Lesson: Understanding RESPECT as the basis for Creative writing

I had a Year 8 English session 5 today (the last class for the week). I was wondering how well the boys would do after the incredibly steep learning curve they were on this week.

We have used laptops for a long time but our boys like the classroom and face-2-face times with their peers and the teachers.

I prepared what I thought was a reasonably simple lesson to introduce this year’s Creative Writing competition. The theme for the 2020 Shared Stories project is “RESPECT”.

When we were told about the theme at the end of last year, some of my colleagues were less then impressed. Last year the theme was “Gratitude”. Many teachers disliked that theme but I had a great Year 7 English class last year. They responded very well to that theme so I thought “RESPECT” had the potential to be just as worthwhile.

My idea was to discuss what creative writing was and then give the students time to investigate the meaning of “respect” so that they could devise a working definition for themselves.

Lastly I set them the task of keeping a diary for the next few weeks. The idea is for them to record something respectful that they have noticed each day. They have the option of a written diary or a visual one.  For the second choice, they can create a visual diary in what ever format they like – online – Canva, or a tool on their computer.They must enter an image for each day and then explain why you chose that image. The diary can also combine options 1 & 2 but they must try to have an entry for each day so that they will develop a really rich source of ideas for their creative writing piece.

If you are interested in them, a copy of my slides are available on slideshare. 

When I first thought about how we would do this with the students,  it was going to be a whole class collaboration but here we were today in our own houses.

So I created a a video introducing the slides to the boys and the also got a PDF version they could save. They shared there synonyms for “RESPECT” on the class padlet and also on our class forum.

Toward the end of the session they posted up some reflections. There is a range of skills in the class and some boys normally have a learning support teachers in half of their English classes.

I will share some of the reflections I received from these 13 year old boys, as I received them. I think they are starting from a really good base and that they understand about Respect.

i learnt respect is just ore than being kind or care full. I learnt respect more people than you should and use maners. the more you respect people, the more love and respect you gonna get from people.
Today i thought hard and brain stormed more about respect and wrote what they meant
we need to focus on respect when we are mostly talking to people and playing sport