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Animals in the Wood - Vocabulary - Drag and Drop

Uploaded by Sanderin van Hazebrouck, Pädagogische Hochschule Heidelberg (Germany)


These young learners of English (6th grade secondary school) were introduced to new vocabulary in the field of wild animals. After being introduced to the sound of the new words, the written form and a picture of it, the learners are now supposed to use the new words in a context and form sentences - "I can see a deer".


Target language: English

Resource language: German

Native language of learners: German

Age range: 8+

Language level: A1 - beginner

Educational context: Secondary Education

IWB Features: Drag & drop, Image

Teaching methods: Individual activity at IWB

Language area: Speaking, Vocabulary

IWB board used: Promethean

Teacher comment

Interviewer: So in the next part, you had the exercise with the woods and the different animals.

Teacher: Well, this is again something which made them be part of the lesson. None of the learners were sitting in class and doing nothing. They were all watching the whiteboard and they were interested in it. And it is a good thing for consolidation. The first step was: "Which animals are the new animals?" They knew the German words and some of them knew the English ones. The second step was to find out which were the English words for that and then, they had the part were they repeat and remember the words to consolidate the knowledge.

Interviewer: And it's also, in my opinion, some kind of differentiation. You have the learners who might not be able to do the exercise before and exchange all the letters but here all they need to do is come up and find the animal and explain where it was or show where it was. 

Teacher: Yes, and it was a communicative task as they had to tell us or to the classroom. They had to say: "I can see the hedgehog on the right side of the picture." So this is what they did and they used the words. They used the new vocabulary, "I can see the hedgehog on the right side of the picture." or "I can see the deer behind the trees."

Interviewer: Yes, and the animals were actually in the right place, in their habitat. The squirrel was in the trees, the hedgehog was behind the stone and so on.

Teacher: I think that with the whiteboard you get 100% of learners' attention. You should not, or you don't have to, use the whiteboard in each and every lesson. But for introduction of vocabulary, or for introducing a new topic, it's perfect. Absolutely perfect in my opinion. What I realised is that you get the attention of the learners, they have fun and this is how they remember the lesson. 

Interviewer: Could you do this task in the extract same way without the whiteboard?

Teacher: No, not really. It's not possible. No.

Interviewer: Would this be something you would use for the website?

Teacher: It's one of three sequences. So this is a three step thing. Because you have the methodological and didactical part and also the fact that it makes more sense to use the whiteboard in these sequences. Especially that last one, since there is no other way to do it. You could only do that task in a computer room. 

Learner comments

Interviewer: Und fällt euch noch irgendeine Aufgabe ein die heute gut war mit dem Whiteboard?

Interviewer: And did you like any other exercise on the IWB today?

Schüler 2: Die Aufgabe wo die Tiere da versteckt im Wald waren und wo wir die dann finden mussten. Also die war ganz interessant.

Learner 2: The exercise where the animals were hidden in the forrest and we had to find them. That was quite interesting.

Interviewer: Okay, und warum?

Interviewer: Okay and why?

Schüler 2: Das hat auch, wie soll ich sagen, das hat auch ein bisschen herausgefordert, das da man die ganzen Tiere finden musste und man hat nicht alle gesehen. 

Learner 2: Well it was kind of challenging, because we had to find all of the animals and you couldn't really see all of them.

Interviewer: Und man konnte da noch ein bisschen wissen wo, also wo die sind, wenn sie im Wald sind. Zum Beispiel das Eichhörnchen ist auf Bäumen und nicht auf dem Boden.

Interviewer: But you knew where the animals were hiding in the forest. The squirrel for example is most likely in the trees and not on the ground.

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