Help for Activities (for teachers)
Using the interactive elements
There are various types of interactive activity listed below:
A trail may be used on a whiteboard or digital projector as a prompt for note-taking, discussion, and so forth.
A trail may be used as an extension activity for a student or students working at a computer.
Since each trail ends with a mixture of interactive elements comprising mainly those explained below, then the teacher is asked to refer to the more specific advice given about them.
Multiple Choice activity may be used to:
- direct a teacher-led question-answer session;
- direct a quick whole class test;
- provide a structure for note-taking...
Instead of getting the student to write an answer 'A', ''B' or 'C', the teacher could require the student to write a sentence using the question and the correct ending.
Do you want an example?
The sentence this gives:
'Human beings should act towards the rest of Creation as good stewards.'
Since most of the multiple choice questions are in sequence (rather than drawn at random) the teacher should conduct a test situation by showing the question, allowing appropriate time, and then pressing the 'next' button. At the end, the 'restart' option will allow the teacher to take the students through the questions, this time identifying the correct answers.
Obviously, students may use the Multiple Choice activity for self-testing and revision. A teacher may ask a student to try a particular test until they can achieve a perfect score (indicated by leaving the score on the screen for the teacher to check).
Much of what is written about the Multiple Choice activity applies here. Note that the True/False activity tends to draw randomly from a bank of questions.
In addition to the advice given about the Multiple Choice activity, the teacher can ask students to identify the false statements in a True/False activity and rewrite them (avoiding the trivial addition of, say, a 'not') so as to make them true statements. As a further extension , the teacher could require students, when they identify a true statement, to write a further true statement about the same subject of the statement.
Do you want an example?
This is a false statement. To correct it in an non-trivial way, the student could, for example, write or speak the following:
'Jesus chose ordinary working people, and even an outcast, to be his disciples.'
This is a true statement. As an extension, the student could write or speak another true statement on the subject (in this case, the crucifixion of Jesus).
'Jesus was helped to carry his cross by Simon of Cyrene.'
See this section's advice for Multiple Choice activity. If the True/False questions are drawn at random, then the student is at liberty to have as many tries as they wish. In this case, the teacher could ask for the student to get a perfect score for ten tries, for example.
Who/What/Where am I?
Some of these activities draw randomly from a group of questions, some are in a particular sequence.
This can be a tricky game, and the teacher will want to do a number of trial runs on the whiteboard or digital projector before the students get up to speed. The teacher has the opportunity to emphasise the importance of spelling the entries accurately, since the game will not forgive even a slight mistake here. It is, on the other hand, case insensitive and forgives white space entries before or after, but not within, a word. This game lends itself to an oral class exercise, where the volunteering student spells out the word the teacher must enter in the box. In addition, some of these activities are supplied with stimulus pictures that gradually emerge into view. These may present an extra teaching opportunity - for example, a 'Where am I?' activity will typically show some feature of religious historical interest.
Do you want an example?
The teacher might add a few words about the picture, which shows the Temple of Apollo in Corinth. A few words about pagan Greek beliefs might also be appropriate, or some words on why this Temple was significant for the people of Corinth.
The student has the opportunity to practise their reading and spelling in this activity. The teacher may want to prepare a list of correctly-spelled answers for a student to take with them to a computer. Trying to get a perfect score (four per question) is difficult, since the correct entry must be made before the typer reaches the first full stop. It might be a very useful extension activity for a pair of students.
This is often a good activity for younger groups. The labels and pictures match up in the 'easy' version of the game. It is recommended that a trial 'easy' run through is done on the white board or digital projector screen. Pressing the 'make it harder' button randomly arranges the labels. The individual pupils could then be asked to place the labels under their corresponding images. When the 'please mark this' button is pressed, the score out of 8 is tallied. This is a good point to ask pupils to try to point out any errors. The 'show me the answers' button will then show up the labels under their corresponding images.
Some of the examples of this activity may be useful revision exercises for the individual student.
This is a good activity for younger groups. The 'books' often have large illustrations combined with large print (since virtual paper is so inexpensive compared to the real thing). The large virtual book can then be used as any other book, with the same benefits.
This also lends itself as a nice activity for the individual student, who can go away and research some little area by means of one of the online books. This will become more of an option as we add to the little online library.
The range of interactive elements in this category will broaden in time. Obviously their effective use depends on the judgement of the teacher.
At present, there is a simple hangman game, with its benefit as a class spelling preparatory exercise. It also includes a little definition of the word when it emerges. The words that load into the hangman game are based around themes - e.g. OT figures, Decalogue, and so on. This also applies to the more sophisticated wordsearch game. Here thematically linked words arrange themselves around a grid. There is also an online glossary, linked to different glossary levels as appropriate for the level of the material. Students should be encouraged to use the glossary for words highlighted in the body text of a web page. Another less interactive facility types out a script. For example, the story of Jonah is scripted so that different talking heads are associated with speech bubbles. The script activity may be useful when students are trying to read their parts from a sheet and other students can follow the dialogue on a whiteboard or digital projector. It is hoped, in time, to link the script activity with a sound facility.
There is also a more sophisticated hangman glossary game. This game lends itself to teams playing against each other (since the score can be reset) - the game screen should be shown on a whiteboard or digital projector screen. One suggestion: have each team go until they hang the stick man or for, say, five tries maximum. The scores of each team can be tallied as they go. The teacher should draw attention to the bonus points available - especially for correctly guessing a less obvious letter.
There is no reason why these little activities can't be of use to the individual student, but some sort of teacher-provided directed outcome will always give clearer educational purpose.