This week, I tried mapping a learning journey, as described by The Learning Spy. I did it with my Year 11 class, who were studying The Yellow Palm from the GCSE English Literature Anthology. They are half-way through studying the cluster, and I’ve taught them (on and off) for a long time. They are also my most able and best behaved class. I really like them, and I;m confident trying new things with them.
Showing them a visual representation of their Learning Journey gives them an outline of the lesson. This gets them to link where they have been with what they are doing and where they are going.
Mine looked like this:
I had it on the board when they came in. Although they are used to having a starter or some bellwork on the board when they come in, it needed some explanation, but they were soon able to join in: “So, then we’ll annotate the poem?” and “Why’s the same picture at the start and the end?” “Because we’ll answer the questions at the end that we had at the start.”
One of the most useful features of this technique is that it gives your students a sense of direction. They like knowing where they’re up to, and what’s going to happen next. It also gave them a sense of purpose: we used the Question Matrix at the beginning, knowing they were going to answer the questions at the end. Incidentally, I hadn’t used the Question Matrix before, but I’ll definitely be using it again, especially for the Unseen Poetry – their questions were excellent.
Yes, preparing the slide did take a bit of time, particularly finding the images, but I do think it was time well spent. Many of the images can be generic, like the ‘Activity Stations’ one, so that’s an easy thing to do.
I’ll definitely be doing the Learning Journey again.