“Information, usually seen as the precondition of debate, is better understood as its by-product.” Christopher Lasch
After creating agendas, the next step in the lesson plan process was to select learning activities that would achieve the desired learning levels for each learning objective. We discussed ten different categories of participatory learning activities. When I asked if anyone had used art, 7 people raised their hands and described wonderfully creative activities! That was a first for me, to say the least.
They had great examples for dramatizations, games, role-plays, etc. As a matter of fact, they described activities that I plan to have them do tomorrow, just with minor differences.
One example: tomorrow, I will have them build a merry-go-round out of Tinker Toys. One woman described an activity in which participants have to create a structure out of marshmallows, spaghetti and tape. Same focus, just different materials.
When I asked if anyone used a debate as a learning activity, their responses indicated something much more formal- more in line with teaching how to debate and then rating the debate.
So I decided to show them what I meant when I referred to a debate. I assigned half the group to come up with a few reasons in support of lecture, and the other half to come up with reasons against using lecture. They only had 3 minutes to jot down their ideas on note cards. Then I asked for a volunteer from each group to debate (and easily got two women who wanted the devil ducks!)
We created a debate in a fishbowl, with the debaters in the middle and their teams surrounding them. The teams really got into cheering on their representatives and everyone had a great time. I just know they are going to go crazy with the relay race tomorrow. This group will love all of the activities and games.
As a matter of fact, when they were asked to select a topic and decide what learning activities would meet the needs of six different learning styles (visual, aural, interactive, print, haptic and kinesthetic) they all wanted to have the rest of the group act out their activities! Would that we had had enough time.
Oh, I didn’t mention that Jafa (that’s actually the correct spelling of his name) was able to attend (as one of the non-English speaking folks). He had a radiant smile all day and thanked me several times.
Today, one woman brought her sister and a man brought another man to the training. The man sat at a front table and gave me a huge smile every time I looked his way.
At lunch, one of the men, who is chief of party of a large association, asked me if I would be interested in conducting a twelve-day train the trainer in May. He is going to send me the RFP information.
Another woman invited me to go with her tomorrow after the training to see the downtown. I had thought Rainbow Street was downtown, but apparently it isn’t. When I asked one young woman where the downtown was, she giggled and said “Downtown.” Yup, it was a pretty pointless question to ask!
May your learning be sweet.