What is the Wall Constructing Strategy?

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Check Out the New Blog Teacher With Students In Chinese School ClassroomWall constructing strategy teaches students to prioritize information relevant to a central topic. It helps them to generate and analyze key ideas and to justify their choices. The strategy can be conducted in pairs or groups to promote shared and cooperative learning.

Learning the strategy:

Using the “wall template” will help you model the strategy clearly and will give students a better idea about the strategy. The template consists of a box at the top in which the main topic is written and several other boxes arranged beneath to form a formation (like a pyramid or hierarchy).

Information is placed such that, the more relevant or important information forms the ground level and information of decreasing importance is written in the subsequent boxes, bottom-up.  You can use a smart board o display your wall template.

To start with, decide on a central topic; for example “What are the benefits of exercise?” and type it into your main text box on the top. Next, instruct your students to cite the different benefits of exercise (generation of ideas) and list them on the board. Once you have written down all the ideas, ask your students to rearrange the list in their order of priority. This is now added on to your template, with the most important causes forming the floor of the pyramid and the rest building up. Add in more text boxes, to mention all the ideas.

Having learnt the strategy, these ideas can be incorporated to bring about a variety.

  • Preset wall templates: This template will limit the number of ideas that can be written in the formation. Thus students will have to critically analyze the list to pick out the main ideas and these should be further prioritized and written down.
  • Clustering: When plenty of ideas are generated, you can instruct students to cluster the similar information and then prioritize the different clusters.
  • Group work: Each group is given a topic and instructed to create a wall construction presentation (like posters, cardboard cut outs or digital). This should be shared with the entire class and the group is asked to explain their choice of ideas and arrangement, answer questions put forth by the others and justify their presentation.
  • Using post-its: Mounted workstations are created and students are instructed to construct the formation using post-its. The ideas are listed and prioritized on a separate work-sheet. Once finalized, the ideas can be written down on the post-its and arranged accordingly.
  • Evaluation tool: The template can be used as an entrance or exit slips and facilitates the assessment of understanding of the topic.

Discuss here:What are some ways in which you help students process and analyze information that they collect from different sources?

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