A3@M2 #6 – LETTERS TO THE NEXT GENERATION


Aim

  • To make children evaluate the Curriculum they were involved in
  • To write down what they have learned and what they think they can use in their life

Source of the activity

Contributed by Ildikó Lázár (TASKs for democracy)

Type of activity

Discussion, writing, peer reading

Competences targeted by the activity

  • Openness to cultural otherness
  • Tolerance of ambiguity
  • Empathy
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the self

Overview

Children review their experiences and write a letter to the next generation of students

Materials

  • A blank A4 sheet for each pair of participants
  • Pictures or cards cut into two for pairing

Group size

Work in pairs

Time needed

45 minutes

Preparation

  • Think about the evaluation criteria you would like your participants to keep in mind as they write their letters

Step-by-step instructions

  • Explain why it is important to review what has been done and discussed in the previous activities or sessions. Tell children that their evaluation will take the form of a letter to the next set of participants.
  • Children form pairs or you pair them up randomly with pictures or cards with expressions on them cut into two. The two halves have to find each other in order to form a whole and complement each other. If you have an odd number of children, it is better to have a group of three rather than to have someone work alone.
  • You may provide a few ideas on what to write about and how to organize the writing into a letter. Project the relevant bullet points or write them on the board. For example:
    • aims of the activity/session/course
    • atmosphere
    • content
    • understanding of terminology
    • activities and assignments
    • timing and pacing
    • achieved learning outcomes
    • Children’s evaluation of their own progress, effort and commitment
    • Children’s plans for using the knowledge, skills and attitudes that have been developed
    • Children’s plans for using concrete activities or materials
    • problems, risks, dangers
    • general advice for future children
  • Children discuss their ideas in pairs and write their letters together to the next set of children so that they know what to expect.
  • When the time is up, the letters are passed around. If possible, everybody reads everybody else’s letters.
  • Everybody should take notes to be able to quote one or two interesting points from some of the letters.

Debriefing and Evaluation

  • A discussion follows with questions for clarification, and suggestions for action and/or improvement based on the bullet points on the board and the quotes you and children want to read out from some of the letters.
  • Make your criteria for evaluating their comments very clear and explicit.
  • Letters should be pinned to a board for future children to read and later they can actually be used as an introductory activity with the next group of children.

Tips for the teacher

  • Warn children that they can use their sense of humour but they should write letters that truly reflect their evaluation of the session and of their own learning.
  • In addition, perhaps it is useful to remind them that this should not turn into a round of compliments but into the kind of letter we all expect to receive from a critical but supportive friend or colleague.

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.