## Lesson Plans

The resources available here are exemplars of lessons emanating from the different lesson studies carried out by groups of teachers in different schools in Malta: primary and secondary. Subjects vary from Mathematics to Science, English, Art, Information and Communication Technology, and Engineering Technology.

Understanding the Use of Foreground, Middle Ground and Background in an Art Work

Art Lesson Grade 4

Laura Formosa

Stella Maris College Primary School Gzira

This Art lesson study, conducted over a period of eight weeks, was planned for a group of 12 boys in Grade 4 (aged 8 years) and focused on students’ understanding of the concepts of foreground, middle ground and background and their application in an art work. The first lesson trial was held on Monday 2nd March while the second trial was held on Friday 6th March 2020. Both lesson trials were followed by a post-lesson discussion involving the teacher and the observers.

For primary school students, making good use of space in an artwork tends to be a complex task. Usually, students focus on using one area of their drawing paper, very often putting the main object that they want to draw in the centre of their paper, leaving the rest of the page empty. Then there are those who struggle to put their object against a background, thus concentrating only on their object as if it is placed in a vacuum. Moreover, some students do not always manage to understand how objects tend to change their apparent size when placed at varying distances from the viewer’s position. In other words, when an object moves away from the viewer it tends to look smaller and when it moves closer to the viewer, it tends to look bigger. As a result, students end up ignoring the proportion of the object and instead draw objects that are either too small or too big.

Although, at the age of eight one would not expect students to know certain complex and technical art vocabulary, it is essential for them to know about the concepts of foreground, middle ground and background. In particular, students need to appreciate how these are portrayed in images (both in photography and in paintings); how artists play with these levels in their creations to make good use of space; how objects may overlap other objects in the different grounds; how size and colour of objects vary on each ground; and how the use of such concepts make an artwork look more complete.

For these reasons, this lesson study seeks to provide students with an opportunity to observe, think critically and discuss how foreground, middle ground and background are used in images. Students will also experiment and apply these concepts while creating their own collage artwork. Hence, this lesson study focuses on supporting students’ understanding of foreground, middle ground and background in images and how they may use these concepts in creating an art work.

Creating Mental Representations: Lesson Study in a Primary Classroom

English Lesson Year 3

Carmen Karen Galea Mizzi & Michelle Buhagiar

Gozo College Primary School Rabat

Reading comprehension skills are fundamental in language development and in developing independent learners.

This lesson focuses on improving reading comprehension in a Year 3 class. Reading comprehension is a complex process where the reader uses a variety of cognitive processes to create meaning.

Identifying existing prior knowledge, predicting and inferencing, visualising, summarising, generating rich questions, monitoring comprehension, and repairing comprehension breakdowns. A reader will use different comprehension strategies in a flexible way while reading, therefore, all need to be developed and experienced continuously as the reader meets with increasingly complex texts. For this lesson study, a strategy to focus on as a starting point was. The development of comprehension strategies eventually lead to more active, strategic and independent readers and learners.

Money Rock: Lesson Study in a Secondary Mathematics Classroom

Mathematics Lesson Year 9

JoAnn Azzopardi & Janet Haber

Gozo College Secondary School

This lesson study was carried out with a Year 9 Track 3 class. The lesson, planned to be taught in mid-January, involved the selection of a task that would serve as an effective revision of various topics before the Half Yearly examination as well as give the students the opportunity to delve into new areas. Our aim was to design a task where students are given the opportunity to connect various mathematical topics tackled during different years of schooling.

Health Issues and Problems in ICT

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Lesson Year 8

Maureen Sciberras & Marisa Ciappara

There appear to be a common perception that ICT is an easy subject since it involves “playing” on the computer.

This perception makes it more difficult to teach the theoretical part because students are likely to be more eager to use the computer and not listen to instructions or involve themselves in class discussion. Thus, this lesson attempted to focus on a curricular strand where teachers can improve the teaching technique to cater for students differentiated learning.

The topic of health issues and hazards is introduced in Year 7 and continues further in Year 8. This lesson, planned and taught with a Year 8 class, focused on learning about the negative impacts related to physical and mental health and minimizing health problems associated with computer use.

Investigating the Use of Switches and their Application to Electronic Circuits

Engineering Technology Lesson Year 9

Mark Sciberras

Gozo College Secondary School

By building electronic circuits using different components, students need to decide upon which switch to use so that a circuit will operate as instructed. This lesson study was intended to help Year 11 students draw up hypothesis and arrive to conclusions about particular functions of various switches. Ultimately, this leads to the aim of the lesson [kyozai] that is to acquire knowledge about various types of switches together with their usage.

In circuitry, switches are widely used components. Being able to identify the right switch with the right function is essential, since it may affect the behaviour of a particular circuit. More so, students will be able to identify and appreciate the functions of different switches that they come across in their daily lives. This topic will serve as an introduction to relay switches, as well as a guide for students to select appropriate switches when designing their circuits which they will ultimately build up themselves.

Making Mathematical Connections

Mathematics Lesson Year 9

Philip Zammit, Gabriella Delia Cumbo, Stephan Azzopardi, Ian Buttigieg, Tamara Azzopardi, Joanne Caruana Gauci, Jessica Bajada, Mariette Bartolo & James Calleja

St Clare College Secondary School Pembroke

The lesson focuses on making mathematical connections by providing 14-year old students with a real-life problem.

The lesson offers students with a problem of "Choosing a DJ for our school party". The report provides a detailed account of all the meetings involved in preparing for this lesson. Included are lesson phases, the resources used and reflections of experiences by teachers, students and observers.

Climate Change

Integrated Science Lesson Year 8

Audrey Vella Bondin, Angie Mercieca, Anna Quattromani, Anne Mangion, Marianne Zammit & Ann Marie Cefai

Maria Regina College Naxxar Middle School

Done in April 2019, this lesson links to the eight topic Climate Change (I) – Energy and the Environment namely Greenhouse Effect, Carbon Footprint and Climate Change. First the students are going to watch video regarding climate change. Then we would do a class discussion on the video. Students in groups will do the jigsaw method where in groups of three students will discuss and teach what is Climate Change, Carbon Footprint and Greenhouse Effect. Afterwards, students will do a quiz on the three topics they just learned.

Fossils

Integrated Science Lesson Year 7

Audrey Vella Bondin, Angie Borg, Anna Quattromani, Anne Mangion, Ritianne Grima,

Marianne Zammit & Ann Marie Cefai

Maria Regina College Naxxar Middle School

Done in November 2018, this lesson links to the subject focus ‘Life on Earth’ through the Year 7 Unit ‘Living Things and the Environment’. Students take a close look at what the word ‘fossil’ means. In groups they try to produce ‘fossils’ with modelling clay and plaster of Paris. Then, they are presented with a text giving an account of an actual local fossil discovery through which they probe into the significance of such a discovery. In the closing lesson activity, students share their insights and are encouraged to ask and discuss implications which would pertain mostly to the realms of science and religion.

The Fireplace

Mathematics Lesson Year 9

Alex Ellul, Louise Vella, Lara Libreri, Marilyn Saliba & Ramona Galea

San Benedittu College Secondary School Kirkop

Done in May 2019, this lesson involved students in applying the mathematics learnt in class to a real-life situation and to make connections between different topics. A situation was created: a worker needs to position a fireplace in the corner of a rectangular room in a symmetrical manner. What are the dimensions of the marble slab which needs to cover the empty space between the fireplace and the wall? To make the situation more realistic, 6 life-size fireplaces were constructed out of carton and paper – one fireplace model for each group. A 4-minute play was also written, enacted and video-recorded. This video was used as an introduction to the lesson to help students familiarise themselves with an everyday life problem-solving situation.

Using inquiry-based learning through co-teaching

Mathematics Lesson Year 9

Maria Galea, Jessica Schembri, Darren Bonnici, Mireille Scicluna & Mary Ann Borg

St Albert the Great College Secondary School Valletta

This lesson, which was carried out in 2017, focused on improving the teaching and learning of mathematics using inquiry-based learning. In order to implement inquiry-based learning, teachers decided to co-teach the lesson. Co-teaching was also a first experience for them but they viewed co-teaching as supportive for them to plan, implement and evaluate the lesson.

Congruent Triangles

Mathematics Lesson Year 9

Gabriella Delia Cumbo, Mariette Bartolo, Jessica Bajada & Stephanie Asciak

St Clare College Secondary School Pembroke

Done in January 2018, this lesson involved students in exploring congruent triangles and justifying why two triangles are congruent. The lesson involved three main phases. In the first phase the teacher introduced the tasks during which students were required to create pairs of congruent triangles using the strips provided. Following a short whole-class discussion, students then worked in groups and were finally asked to present their work to the whole class.

The Lighthouse

Mathematics Lesson Year 7

Stefan Azzopardi, Sarah Wertz, Victor Musu, Jessica Bajada & Stephanie Asciak

St Clare College Secondary School Pembroke

This lesson which involved a problem situated around a lighthouse having two lights flashing at different intervals, offered students a problem-solving situation. Serving as an assessment task, students worked on this task in small-groups and had to come up with solutions and answers to the two problems posed.