In Pear Tree’s ‘Talk Back’ class, we looked at the picture book ‘The Curious Garden’ by Peter Brown.
The students were then given a sample speech supposedly discussing great ideas about The Curious Garden.
However, the speech was intentionally bad!
Using this bad speech, the students had to learn what not to do by identifying problems with the speech. In other words, they were learning from mistakes made by others.
Such problems included a lack of details, a lack of critical thinking, superficial ideas, and retelling the story without really adding anything new.
A great emphasis behind this is not to show disinterest in the efforts of others. If anything, we can learn from mistakes by such people, as well as identify mistakes that we might also be making: “Do I do that?”
Additionally, the students had the opportunity to connect the concept of critical thinking with the importance of details.
By thinking about people /things, places, actions, feelings, and reasons (see this page for our guide to critical thinking), the students are thinking both about critical thinking and finding details in the text. Such things include the name of the main character (Liam), the other people in the story, as well as Liam’s actions, feelings and reasons.
After, the students created their own speeches, as well as an accompanying PowerPoint presentation.
In our last two classes, the students will begin their presentation challenges, in which they’ll be presented with something that they have to study and turn into a presentation.