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Frank Stonehouse (ITESM, Morelia)

Unit 5 - Plan a Flipped Lesson

5 min read

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For Unit 5, we have been tasked with planning a flipped lesson for our classes. I typically work with advanced English students that are learning English as a foreign language, so this flipped lesson specifically targets those students. I also think that, especially if the aim of the lesson is to develop expression of opinion communication skills as this lesson indeed does, introducing controversial topics really helps to facilitate this objective, as everyone has an opinion one way or the other. I also like to take advantage of current local/world events in doing so. So this lesson, which its primary aim is the development of communication skills, does so in the context of gun control. The topic simply serves as a relevant containter for faciliatating learning and enhancing effective communication skills. 


Unit 5 - Plan a Flipped Lesson

Title/Topic of Lesson

(Advanced English Level) Discuss and explain the reasons why or why not you believe gun control is important nowadays. 

Description of learning objective, what do you want the students to understand after this lesson?

Students will have a better command of expressing opinions in English in a panel discussion format while learning about diversity of citizenship values and laws between cultures. They will also learn how to effectively use technology to convene a synchronous panel discussion of geographically separate participants.

What is the pre-class content? This can be research, reading, watching a video or something else that prepares them for the activity in class. You need to stress to students that it is an active process: take notes from the video/reading, etc.

Students will research the constitutions and applicable laws of Mexico, USA and other foreign countries concerning arms ownership and distribution. They will also watch current event videos on the Paris massacre, the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the Shady Hook massacre, the California massacre, the Lebanese and Mali massacres, drug cartel violence, national rifle association (and other pro gun positions) etc. Language snippets covering dialog skills will also be introduced at this point.

How will you encourage (close to) full participation of your students on the pre-class content? WSQ or a survey? A quick 1 minute video by them of their summary/questions?

Along with  the pre-class content presented in a LMS (Blackboard, Tackk, etc,), I plan to include a Google form with a KWL-like warm-up task. 1. BEFORE RESEARCH/VIDEOS: What do you already know about gun control in a variety of cultures? 2. BEFORE RESEARCH/VIDEOS: What do you want to know about gun control, what unanswered question do you have? 3. AFTER RESEARCH/VIDEOS: What did you learn from your research and the assigned videos that you did not previously know? How did your point of view change, if at all?

What are you planning to do in the classroom to actively apply the learning or dig deeper into the topic?

In the classroom, we will watch a selection of panel discussion videos to model how a group exchanges opinions (and agreeing and disagreeing, etc.), similar to the weekly Q&A show in Australia. Along with these videos, students will notice (with teacher facilitation) and then review language snippets for 1. expressing opinions (I believe … research shows … etc.) and agreeing/disagreeing/Interrupting politely. They will connect some of the language they are hearing to the learning materials provided earlier online in their LMS. The primary focus of the lesson is acquirement language for group discussion/dialog purposes. The topic of gun control serves only as a relevant-day container to allow these language skills and sub-skills to develop through discovery and practice. Classroom time will also be dedicated to going over the technical aspects of recording a Google Hangout on Air (technology component).

How are you going to evaluate the activity afterwards? As appropriate you could be testing learning of skills/knowledge and/or a survey of their reflection/opinion on this type of learning environment.

Students will create a panel discussion video on gun control using the Q&A program as a model reference. They will decide on roles within their group (moderator, gun sales person, victim, parent, politician (right and left), clergy, atheist, psychiatrist, etc. The evaluation with be rubric-based since there will be a major deliverable (Google Hangout on Air panel discussion video). During classroom activities, there will be formative feedback both from the teacher and peers.

Your reflection on the process. This can be as short or long as you like and of course will not happen until after this course is over. Just record your experience for your benefit and for others perhaps.

Forthcoming after lesson is executed with students. We are currently on break until mid January. So reflection on outcomes will be posted towards the end of February, 2016. So, what are yout thoughts about this flipped lesson plan? What would you do differently from the plan above to enhance student learning? Thanks! --Frank