Lesson Plan 1: Tree diagrams

Lesson Plan 1: Tree diagrams

 

AIM
To spot similarities and differences; to distinguish categories from elements

RATIONALE
This activity introduces analytical thinking (close observation and description) to spot features which are shared by a number of items. This is the first step in finding out criteria for grouping items into categories, i.e. the basis of classifying strategies.

MATERIALS
No special materials are needed

LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
Lexical sets (selected topics)

IN CLASS
1. Draw this diagram on the board and call it a “tree diagram”:

Ask the students if they use tree diagrams when studying English or other subjects and let them provide examples.

Write this list of words: documentaries, quiz shows, westerns, horror pictures, TV programmes, concerts, news, thrillers, films. Ask the students to scan the words and decide what they think is the most general item, the one which could include all the others (TV programmes). Write this in the top box in the diagram on the board.

2 Ask the students to scan the words again and find a group of TV programmes for which particular examples are given (films). Write this in your diagram on the board.

3 Allow a few minutes for the students to complete the diagram in pairs, then draw it on the board as you check it with the class.

FOLLOW-UP 1
Dictate these words or write them on the board: chess, indoor games, golf, sports and games, cricket, squash, outdoor games, football, cards. Ask the students, working in groups, to organise the words using a tree diagram. Remind them to follow the same procedure: first identify the most general category – then find possible sub-categories – finally add the elements.

FOLLOW-UP 2
Write these words on the board: rose, carrot, orange, apple, onion, cherries, tulip. Tell the students to group the items by finding the appropriate categories under the general class plants. Ask them to write the categories, and not just the elements, in a treediagram. Let them work in pairs or small groups, helping them with vocabulary if necessary (flowers, vegetables, fruit).

FOLLOW-UP 3
You can use material from your coursebook (both pictures/photographs and texts/dialogues) to practise close observation, description and classification along the lines described above. The chosen materials should contain items which can fairly easily be grouped into categories. 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