Module :

Christmas Traditions and Customs

Action Research Diary

What activities work and Why?

Writing  text in a Foreign Language about Christmas

Pupils loved the chance to produce a colourful piece of work in the spirit of Christmas.  They were delighted to attach it to email and send it to partners abroad.

Using a short amount of text (that had previously been prepared in class and corrected by the teacher) more time was available for free experimentation with WordArt and ClipArt, increasing the fun aspect.  This was needed after the hard work acquiring the work processing skills and the initial tedium of learning to use so many new tools at once.

Using the World Wide Web to find out how Christmas is celebrated in European Countries.

The pupils also enjoyed the visual and aural stimuli of the Christmas web sites, although many graphics tended to slow down the pace somewhat.  Limiting the exercises to a selection of web sites meant that the pupils concentrated on the information given on screen and navigated extensively within the sites.  Worksheets to be filled were essential to ensure they adhered to the tasks involved.

 The children delighted in sending a Hallmark Christmas ecard.

What is not helping and Why?

Work processing activities were completed hurriedly given the nature of this time of year.  Pupils were often removed form class due to preparation for the school concert, choir practice etc.   many pupils did not perform to the best of their ability.  It was particularly difficult to carry out emailing in time, despite receiving a lot of interest from a European contact.

In general, the theme of Christmas is a universally appealing topic to all pupils and their teachers.  A lot of work could have developed on this festive occasion, had the time allowed.

The computer with access to the Internet is experiencing difficulties.  The connection is unreliable.  The teacher often spent break and lunch trying to establish a connection but had to cancel Internet activities.

No digital camera has arrived as yet.  The laser printer has arrived which has speeded up printing considerably.  The teacher is having difficulty operating the scanner.  Training is being awaited.  There is great difficulty in sourcing a tutor who is available at the correct times.  It was hoped to send pictures of the class and pictures relevant to Christmas in Ireland and in an Irish school to the contact schools.  Unfortunately, this exchange did not occur.

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