This is another guest post from Anthony Peters@apeters522, a very innovative English High School teacher from Parklands College in CapeTown who delights in using technology in the classroom creatively. We are always delighted to publish posts by Anthony. You can view all his previous posts on our blog via the Anthony Peters label under ‘Quick links’ on the right side.
“For the last two weeks, the grade 7 learners have been involved in a Parklands College Investigations (PCI) mock crime scene organized by the English Department. The aim of this initiative was to blend direct and indirect speech and dialogue writing in an innovative way in order to promote deeper understanding of both.
The first task
On entering the classroom, grade 7 were told that one of the staff had inadvertently got themselves ‘deceased’ in 20C! Using a panoramic VR app, the learners had to explore the ‘security camera footage’ caught by the CCTV in an attempt to establish clues supporting the motive and possible suspects.
Direct and Indirect Speech
Next came the eliciting of the four golden rules of direct and reported speech and the learners were given further clues to the murderer that were hidden within tasks left on the Google Classroom by an ‘unidentified individual’. In order to maintain the authenticity of this scenario, the learners were then invited to interview and record members of staff who they believed to be suspects. This promoted higher-order thinking as well as logic and reasoning skills in order to encourage the all-important ‘real-world application’ of learning.
These videos were then played to everyone via the Apple TV in an attempt to establish correlations between suspect alibis and the clues found around the classroom.
The second task
The next task involved the learners writing their own dialogues between themselves, under the guise of criminal investigators, and their chosen suspect. This not only taught dialogue writing, but encouraged the learners to employ ‘persuasive tactics’ to force confessions!
Aside from the obvious benefits to lesson content and learner engagement, this project was enormous fun! Interestingly, it would not be a surprise to now find one or two budding inspectors within the grade!”
Thanks for this post, Anthony. What a fun lesson which will lead to long-lasting learning! The students will long remember this event! Thank you again to you and the creative English Department at Parklands College in Cape Town for sharing this inspiring lesson with us.