19. September 2020

Playing with Poems and Songs in year 4 classes of the Neue Mittelschule Inzing

Lesedauer ca. 2 Minuten

Bei der öffentlichen Redaktionssitzung zur Ideenfindung für eine Fortführung der Dorfzeitung mit einem neuen Team bzw. Format wurden viele gute Ideen in den Ring geworfen. Eine davon, vorgebracht von Sandra und Andrew Milne-Skinner, war, mit den Schüler*innen der 4. Klasse NMS Beiträge auf Englisch zu erarbeiten. Im Fall des Weiterbestandes der Dorfzeitung könnten diese Schülerbeiträge als Serie geführt werden.

Andrew and Sandra Milne-Skinner held sessions with the 4th year classes of the Neue Mittelschule on November 26/ 27 and there are more sessions planned on December 17/ 18, 2019. With the support of headmaster Armin Reinisch and English teacher Silvia Zangerle-Leberer, we started a project to encourage creative writing in English. We explored simple action rhymes, such as:

“1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Once I caught a fish a…… ,
6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
Then I let it go a…   .
Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite?
The little finger on the …….. .”

Did you find the missing words in the rhyme? Yes, ‘alive’, ‘again’, ‘right’. So, you got it right! As did almost all the pupils in the NMS. Well done!

We also read Valentine poems (for February 14), listened to English animal sounds and a verb rap, and studied Japanese haiku forms. We wrote ‘days-in-the-week’ poems, ‘five-senses’ poems and poems for winter and Christmas. We read poems by Roger McGough and Stevie Smith (UK), and Langstone Hughes (USA) –  all in English!

What about grammar and vocabulary, you may ask? That is there as well, under the surface of the poems and songs.

We even wrote our own poems, based on certain language patterns:

  1.  “I love ………(doing)………,  but I hate ……(doing)…….. because …………………. .”
  2. “I’ve never ……………….. , and never ………………….  , but I’ve always wanted to.”
  3. “If I was a ……………………… , I would ………………………………………………….. .”
  4.  “I used to ……………………….., but now I ………………………………………………. .”

For example: “I used to be shy/ but now I am not./ I used to be unfair/ but now I’ve changed/ I used to not know myself/ but now I know who I am/ I used to dislike poetry/ but now I’ve become a poet/ I used to be a person/ and I still am!”

We listened to the songs El Condor Pasa (‘I’d rather be a sparrow than a snail, I’d rather be a hammer than a nail’) and If I had a Hammer – then wrote our own songs.We copied a rap poem by Suzanne Vega, Tom’s Diner, by writing our own, using the same rhythm and sentence length. Great fun!

Sandra and Andew Milne-Skinner
Foto Sandra Milne-Skinner

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Sandrew

Sandrew

Andrew and Sandra were both born in Scotland and both studied at the University of St Andrews, although they didn’t know each other then. Andrew is an English teaching professional with 40 years’ experience at school and University level. He has held seminars all over Europe and is still active in professional development for teachers and in related publishing. Andrew moved to Inzing from Innsbruck in 1998. He has worked in Austria for most of his working life. He is a great reader and has an impressive library. His other interests include classic cars and football. Sandra had a varied career as a manager in public services in the UK, finally specializing in Customer Service. She spent the last part of her working life as a freelance management consultant. She is also qualified to teach English and is a member of the Institute of Customer Service (UK). Her hobbies include gardening, hillwalking and cycling. She and Andrew married in August 2006 and Sandra moved to Inzing in 2011 when they built their house in Brechtenweg. Andrew and Sandra are members of the Inzing Freundeskreis für Integration and help to run a fortnightly Sprachcafé for newcomers. Andrew was a contributor to the Radio Enterbach project in 2009 and Andrew and Sandra now make two programmes for Freirad, Poetry Café and reading Circle (both in English). They are keen to ensure that the Dorfzeitung remains a meaningful and useful publication which offers something to everyone who lives in the village.

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