How to teach "Writing cards" in Form Two

How to teach "Writing cards" in Form Two

Welcome to UNIT 21.4

PREVIOUSLY: In Unit 21.3, we discussed about the various ways of teaching the sub topic “Writing notes from oral texts "  in Form One.
IN THIS UNIT 21.4, we will cover the sub topic “Writing cards” in Form Two.
Sub Topic: Writing cards
Periods per sub topic: 14
Class: Form Two
In the past, people used drums, bells, and people to summon or invite people to celebrate a certain ceremony being held at a particular household. Until this modern time, some societies are still using these as the methods of inviting people.
In this sub topic/lesson, the student should be able to write cards for various occasions and events.
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 will guide students to brainstorm together. The teacher will ask students which ways they use to invite friends, neighbours or relatives at their ceremonies. Students are expected to give out various ways. These ways can be grouped into two categories. The traditional invitations in which people deliver their invitations through the word of mouth and through written way (a modern) in which people deliver their invitations through written forms like letters and cards.
On the other hand, the teacher can discuss with students on the factors for invitations or reasons for inviting people. First, there should be an occasion or event that prompt someone or people to invite others. Second, the reasons for invitations also should be addressed. The following are some of the reasons:
1)    Getting to know each other
2)    People want to have fun together.
3)    People want to socialise.
4)    To accomplish a certain event
5)    To say goodbye to departing member of the family
6)    To welcome someone
7)    To congratulate someone
Thus, we can have various forms of cards that serve various purposes. We can have:
1)    Invitation cards (birthday, send off, wedding etc)
2)    Cards to express sympathy,
3)    Cards to congratulate others,
4)    Cards to wish others good luck,
5)    Cards to appreciate others, etc
It's a mistake to think that when we say cards we actually mean invitation cards. There are various forms of cards and invitation card is just one of those varied forms of large category of cards. However, we will mostly discuss about invitation cards for one reason: they are most common in our life experiences.
  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, a teacher will have to prepare a variety of invitation cards, cards for sympathy, cards for congratulation, and cards to express appreciation. As teaching media/aids, teacher will have to prepare the relevant materials for the lesson. For example, a teacher may find any invitation cards or messages written in English language and produce copies according to the number of his/her students or just produce the copies enough for considerable number of discussion groups.
  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 invitation cards by using these styles of writing:
Has the pleasure of inviting.....
On your.....
To .......on the sad demise of......
The family of......
Get well soon.......
The students have to copy these targeted grammatical structures and practice how to use them in writing invitation cards or messages.
  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, the parties or ceremonies like graduation ceremony, graduation party, birthday party, wedding party, death or funeral services, illness, get-well soon events, as well as success parties are some of the common occasions or events where cards/ invitation cards may be applied to invite people.
  1. Vocabulary Building Practice. At this time, teacher discusses with the students on the vocabularies and phrases to apply in the already mentioned contexts and situations.
In this sub topic/lesson, the most commonly applied vocabularies are: pleasure, RSVP, salutation, congratulations, honour, respond, demise, pass away, condolences, good luck, success.
Guide the students to the full sub topic/ 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, students have to brainstorm on what they do when they have birthdays or important occasions. The teacher brainstorms with students on what they do when they have such events like birthday parties, wedding ceremonies and others. In the events like these, many activities are executed including invitations, preparation of foods and drinks, preparation of the event halls, as well as the organization of the event itself. However, in this topic, students are not required to understand all these formalities. In this topic, students have to practice and demonstrate the skills of writing invitation cards in various events in their life.
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 will provide students with model invitation cards. These are real invitation cards such as birthday party cards, wedding invitation cards, send off invitation cards, graduation invitation cards and others. To bring the lesson to reality, the teacher can ask students to come with sample invitation cards they have at homes or at school. These may be the invitation cards that were sent to them by their family members or friends. For those who are not boarding school students, they can ask their parents or other family members to get these invitation cards. If every student has any kind of invitation card, the lesson will be easy.
  • It will be easy to find out features of invitation cards.
  • It will be easy to find out steps for writing invitation cards, and
  • It will be easy to write invitation cards.
At another stage, teacher should guide students to discuss the format of invitation cards. This is going to be easy if every student has a copy of any kind of invitation card. Then, the teacher can discuss with students the formats of invitation cards. Students should be asked by the teacher to compare the format of invitation card written on the board with the format of the invitation cards they have brought in the class. As a teacher, ask your students if there are some differences and similarities between the given format of the invitation card and their formats. After the discussion, the teacher should conclude and tell the students which format is preferable and the reasons why it is mostly applied.
At the last stage of this activity, the teacher can practically write a sample invitation card on any event on the black board. He/she ask students to watch closely how he/she writes his/her invitation card. The students should copy that invitation card in their exercise books.
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 should guide students to do the following tasks:
Firstly, they should practice writing invitation cards to different people. A teacher may ask them to write an invitation card on a selected event or on the event of their choice. This can be used as a general practice for students before they engage in writing other forms of invitation cards. After writing the invitation cards, the teacher can mark them or have students exchange them and check on each other's invitation card.
Secondly, they should write cards expressing sympathy, cards to congratulate others, and cards to express appreciation under the guidance of the teacher. These are not like invitation cards. They are other forms of cards that every student should know. As it was noted before in this article, invitation cards are only among large category of cards in which birthday, send off and wedding cards may be included. But there are other forms of cards which are not in form of invitations.
To write these cards, the teacher has to give out any sample of these cards. For example, a teacher can demonstrate an example of sympathy card to students.
The students should then write these cards by using teacher's choice or by allowing them choose the type of card they want to write. It always depends on the size of the class or teacher's choice. But if the class is big, the teacher may opt for group works for easier follow up.
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.
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).
Additionally, the following Short YouTube Video can give you more details on the various examples of 'cards'.

Ask students if they always see cards in the places they live. Also ask them what kinds of cards are common to their places.
In most cases, cards are very common nowadays. It is true that every house can have more then one card (invitation card) especially in most towns. Even in our villages, cards are becoming common. The students should now be encouraged that cards are part and parcel of our everyday life. They should practice how to write good cards for others.
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 varieties of cards.
Assessment #01: Group work
Provide three or four topics for each group to choose and write an invitation card for it. These topics are birthday, send off, and wedding. Each group should present their work before the class.
Assessment #02: Pair works
Provide four topics for each pair to write a good card for it. These four topics are appreciation, success, congratulation and sympathy. Each pair should present their work before the class.
Assessment #03: Individual work
Ask each individual student to write an invitation card for his/her graduation inviting his/her parents, relatives, and friends to the party.

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.
Writing cards involve writing. As it has always been stated in this blog, 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 in order to apply the skills they have masters. Thus, after mastering the skill of writing cards, students have to sit down and practice real writing of cards for various purposes in their daily life.

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.

This article is about how to study and teach "Writing cards" 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.
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Emmanuel Kachele

Emmanuel Kachele is a founder and Blogger of KACHELE ONLINE Blog, an educational blog where 'O' Level English - 'OLE', 'A' Level English (ALE) and other related teaching and life skills are shared extensively. This is an online center for all Tanzanian Secondary School English Language students and teachers (Forms I-VI) and all interested English Language learners and teachers worldwide.

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