LEARNING STRATEGY: Organize/Plan
STANDARDS: Communication 1.1, 1.2, 1.3; Connections 3.1, Communities 5.1

Creating a Poster of a Famous Person

Language: Any language

Proficiency Level: Intermediate - Advanced

Brief description of the activity: Students will create a poster about a famous person in the target culture and make an oral presentation to explain it to their classmates. Before beginning this task, they will make a detailed plan of how they will go about accomplishing this project.

Objectives:

  1. Students will be able to discuss a famous person in the target culture.
  2. Students will be able to set short- and long-term language learning goals and specify actions or steps that will help them accomplish these goals.
  3. Students will be able to prioritize learning goals.

Language focus: Reading, Writing, Speaking

Materials: A blank project plan worksheet designed by the teacher for the students to fill out. (This plan should elicit the goals the student wants to accomplish, why they are important, the steps to accomplish them, external and internal blocks to accomplishing them, what student can do to lessen these blocks, and where to go for help.)

Procedures:

  1. Introduce the content
    Tell students that they are going to create and present a poster about a famous target culture figure. In pairs, have learners brainstorm all of the famous people they can come up with from the target culture(s). Show learners a poster you have created about a famous person in the target culture and make a brief oral presentation to explain it. For example, you can use the children's book about Frida Kahlo, the Mexican artist, to find simple drawings and phrases in Spanish about her.
  2. Introduce and model the learning strategy
    Explain how you made a detailed plan of how to go about accomplishing this project. For example, I tackle hard tasks by breaking it down into smaller steps and give myself short- and long-term deadlines to meet. Tell students that setting goals helps us to know where we are, prioritize, plan, and make progress and show students your project outline. Tell them that having a project plan helps us to be more realistic and productive.
    Name: ________________________

    Project Plan: Famous Person Poster
    Goals:
    Short term: (what you will do to get started on this project)


    Long term: (what you will have learned when the project is almost done, or at the end of the project)



    Blocks (potential problems)
    Within me: (for example, words I don't know in my foreign language)


    Outside of me: (for example, getting the supplies I need like markers and posterboard)



    Blocks (potential problems)
    Within me: (for example, words I don't know in my foreign language)


    Outside of me: (for example, getting the supplies I need like markers and posterboard)
    Help desk
    Who/What can help me with the blocks:
    Evaluation:
    After sharing the poster, I feel that I
    ___ met my short-term goals
    ___ met my long-term goals
    ___got the help I needed from ___________
    ___ am happy with the product (my poster)
    Explain how making a long-term plan with specific goals can help learners use their time in and outside the classroom effectively while staying focused on the progress they are making instead of how much is left to learn.
  3. Practice
    Have students create a project plan outline and then follow it as they make and present the posters. In a class discussion, have learners share how planning helped them complete the activity better.
Expansion
  1. Decorate the walls with students' work. Then invite another (same level or more advanced) language class in for a "poster session" exhibit in which learners present their work to other students as they wander around.
  2. Have students create plans for projects in different subject areas (history, social studies, math). They would write them in the target language, of course.
Teacher Resources (to help teacher enhance activity):
Give learners concrete ideas for searching the Web for relevant materials and images. For example, explain that one can do an "advanced search" on Google and choose a language in which web pages are searched. Provide an outline template (based on what you had created for your model poster) to scaffold the activity.

Template for Poster
Name of person


When they lived/died


Where they were born


Where they lived and worked


Why they are famous


Your own answer to this question: Do you admire this person? Why or why not? Include as many images as you can along with the words you write on the poster. Find images online or copy them from books.