Direct Instruction

The learning intention for this lesson was to encourage students to talk about themselves without being shy.

The video shows how students specially our ELL( English Language Learners) can get into amazing conversations when we value what they bring with them. I started this lesson by bringing an artefact that had cultural significance. I shared my story and then opened the floor for students to share their stories.

Extended plan here

The student discourse video shows the students sharing food and artefacts from their culture. I am working with a group of Tongan students.


The purpose of the Lesson

The purpose of this lesson was to encourage students to talk and share ideas.

Lesson content

I deliberately chose this lesson as I wanted to begin with something that they already knew and could talk about. The Task was to introduce themselves with a brief description about their country and an artefact from their culture. This worked well as all students who had common experiences in terms of their culture supported one another to add detail to describe things from their culture. the sentence starters provided helped them to write their introductions with greater ease. Me modelling and the video on their class site also gave them an an idea of what was expected from the lesson.

Mixed ability grouping

Majority of the students in my class do not share their ideas. I chose to pick one fluent speaker in the group. This allowed the others to listen to the vocabulary that they needed to explain similar ideas from their culture.

Lesson pacing

I gave lots of time to students to tell their stories about their culture This is why the lesson is spread over a few days. The main idea was to allow them opportunity to express themselves. They did this endlessly and the excitement grew every minute. They wanted to tell me everything about themselves.

Student Engagement and Confidence

Students were engaged throughout the lesson right from the word go. In my introduction video you will see that most students got hooked right from the beginning. They wanted to know more about me. This set the tone and we were at the initial stages of building relationships with each other. The confidence level of students was raised immensely through this lesson. I believe I have build good rapport with my students and I hope they will discuss and ask question when they get stuck in future. The purpose of the lesson was accomplished amazingly.

Student outcome

Students first wrote their introduction and then introduced themselves to the class. They were scared in the beginning and asked if they could use read from the script when speaking to the class.

I am very proud of my students who learnt a lot about explanation through this lesson. They used some specific vocabulary and heaps of describing words when talking about their artefact or food from their country. Even the ones who were not active participants, said something little. The collaboration was huge when students discussed with each other to make things clearer for me to understand. They became more engaged as I encouraged them to use their own language to describe things. When describing their artefact/food students could feel the attention and respect that they received from their audience and this became quiet contagious by the end of the lesson. As they spoke, they also shared some stories that they remembered when talking about an item, food or artefact. Both me and my students enjoyed this lesson. This was the first step towards building strong relationships with my students and also among students.

Next Steps

Since the goal this year for Manaiakalani CoLs is on language acquisition and my TESSOL study is a lot about how we can teach language to our ELL ( English Language Learners), I will be focussing more on oral language and plan for lessons that will be more creative, enjoyable and the ones that can connect students to their experiences.

This lesson also gave me an insight into what limitations my students had in terms of language. They were every excited to tell me all about their culture but fell short of words except for one fluent speaker. It is now for me to plan to improve their vocabulary so they become confident when socialising and sharing their ideas. I also need to find ways to engage some of my shy students who were wanting to participate but could not gather the courage to engage in the conversation.

Things to note

This was the first lesson that was filmed with this group. I explained them that they could be viewed all over the world and this made them a bit uneasy and nervous. They are still getting used to the camera and so you might find some of them shying away from it.

Class Site Content

Walt: introduce ourselves to the class.

SC - I can introduce myself through an artefact from my culture


Listen to the T's introduction. Watch how she uses an artefact from her culture to introduce herself. Notice - does she have a story to tell about herself? How does she do this?

Now think of an item/ photograph/ object/ artefact from your culture. Use this to tell your story to introduce yourself to the class.

Writing Experience

Write a short introduction and share your story with your teacher before you introducing it to the class.


Record yourself introducing and share it on your blog.

My Introduction speech

Hi my name is ________________

I am ___ years old and I am ______________

___________ is known for___________________________________________

Today I have brought an artefact from my culture to share with you. It is ______________________________________________

This is important to me because _________________

It reminds me of ______________________________

Thank you

Learner Generated Content


Blog Post

Archana Sharma

Manaiakalani Education Trust

PO Box 18 061, Glen Innes

Auckland, New Zealand