Thinking creatively about using English across the Curriculum

Yesterday, the Museum took part in an induction week activity for over 200 PGCE students from the University. The day, titled “Thinking creatively about using English across the curriculum”, involved 3 activities based around the Museum, providing different ways of using an out of the classroom setting for English language teaching and learning. I had the pleasure of working with groups in our discovery centre, to introduce some of the joys of working with objects.

foxStudents carried out a selection of challenges, all of which focused on items from the collections, ranging from describing insects and shells for a partner to draw, a new version of ‘pass the bomb’ (associated words about an object with a ticking bomb timer that is passed around the group until it ‘explodes’), and the slightly more challenging ‘Just a Museum Minute’ (based on the amusing Radio 4 quiz show, but talking about museum objects without hesitation, repetition or deviation). kiwi

Perhaps my favourite was the activity where groups had to tell a story about our kiwi and fox. Here are 2 gems that I want to share…

‘I am a fox and I am looking at a lovely Kiwi. My name is Mr Fox. The kiwi is beautiful but I also feel as though I want to eat it, I am so conflicted. It looks very tasty and I am so hungry, I haven’t eaten all day. I’ve tried the kiwi fruit but its just not the same.’

‘I do not like them looking at me. I feel as if they are judging me. Their eyes lock onto mine and I cannot move a muscle. Ive had so many staring contests, now I am a master. I am tired now – my eyes hurt. I bare my teeth at them and they run away. Phew! (This is the fox by the way)’

Students also had the opportunity to explore our Living Cultures and Manchester Galleries to focus on using objects as the basis for a piece of writing, and our Fossil Gallery for a brainstorming activity, The day was a lot of fun (if not exhausting!), and I would like to wish all of the students the best of luck for the next year. It was a fantastic opportunity for us to introduce the museum at such an early stage in their teaching careers, and hopefully, they will come back with their classes in the future!


One thought on “Thinking creatively about using English across the Curriculum

  1. I expect it’s not the ‘done thing’ to comment on one’s own blog post, but just thought I’d share some lovely feedback I received whilst cycling home from work in the rain yesterday. As I was waiting at some traffic lights, the cyclist in front of me turned around, looked at me for a moment, and then asked if I worked in the museum. It turns out that he was one of the participants on the PGCE course, and when I confirmed that I did indeed work at the museum, he thanked me for providing such an enjoyable session. It’s always great to get feedback, particularly when you least expect it!

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