During our round table discussion on interaction (Wednesday, 11th) Peter introduced an interesting activity to spike a discussion between the teachers. Each table received an envelope with some pictures, titles and ptext aragraphs and had to match them. At the end, Peter showed us the full version of the article (“How to be interesting”) that was used for this activity.
I borrowed this idea for my grammar lesson. The topic of the lesson was the meaning of the verbal postfix “-ся”. This postfix is used for the Russian verbs to convey various meanings: It makes verbs reflexive, reciprocal, passive and so on. Students acquainted this postfix before, but never in a systematic way. Here and there they noticed how the meaning of this postfix affect the verbs. This lesson was dedicated to the theoretical explanation of the phenomenon.
I was ecpected to give a presentation. However, I felt that since this postfix was already familiar to the students and the section I had to teach was the strongest one, they are perfectly capable to deal with they postfix on their own. I decided to ask them to dig into material independently, with me only facilitating the process. So, I divided them into two groups and gave each group an envelope with the colorful cards.
The yellow cards had the names of the grammatical categories that verbs belong after taking “-ся”: reflexive (verbs), reciprocal, passive, impersonal, etc.
The blue cards had definitions of each category.
The green cards had visual representation of each category.
The white cards had examples.
The pink cards were for the students to write their own examples.
Just like in the Peter’s activity, the idea was to match the cards so each category has a title, explanation, a picture, an example and students’ examples.
I was kind of worried that they have too many pieces to match. But they nailed it easily. They discussed each category in groups sharing what they already knew about the postfix “-ся”. I helped one group a little when they got confused about two similar categories. But overall they managed to learn this relatively new grammatical concept on their own! And even produced some excellent examples.
Thank you for this wonderful idea, Peter!