Social organisation unit: access to education

This is one of a series of pages designed to illustrate how to go about developing unit plans for teaching the Themes. These should not be seen as complete downloadable packages, but rather as drafts or explorations. In particular, note that Beata provides a wide range of varied and stimulating activities and procedures. Such creative variety will keep the students actively involved, working towards clearly-identified goals. So, please adopt whichever techniques you like, adapt them to your students' current needs, and apply them to other materials and other aspects of the Themes.

by Beata Mirecka-Jakubowska, IB English B, Jakarta Intercultural School, Indonesia

IB English B Thematic Unit 3

Theme: Social Organization            Topic: Access to Education

Let’s embark together on a fascinating journey into the world of education and ponder how it impacts us when we have access to it. And what of those who don’t?

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: to practice a wide variety of receptive and productive skills:

  • enhance reading comprehension skills (choice of feature articles, short story, letter of response, review of film);
  • practice oral communication skills (short explanation, discussion, expressing views, commentary, news report, interview Q&A);
  • practice listening comprehension skills (discussion, news report, interview, film);
  • flex critical thinking skills;
  • hone writing skills (letter of response, script for TV commentary, script for news interview or report, review of film);
  • expand range of vocabulary; reflect on your learning.

LIFE SKILL: to discover the importance of education for ourselves, for the world.

GUIDED INQUIRY: How does education impact individuals and communities?

    UNIT PLAN

    Lesson 1

    Oral Communication : Class discussion + THINK ToK – Area of Knowledge: Human Sciences (Psychology).

    Reading Comprehension: Close reading of a short story “The fun they had” by Isaac Asimov

    Listening Comprehension : Listening for gist

    HOME EXTENSION: Reading a feature article

    Lesson 2

    Reading Comprehension: Close reading of a chosen feature article

    Oral Communication : Short explanation

    Listening Comprehension and Oral Communication : Discussion

    HOME EXTENSION: Formative Practice Paper 1 – Letter of response

    Lesson 3

    Reading and Critical Thinking: Letter of response to author or editor

    Critical Thinking and Listening Comprehension: TV News Report

    Oral Communication: TV commentary

    HOME EXTENSION: Critical thinking and Listening/ Reading for gist

    Lesson 4

    Critical Thinking and Reflection: Do I really HAVE to go to school today?

    Oral Communication: Short explanation

    Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Building

    Writing: Script for a News interview or Report

    HOME EXTENSION: Continue refining the script to act out in class.

    Lesson 5

    Oral Communication: News Interview or Report

    Listening Comprehension and Critical Thinking:

    Film Freedom Writers (2007, 122 minutes)

    Part 1

    HOME EXTENSION: Writing – Review of film (up to the viewed moment)

    Lesson 6

    Writing Review: Review of film

    Listening Comprehension and Critical Thinking:

    Film Freedom Writers (2007, 122 minutes)

    Part 2

    Reflection on learning

    Unit reflection & feedback

    The above unit plan intended for 6 lessons of 75 to 90 minutes (adjust according to your time frames) includes a variety of resources for practice of receptive and productive skills. Let’s examine how these texts can be used. The focus text types are a formal letter and a review of a film.

    Lesson 1: Focus – impact of technology on education

    Oral Communication : Class discussion

    Examine the cartoon titled “Education in 22nd century.” (non-verbal communication) and the speech bubbles.

    Suggested activity:  class discussion: THINK ToK – Area of Knowledge: Human Sciences (Psychology). What schema do you need to understand it? Is it funny for you or not? Why? For whom would it be funny? How do we feel when we miss out on a joke – what knowledge must we have to enable us to participate in building group camaraderie?

    HINT: Cartoon resembles The Jetsons comic / animated TV show aired in the USA in 1962-3.

    Reading Comprehension: short story

    Review active reading skills and annotation skills.  Short story “The fun they had” by Isaac Asimov. Read the schema for the story. (see handouts below)

    Suggested activity: Annotate the story & share annotation in pairs/ groups. Discuss how the author constructs irony in the story, and how he evokes nostalgia at the end. Ponder: what would today’s high school students be nostalgic about in 50 years?

    Listening Comprehension : Listening for gist

    1/ The Effect of Technology on Teen Education (4 min, fragment of documentary w/ Bill Gates from 2010)

     2/ Is Technology a Threat to Our Education? (3.5 min, from 2013, FW:Thinking.com)

    Suggested activity: PARTY MILL: Pair up with someone who listened to the other video. Have a casual conversation on this topic: according to the two speakers, how does technology impact 21st century education? Then join up with another pair and continue the conversation with their input.

    HOME EXTENSION: Reading Comprehension: feature article

    Read first half of the article School in 2033. Written in 2013, it predicts what might be happening in high schools in the next 20 years. It’s 2019, so 6 years into the prediction time, almost 1/3 of it… what is changing?

    Lesson 2: Focus – gender discrimination in education

    Reading Comprehension : Close reading of a feature article

    Close reading of a feature article on gender discrimination. Ponder: How are genders treated at school today and how were they treated in the past?

    1/ Is school unfair to girls? TIME article from 1992 re-posted in 2001

    2/ Do teachers discriminate against boys? TIME article from 2013

    Suggested activity: individual work to examine the publication date and the source (e.g. who is writing? why? how reliable is this source?) and make a bullet point list of the main points and arguments.

    Oral Communication: Short explanation

    Share ideas gathered from the read article on gender discrimination.

    Suggested activity: jigsaw sharing in pairs or groups – in first group discuss main ideas & create bullet point list then switch groups/pairs and briefly present your article

    Listening Comprehension and Oral Communication : Discussion

    Listening comprehension (2 min, British accent) Gender roles - when are they engraved in a person?

    Suggested activity: listen and watch as a class and discuss the error in closed captions - what does the teacher REALLY say about thinking what a firefighter looks like? Why do kids assume they’re dressed up/fake? How does this assumption influence education and/or perpetuate gender discrimination?

    HOME EXTENSION: Writing Formative Practice Paper 1

    Text type: Professional Letter of Response

    TOPIC: Discrimination in Education

    AUDIENCE:

    REGISTER:

    FORMAT:

    Address:

    Date:

    Address:

    Write a formal letter to author of article or editor of newspaper/news website in response to an article or a video. See InThinking page for formal letter format - Basic formal letter 

    Ensure you have a copy of the Paper 1 rubric to self-assess your performance.

    Lesson 3: Focus – racial discrimination in education

    Reading Comprehension and Critical Thinking : Letter of response to author or editor

    Read and orally comment on peer letters, either agreeing or disagreeing with the opinions. Use a variety of expressions for commenting and expressing opinions - if helpful, refer to the two handouts in the box below.

    Suggested activity: pair work: Exchange letters to read, then comment on them, either agreeing or disagreeing with the opinions.

    Critical Thinking and Listening Comprehension : TV News Report

    Listen to this report by CNN reporter titled: This school divides students by race for an experiment. (2.38 min) Examine the emphasis, pay attention to how the reporter speaks. Ponder which parts of speech are emphasized? Why?

    Suggested activity: individual jigsaw: divide up the recording into sections and ask students to transcribe what is said in a small section. Deconstruct together WHAT is said:  How do parents react? What does the 10th grader say? What does the teacher say? What the expert (psychologist) say? What does the principal say?

    Oral Communication : TV commentary

    Prepare a script of a 1-minute TV commentary on the topic of the CNN report. Students may work individually or in pairs/groups on the text, but will record it individually.

    Suggested activity: Flipgrid.com recordings (builds confidence with camera; use the “stickie” feature to write bullet points to facilitate greater fluency) with attention paid to emphasis and modulation of the voice.

    HOME EXTENSION:  Critical thinking and Listening/Reading for gist: Education discrimination by status & wealth.

    Conduct a quick search for a documentary or news excerpt (video clip no more than 2-3 minutes long, for example) or one news article or feature article on discrimination in education by status or wealth.

    Lesson 4: Focus – access to education based on status

    Critical Thinking and Reflection: Do I really HAVE to go to school today?

    How hard is it to get an education? Watch! (3 min video)

    Suggested activity: Reflection Writing: students write quietly for 5 minutes reflecting on their own attitude towards getting up to attend school every morning. How has their perspective changed after viewing the video clip?

    Oral Communication : Short explanation

    Share information gathered from homework research on education discrimination by status & wealth, viewed or read.

    Suggested activity: Divide & Slide share (Students stand in 2 rows and have 30 seconds to exchange the gist of what they discovered in their research, then left row moves by 2 people down the line, repeat.)

    Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Building:  

    Take notes of the key ideas and write out 5 strong verbs to use and to teach the other students in the sharing process.

    1/ UK article from 2010 Poor children could be sent to school on Saturdays to help them achieve as much as the rich, say Tories 

     2/ UK article from 2018 Teachers warn of growing poverty crisis in British schools

    3/ US article from 2012 “Education Gap Grows Between Rich and Poor, Studies Say” The NY Times

    Suggested activity: sharing in threes so each student has a different set of knowledge and arguments to share, and 5 different strong verbs = 15 to learn.

    Writing: Script for a news interview or report

    Practice writing a script for a news report or an interview (focus on what you need to, for example: question formation, short and long answers, speculation (modals), language of evasive answers and half truths)

    Suggested activity: Pair up to review information from the three articles, and then plan out the script for a News Report or Interview role play on the issue: WHY hasn’t anything changed in 8 years in the UK education system? WHAT can be done? HOW does this compare to education in less developed countries, for example like Afghanistan, Ghana, Belize or rural Indonesia?

    HOME EXTENSION: Continue refining the interview script to act out in class.

    NOTE: Lessons 5 & 6

    Script writing and oral delivery of the news interviews or reports may take some time, so you could extend this unit by a lesson or two to enable students to delve into this text type and also appreciate the full movie (122 minutes). Alternatively, you can skip/fast forward a few sections of the film to hone in on key scenes, or organize an after school "movie night" :)

    Lesson 5: Focus – whose choice is it?

    Oral Communication : News Interview or Report

    Suggested activity: to expedite the sharing of interviews, allow students to record their role play on either laptop camera (PhotoBooth, QuickTime) or phone (third student may be needed as camera person), then upload to a Google folder, school server, or unlisted YouTube post for subsequent viewing and peer or teacher critique of language use and fluency.

    Listening Comprehension and Critical Thinking : Film Freedom Writers (2007, 122 minutes) Part 1

    Based on a true story, Freedom Writers is a marvelous movie to watch with a teen class. Check out the Freedom Writers Foundation as well.

    A dedicated teacher (Hilary Swank) in a racially divided Los Angeles school in 1994 takes over a class of at-risk teenagers deemed incapable of learning by other faculty. Instead of giving up, she inspires her students to take an interest in their education and planning their future. She assigns reading material that relates to their lives and encourages them all to keep journals.”

    HOME EXTENSION: Writing – Review of film (up to the viewed moment)

    Practice Paper 1 Text type: Review of film             

    TOPIC: Social Organization / Access to Education

    INQUIRY QUESTION:  To what extent…? How…? Why…? What…?

    AUDIENCE:                                                 

    REGISTER:

    FOCUS:

    Title:

    Byline:

    See handout and student-generated example (below) for guidelines on how to write a review of film. Type it up to allow easy revision and set up of the layout for printing.

    Ensure you have a copy of the Paper 1 rubric to self-assess your performance.

    Lesson 6:

    Writing Review: Review of film

    Suggested activity: Gallery Walk. Post printed reviews (ANONYMOUS, no names) around the classroom at eye level and distribute some gold star stickers to add to the reviews as students read and evaluate for coherence, clarity and interest. Then take the top three reviews and in groups examine the reasons behind their success and the choices the authors made: layout, picture, structure, catchy title, flow of ideas, humour, etc.  

    NOTE: If you have a class of very respectful students you may expedite the Gallery Walk (and save some trees in the process) by having students pull up their soft copies on their computer/laptop screens and use sticky notes for feedback as the class circulates to read them. Alternatively, you could complete this exercise in an additional lesson.

    Encourage students to take notes of these text type features to emulate when exam practice or summative writing appears in the assessment schedule.

    Listening Comprehension and Critical Thinking: Film Freedom Writers (2007, 122 minutes) Part 2

    Reflection on learning Unit 3

    Theme: Social Organization            Topic: Access to Education

    Suggested activity: Google form with reflective questions to answer (add more if needed)

    1/ To what extent have you met the lesson objectives of Unit 3? Explain.

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES: enhance reading comprehension skills (choice of feature articles, short story, letter of response, review of film); practice oral communication skills (short explanation, discussion, expressing views, commentary, news report, interview Q&A); practice listening comprehension skills (discussion, news report, interview, film); flex critical thinking skills; hone writing skills (letter of response, script for TV commentary, script for news interview or report, review of film); expand range of vocabulary; reflect on your learning.

    _______________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________

    2/ Have you gained a life skill? How will you put it in practice?

    • LIFE SKILL: to discover the importance of education for ourselves, for the world.

    _______________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________

      3/ Have you pondered this question? How will your new knowledge impact your life?

    • GUIDED INQUIRY: How does education impact individuals and communities?

    _______________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________

    SUGGESTED SUMMATIVE PAPER 1 PROMPT (450–600 words)

    Professional Letter of Response on Discrimination in Education

    Your school board plans to introduce an alternative educational program that emphasizes learning through all kinds of games. You read the article in the school magazine with interest, but you discovered that only those students whose grades are A and A* in all subjects will be allowed to join this program. You have one B.

    Write a professional letter of response in which you state your opinion on the school board’s plan, explain your reasons for writing the letter, and argue your support for the plan or opposition to this exclusive program.

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