Monday, 13 February 2012

The sign of my profession

This time I’d like to share with you one of my lessons.
I had it with children of about 9 years old. I didn’t know the pupils before this lesson. It was a class of 25, so I asked them to make five groups of five. I soon found out they liked all the activities I introduced, we had fun, and they collaborated as well.During the lesson we had some Art activities (but not only), some games to help the communication competence, and a game with pupils being small „actors”, representing a profession. We had 1 hour for our lesson.
Materials: pictures, two envelopes for each group (one with the sign definition; the other with a poem), papers, pencils, color pencils
Activities: Here’s what I said!
1. I’ll now show some pictures to you. You will see signs, and we could guess their meaning. Please help me understand: what do these pictures mean?

I used pictures like these:

Now, can you think of any profession seeing the pictures?
What kind of shop could you find in this building? How could we say, even if we have never been there?

Every sign is a message for us. In the last two pictures we saw signs of professions. Coud you tell me, please, what does a sign tell us?

2. Before the lesson I gave each group a sign definition in an envelope. I used Hungarian Ethnic Encyclopedia (I am sure you will find the same definition in your languagues).
I asked the pupils to read the definition in their groups, and after explain the meaning of the word.

3. The groups had a second envelope too. In the envelope there was a very short poem, different for each group. The poems talked about five traditional professions, like potter, forger, carpenter, baker, cobbler.

In all poems I deleted the name of the profession. The pupils’ task was to find out together the missing word.

4. All groups had a piece of paper (I gave one A/4 size, but if you should have more time, it could be nice to use A/3 as well). I asked the groups to draw the sign of the profession they found out in the poem.

5. „I come from America..” game
In Hungary it is a well known game. Normally two children start the game saying: I am from America, the sign of my profession is… and they say the first and the last letter of the profession. Then they show to the other children some characteristic activities of this profession, without any words, only with gestures. I asked two pupils from each group to show with gestures the profession of their group.
It was really funny!
When the children guessed right, the group members showed their drawings to the others. We put all drawings on the board.
At the end of the lesson we had 5 drawings on the board, pupils knew more about professions and signs, and they worked together in groups for the first time.

I hope you and your pupils will like this lesson and all of our activities. Have fun together!
Are there any other primary teachers who would like to share their experience with us?

Don’t forget we’re always willing to learn from each other.
So, I’m waiting for your replies!



  1. Hi Monika,
    this example has been very useful for me. I'm going to customize it for my students.

    I'd like to ask you a question:
    how did you assess the students' work?
    Did you give them a mark? And if so, did you give a mark to the group or to the single students?

    Thank you again, it's nice to have activities for primary teachers!

    1. Dear Teresa,
      I am really happy if you find useful for you the lesson-plan.)

      Talking about the assesment...yes, it could be an important question. To tell you the truth as my pupils are 9 years old, we are at the very beginning working in groups. Before I proposed them activities in pair. And, we had activities all together in our eTwinning projects.
      Now we start the activities in groups, and one of my most important aim is to show them: it's nice to collaborate with other pupils. I try to find out activities to motivate my pupils and we play a lot of games.
      So, first I would like if my pupils could learn and feel, what does a collaboration mean.(it is not easy sharing the tasks, and sometimes accept- this is not an individual "game", but we can be great together).

      At the end of this activities I would like to think about assesment part as well. This weekend there is a conference in my town, Szeged, where we talk about useful ICT tools too.One of my colleague, Krisztina Varga proposed for example a link to create online tests, simple and enjoyable for pupils.
      Maybe after working in groups, it could be a help to compare the results. It is only a possibility, but it could be useful.

      Could you share us please your experience? Thank you).

  2. Thank you Monika. In my school, even if the students work in groups, we give individual marks. This is my experience. I think it's useful to have students working in groups, but sometimes there are members of the groups who are more of a problem than an help to the others. That's why the marks are individual.