Secondary » Secondary Geography
School：Kowloon True Light School
Topic：What are the causes and effects of earthquakes?
What emergency aids should be prepared for?
Lesson(s)：Around 2 lessons
- General students had high learning ability. Noticeable difference was found between classes in terms of using English as MOI of Geography subject
- Self-directed learning ability of students needed to be nurtured
Differentiated Instruction (DI) Strategies used primarily：
Under the fine-tuning of Medium of Instruction (MOI) for secondary schools, MOI of Kowloon True Light School changed from Chinese to English in 2011. The school collaborated with the team from the University of Hong Kong to implement a three-year interdisciplinary English programme from 2011 to 2014 to strengthen students’ ability and confidence in English while promoting students’ understanding in different subjects.
To promote self-directed learning, in 2018, Geography teachers collaborated with the team from HKU again to develop teaching materials of the topic, “Earthquake”. Different differentiated instruction strategies were used to modify lesson design and learning process in order to achieve the following goals: (1) Students could choose suitable learning content based on their abilities, learning paces and interests to increase their responsibility for learning; (2) Students’ ability and confidence in learning Geography in English could be strengthened.
Lesson Design for Differentiated Instruction ：
The learning content was divided into three components including pre-lesson tasks, in-class teaching and extended activity. Students were encouraged to do self-learning by selecting their preferred learning method to develop their thinking skills, language skills, subject knowledge and attitude.
Pre-lesson tasks provided the introduction of the topic and related concepts about the cause of earthquake to increase their readiness for later learning. Students could also choose learning tasks in different formats, language tones and difficulties based on their abilities and learning needs and interests, followed by setting learning objectives in different levels, for instance, students could either choose “listing”, “summarizing” or “identifying” the causes of earthquakes (Please refer to LAC_earthquake_Pre-lesson task).
During in-class teaching, two articles on the damages stemmed from earthquake in different difficulties were provided so that students could choose the preferred news clipping according to their abilities. In later group discussion and extended activity, language hints were provided to cater for students’ difference in learning Geography in English.
Application of DI Strategies?
1. B1 Diversified learning goals: Different learning objectives were set according to students’ ability and foundation knowledge. Less able students could list the causes and effects of earthquakes while more capable students could further analyze the content
2. C1 Equipping students with prior knowledge and raising learning interests: Pre-lesson tasks with videos related to earthquakes were given to raise students’ learning interests and equip students with foundation knowledge
3. C7 Students’ choice of learning paths: Students could choose one between three levels of learning tasks, including filling blanks, jotting key points and drawing concept maps
4. C8 Diversified learning tasks: Different formats of learning tasks, including reading news clipping, watching videos and drawing concept maps, were given to cater for students with different interests and learning styles
5. C9 Tiered learning tasks: Videos and articles with different difficulties were prepared for students with different abilities to finish the tasks
6. C10 Contingent scaffolding: In group discussion and writing activity, hints were given to support students who were relatively weaker in learning Geography in English
Acknowledgement：Kowloon True Light School