission. Also two students will be enough. They are responsible for the issue of discipline and enforce rules.
Reporter’s mission is to capture what is happening in order to observe and write a detailed article about the event and then (perhaps in the next lesson) show to the class.
Photographer. The name speaks for itself. This student is responsible for the following photo report with comments.
Course of the event
The success of this lesson depends on prior training. Some students will have to work in groups; do not worry that they will take it with hostility. On the contrary, draw an alluring story of lesson and advertise what marks they can get. In general, marks are a separate issue. You build your scale and maybe very distinguished students will receive several positive marks.
Find a way to advise in detail each group, explain their role in supporting the nuances. Remember that all groups must report to you on the eve of a lesson about readiness. This is included in the rules.
Take care of the lesson’s decorations, students should feel at real press-conference. Let microphones be fake, but a certain ambiance is crucial.
Composing the scenario for showmasters, you write a little plan, which will be sent to each group. That is, questions that will be asked by critics should be logically arranged and follow the blocks. Remember that at the end of each block – a brief summary, which responsibility belongs to analysts. The producer and director can ask any student and give him an opportunity to help this or that group.
In order the students are not tired of the monotony of activities, the lesson should have at least three breaks. Producer is responsible for them. The first should be dedicated to the “over” material. That is, producer prepares a little interesting information of “overprogramm” and presents it to the audience in news format.
The second pause should be devoted to a moment of relaxation.
And the third has to be a pause before the summing up, help the producer to give “titles”. It can be medals, awards, and other insignia that will highlight the merits of the students. Prefix to the title – the word “the most”. For example: the most careful, the most charismatic, the most diplomatic, most energetic, etc.
It is the director’s (teacher’s) mission. You give a brief assessment of the press-conference, characterize the groups’ work and expose marks to students. If there is not enough time, marks can be put the next lesson. Ask students questions: Did they like it? What was complicated? Which is still not fully understood? What did they explore for themselves?
If you want the students to work on their weaknesses, or you clearly see what role is for which student, do not use a lot, but just authoritatively give the roles.
Practice shows that this experience is interesting and useful for teachers and for students. Lots of luck at the lesson of press-conference!