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Postcard Exchange (Sequence Paragraph)

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by Kousar Parveen Shaikh | 05 Dec 2019
Resource Description:

This activity is a combination of ‘letter writing’ and ‘visualization of information.’ To cope with large-size class and time limit, the traditional ‘series of letters’ has been replaced with a ‘postcard exchange.’

The activity can be useful as a revision, assessment, and feedback technique for any topic taught in the previous class. In this specific case here, the technique is applied to practice ‘sequencing paragraph’ that students learned in their last lesson.

In the activity, students will be exchanging postcards to share subject matter of their previous class in shape of a sequencing paragraph, and receive peer review through a feedback card.

Audience: Elementary, Secondary
Audience Language Proficiency: Beginner, Intermediate
Duration: 20 minutes
Materials and Technology:

For teacher.

  • Card paper sheets,
  • Printouts of two images: one displaying electric-power transmission process and the other the text/word ‘feedback’ for pasting on one side of the cards,
  • Pencil/pens and a ruler for drawing horizontal lines on other side of the cards,
  • A projector/laptop/smartphones to play YouTube video (link provided below) for a quick revision of the information used in the last lesson (optional).

For students.

  • Pencils/pens for writing

Preparation of Postcards and Feedback cards. Paste image (attached in the file below) of the electric-power transmission process on one side of a card paper, and draw some horizontal lines on the other side for students to write down the process. Preparation time depends on the number of student pairs since each pair will be working (writing sequencing paragraph) on an individual postcard. Repeat same process for creating feedback cards by replacing transmission process image with the word feedback (also attached in the file).

Objective(s): The objective of this activity, designed specifically for writing classes, is to help students revise their learning from the last class by describing a visual in a short paragraph using sequence words, such as first, next, after, then, finally, etc. The visual will help students sequence information in the paragraph. 
Outcome(s):

At the end of this activity, students will be able to:

  • describe a visual in their writing,
  • write a short paragraph to explain step-wise process using sequence words.
Activity Description:

As a follow-up activity of the lesson on ‘electric power transmission process,’ students, working in pairs, will write a sequence paragraph about the process on one side of a postcard that displays power-transmission image on the other side.

Stage 1. (optional). Students watch an approximately one-minute YouTube video clip from 1: 41 to 2: 45 to revisit information of the last lesson.

Stage 2. In the postcard, they:

  1. would address one pair of their peers,
  2. write to/ provide them with step-wise process of electricity transmission using appropriate sequence words (the visual will help them in sequencing information), and
  3. post (hand in) their postcard to the addressee for review.

Stage 3. The feedback card.

The addressee pair will

  1. read the postcard,
  2. re-write the steps in the feedback card, in case they find any errors in appropriateness of sequence words and/or arrangement of information,
  3. post (hand in) the  feedback card to the sender of the postcard.

Variation. Teachers can provide beginner students the text with sequence words missing for them to fill in. Or, provide a jumbled text to rearrange first, and add the sequence words later.

References:

1. Sequencing Paragraph - Text Source.

American Transmission Co. (2013, June 27). How transmission works [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ0GRvFWjYs [1: 41 to 2: 45]

2. Postcard – Image Source.

JMesserly, J. (2008). Electricity grid simple- North America. [svg file]. Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Electricity_grid_simple-_North_America.svg

3. Back of the Postcard and Feedback card plus Feedback Text

Self creation using Microsoft word table and WordArt.

Uploaded Files:
TESOL Interest Section: Second Language Writing