It started with me showing 4 pictures of Mount. Fuji. The kids then figured out that the pictures represent the four seasons and we named the seasons in English, putting a season title under each Fuji pic. Then the months, out of order, got matched with seasons (to practice that vocabulary) and THOSE cards went on the board…and I checked who has a birthday in which month if they were still excited by months. I actually do the same thing with 4th graders for one lesson..so if I get a 6th grade that did it 2 years ago, it will make the kids who remember it feel smart, like they can do it, but it's been enough time that it isn't overly familiar.
After that the lesson diverged and becomed all new for 6th graders. We said goodbye to Mt. Fuji as I removed those four pictures and I put up four different season pictures…and which point the students started yelling at me that I had them out of order…at which point I moved the season signs to match the photos I've put up, letting the months remain as is...the sign and picture for summer is over December, January, February..etc.
At which point the class continued to scream about how wrong I am. I continued to insist that I wasn't crazy. I asked them questions until some kids started realizing that they've vaguely learned about this in another non-English class. A few kids ventured that we're talking about Brazil/Australia/New Zealand. I show them the map, where it is now Winter and where it is summer…and where New Zealand is.
Then we brainstormed about what they knew about New Zealand (only one class said earthquakes, which wasn't in my picture collection but is something the kids are aware of) I started putting more pictures up on the board, including rugby teams, sheep, the kiwis, and Maori and talk a little.
Then I added a plus sign between Maori and Rugby…and showed the kids a clip of the All Blacks doing a Haka before a game. Some kids knew of this because the team did it in a Japanese commercial of some sort and there are a few rugby fans. Kids LOVED the clip. I showed them a few clips of more traditional Maori dances and games, pausing to show some of the facial tattoos, and then it ended with a stick/Ti Rakau clip…which the students also thought was pretty damned cool.
Once we confirmed that that looked cool, I directed their attention to the back of the English room…to the BIG PILE OF STICKS FOR THEM! They each got two, moved the desk and chairs to the back, and sat down. I took them through left and right and some basic solo combinations in English, adding new combos to the ones we'd learned and then got them doing pair work with hits and passes until we had solo and duet moves.
We used the song E Papa Waiari to keep beat but sometimes I played a steady beat with my zills in clack mode to control the tempo and gradually speed up.
Some classes got that so well I let them spend 5-10 minutes in groups of four making their own combinations and we watched volunteer groups do original ones.
Yeah. Beating the floor….very popular. Sticks are awesome.
At the end we watched a bit more Haka and…because I wanted to…I made them, row by row, show me their Tu face for battle…and, yes, because I have watched too much Full Metal Jackets I did occasionally shout "Show me your WAR FACE"…which may be taking liberties…but I really couldn't help myself.
I could put a little more content…an extra stick combination or two. I should also learn a few greetings to teach.
And…after resisting…I now have an iPad2. I realized that my love of hardcover notebooks was being litteraly out weighed by having to heft a satchel with multiple dance notebooks/work notebooks/ and sometimes a laptop.
It arrived last night. I've spent the afternoon at work entering in my elementary class d school info into Pages so that I can stop carrying my large lesson planner. I also started using Audio Notes to record and annotate my zill combinations and mark when and where I have taught them so I can start transferring the dance class notebook info. On my way home I stopped at the convini to pay for the stylus I ordered last night so I can more easily handle handwriting and note-taking.
Tonight, I am going to eat well and sew. It's getting chilly.