How to teach "Leaving a written note/message" in Form Two


Welcome to UNIT 22.5

PREVIOUSLY: In Unit 22.4, we discussed about the various ways of teaching the sub topic “Writing telephone messages" in Form Two.                         
IN THIS UNIT 22.5, we will cover the sub topic "Leaving a written note/message" in Form Two.
TOPIC’S INFORMATION
Main Topic: WRITING CARDS AND MESSAGES
Sub Topic: Leaving a written note/message
Periods per sub topic: 8
Class: Form Two
DESCRIPTION OF THE SUB TOPIC
It might seem as if leaving a written note/message is the old method of communication. However, even nowadays, your phone may be dead, crashed, or have batter low, and then you may turn to a written note/message. Traditionally, written notes/messages are written and left where they can easily seen by those people who are concerned. You can't written a note/and leave it on the table or bed drawer.
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE OF THE LESSON
In this sub topic/lesson, the student should be able to write written notes/messages.
  1. TEACHER’S PREPARATION STAGE
This stage is about the preparation of the teacher before undertaking the lessons of the particular sub topic. These are all activities, procedures, materials, teaching aids, and games prepared by the teacher for teaching a sub topic:
  1. Putting heads together: Introducing the topic/lesson properly. Organising how students will be able to get to know what is the topic/lesson about. It is where teacher makes sure that students are going to be in his/her train. It includes brainstorming and familiarisation of the topic/lesson with the students.
This makes students stay together with the teacher. It is at this stage students can understand what is going to be discussed in the particular topic.
In this sub topic/lesson; the teacher have to brainstorm with the students on meanings of note, written note, and message, why people have to write the written notes/messages and how people leave written note/message. The teacher can record their responses for more discussions and conclusions.
  1. Preparation of Materials. A teacher has to decide on the teaching/learning materials he/she is going to use.
In this sub topic/lesson, the teacher will have to prepare some samples of written notes/messages. A teacher may use his/her own samples of written notes/messages to display to students. Other sources of written notes/messages should be applied as well.
  1. Target Practice. Show them/Guide them to the practice of the functions of the sub topic. A teacher has to show or guide students to the target practice of the grammatical functions of the sub topic.
In this sub topic/lesson, the teacher will guide students to practice how to write written notes/messages by using these patterns below:
See you later,
Keep in touch,
Come at Mpanda Hotel.
I will be back....,
I'm out.
I'll back in 15 minutes.
Please call me,
I have gone out.
Eat your food
I'm out for exercise.
Do not disturb
Engaged/busy
Open vacant, etc.
  1. Context-Based Practice. A teacher leads students to the discussion on how the target grammatical functions practised earlier can be applied or integrated into the contexts and situations. The students are guided by the teacher to apply the learnt skills in relevant contexts and situations like school and library.
In this sub topic/lesson, teacher should guide students to go to the library and find various stories, texts, magazines, and newspapers where they can search for examples of written notes/messages. Sometimes we see written notes/messages in movies when one character decides to write a written note and leave at open space for someone to read and implement the action.
  1. Vocabulary Building Practice. The teacher may use the following situations like home, offices, school, and hotels in guiding students to practice writing written notes/messages.
In this sub topic/lesson, the most commonly applied vocabularies are: back soon, coming soon, engage, vacant, disturb, alone, call back.
  1. TEACHING AND LEARNING PROCEDURES, ACTIVITIES AND GAMES
Guide the students to the full lesson procedures, activities and games for better understanding of the sub topic by following these activities:
ACTIVITY ONE: Brainstorming. The teacher has to brainstorm with the students on the sub topic/lesson's aspects through oral questions with answers, pair works, and group discussions of all important concepts to get students on track.
In this activity, the teacher have to brainstorm with the students on meanings of note, written note, and message, why people have to write the written notes/messages and how people leave written note/message. The teacher can record their responses for more discussions and conclusions.
The teacher should guide students to discuss the following terms:
Note
Written note
Message
The teacher should also guide students to discuss the reasons why people write written notes/messages. The following are some of the reasons:
  • To inform
  • To remind
  • To give precaution
  • To instruct
  • To order
  • To ask for permission
  • To warn, etc.
Anyone can write and leave a written note/message because of any of the reasons above.
Also the teacher has to discuss with students on how these written notes are created. This should be just a simple introduction as students brainstorm because students will practice more in the following activities.
Students and the teacher should practically brainstorm on the real occasions when one has to leave a written note/message.
HOW WRITTEN NOTES/MESSAGES ARE DELIVERED
In most cases, written notes/messages have its unique way to reach the receiver. When they are written, they are placed in an open space so as the receiver can easily see them and take immediate action. They are often left on tables, on coaches, on beds, on floors, on cupboards, or on any other open spaces.
ACTIVITY TWO: Teacher's Demonstration. Teacher applies his/models or examples so as to bring the topic/lesson and the students into the real or common sense of the topic/lesson.
In this activity, the teacher has to demonstrate leaving a written note/message to students. This should be perfectly done before students so that they can understand how to write and leave written notes/messages. The teacher will demonstrate how to write written notes/messages in the following areas:
  • To inform
  • To remind
  • To give precaution
  • To instruct
  • To order
  • To ask for permission
  • To warn, etc.
Some examples of written notes/messages are:
"I'm at the Upendo bar. 
Come with money"
12/06/2018. 03:00PM

"I'm out. I'll be back in 45 minutes.
Mop the room and arrange things properly"
16/06/2018
10:00AM.

ACTIVITY THREE: Students' Demonstration. Showing students how models like that of a teacher can be applied by them. Here students need to be guided on how to use given expressions, structures, vocabulary, and phrases or similar ones.
In this activity, the teacher will guide students to imagine one such occasion and write a written note/message about it. For example, students may imagine that they are in hurry, busy or any bad situation and they need to leave a written note to someone. The teacher can ask each student to present what he/she has written in his/her written note/message.
Also students can be grouped in pairs by the teacher and ask them to write the departure notes. Students in pairs can imagine that they are in a departure situation and so they need to leave a note to someone they are leaving behind. The departure situations can be in the following situations:
Going to the office
Catching the bus
Hurrying to the Railway station
Leaving the hotel
Going to the back, etc
ACTIVITY FOUR: More Students’ Practice. Taking/leading students to the real situations or contexts where they can apply what they have mastered. Here speaking, reading or writing activities are involved.
In this activity, teacher can give students more practices of writing and leaving written notes/messages in the following situations:
  • To inform
  • To remind
  • To give precaution
  • To instruct
  • To order
  • To ask for permission
  • To warn, etc.
ACTIVITY FIVE: Winding up the topic/lesson. Here teachers summarise the topic/lesson by emphasizing the importance of the sub topic/lesson and suggesting other related aspects of the sub topic/lesson.
ADDITIONAL ACTIVITY: As a teacher, what other activity can be applied in this sub topic/lesson? You can always drop your alternative activity or activities to this article so as to improve teaching and learning of ‘O’ Level English Blog! (OLE).
For more examples on written notes, check out the following short YouTube video below:

REFLECTION
Our life is made successful with writing. We can't say other language skills are not important. No, but they are perfected by writing just as writing is perfected by other language skills.
Ask students how they write and leave written notes/messages at home or at school. Actually, some students will say they that they don't write these written notes to either their parents, grandparents or others. But the common fact is that most of them will admit to be in a situation of writing a written note/message once or twice. At school, they will say they get them from teachers, friends and from the subject teacher but not so often. However, we often get ourselves in the situations where we should write written notes/messages to others, but we ignore it because we are not used to it. Thus, we should exercise ourselves how to write and leave these written notes/messages because they are so helpful.
ASSESSMENT
A teacher should design an evaluation for students by using appropriate assessment tools like oral questions or assignments so that to see if the student is able to write or to leave written notes/messages.
ASSESSMENTS
Assessment #01: Group work
In groups, allow each group to imagine one situation in which they can write a written note/message.
Assessment #02: Pair works
In pairs, allow each pair to imagine one situation in which they can write a written note/message.
Assessment #03: Individual work
List five possible situations, and allow each student to individually write a written note/message about the situation of his/her choice.

Note: You can give students more individual works, pair works, and group works to facilitate their interaction and understanding of the sub topic or lesson. As English language teacher you have to give students more works to do. Because language is meant to be largely spoken and written, the teacher should rely on written exercises and notes. Instead students have to learn English language by vigorously exercising individually, in pairs, and in groups.
SUMMARY/CONCLUSION
Writing is a productive skill. After learning all four language skills during teaching and learning processes, finally the students will have to sit down and write. One of his writing skills is writing written notes/messages. This highlights that writing is the necessary skill if a student really wants to excel in various communication skills and other writing skills. A teacher should emphasize the skill of writing written notes/messages is necessary for everyone and especially students who can improve their positive communication among themselves and other members of our societies.

NOTE: These stages explained above are not necessarily covered in a single lesson of single or double period. Remember that this is the guide for teaching the whole sub topic which has periods ranging from 6 to 20. So, the teacher's task is to divide these stages according to the total number of periods for a particular sub topic.

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION?
This article is about how to study and teach "Leaving a written note/message" in Form Two. As a student or teacher, what is your opinion on how to study and teach this sub topic/lesson?
Your opinion is worth and I believe that it can make these materials better for our own consumption.
You are Welcome!

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