I love switching up the way I teach lessons. Last night, I had this great idea of changing how I teach the vignettes in House on Mango Street. What if I made my students and I switch roles? What if they were the teachers for the day? What would they teach me about the given vignettes?
I created an activity that challenged students to take on the teaching role. To start, they were split into two groups (I have smaller classes, so this worked well for me, but in other classes it might need to be split into a few more groups or use more than two vignettes).
One half of the class had “Sire” the other had “Beautiful and Cruel.” Their job was to read the vignette, analyze it as a group, and teach the other half of the class (and me) the important points and theme.
I had a few ‘rules’ in their discussion. Everyone must talk, and they had to make sure they covered characters, important themes, figurative language, and answer the question “Why is this vignette important?”
I created an assignment/task sheet that I shared with them on Google Classroom.
*That can be viewed/downloaded here: You Are the Teacher.
My students took off with this activity, planning for almost twenty-five minutes, then presenting for twenty to thirty! I was so impressed by their depth and the information they discovered on their own! Here’s what the whiteboard looked like after one of their presentations on “Beautiful and Cruel”. This group created a set of questions that they shared with the class via Google Classroom. Then they challenged the class to answer and discuss them–just like a real teacher! It was so exciting to see them not only learning but taking ownership of their learning.