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How Do I Love Thee? CEP 818 Playing Leo f. Buscaglia once said, “It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.” In my content area, spatial description, students’ task is to describe a room in the best possible way so the reader can retain as much information as possible. Instead of giving students a ready-made room, they can explore the different ways in which the furniture can be disposed so they come up with a design of their choice. After all, students will not necessarily meet a room with the same design as the one they are going to describe, so there is no point in fixing the design for them in the first place. The advantage of having students arrange the furniture to their liking is twofold. 1. Students create their favorite room and describe it based on their perspective. 2. Students use their creativity to explore different ways in which the furniture can be arranged, thus varying their descriptive method. This approach taps into their aesthetic spirit. Below is a set of furniture students can arrange the way they like. They are also given unmolded clay so they can create their own pieces of furniture and add them to the given repertoire.

coffee table

dining table

plant

sofas

speaker

TV unit

Prepared by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: December 2010

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How Do I Love Thee? CEP 818 Students are given a ready-made room to see how the furniture can be used to design the room. They may choose to describe it or come up with their own design.

top view

side view

The whole point of this pre-writing activity is to render the writing process fun. Students are more likely to engage in writing if they’ve had their own input into the activity. This will give them a sense of belonging as well as an incentive to engage in an activity they have created rather than in one that has been imposed on them. This pre-writing activity is also interdisciplinary. Students tap into their creative side and may choose to draw their room as an art activity. They are encouraged to explain their design choice, such as how much light would be cast on each side of the room, hence working with shadows. They may decide to place the television in a way that minimizes glare, or arrange the sofas in a way that maximizes the viewing angle. All these incurred skills tap into art, physics and many more areas.

Prepared by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: December 2010

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