|Title||Trip to Afghanistan and participating in Nowruz festival|
|Grade||7 – 8|
|Proficiency Level||Intermediate High|
|Targeted Performance Level||Advance Low|
Theme: “Trip to Afghanistan and participating in Nowruz festival.” Nowruz (new day), which marks the beginning of spring, is widely celebrated in Afghanistan and the neighboring countries of Iran and Tajikistan on New Year’s (solar calendar). The history of Nowruz goes back three thousand years. Through interactive activities, learners will explore traditions and customs involved with Nowruz celebration. They will learn when Nowruz is celebrated, for how many days, what families and societies do in order to welcome the start of spring on Nowruz, etc.
The course will target learners at grades 7-8 (12-13 years old); however, activities will be varied in order to differentiate instruction for older learners who are entering the program at the target proficiency level. For instance, younger children will be exposed to and will practice the language by completing charts, Venn diagrams, and matching sentences to images, while older learners will explore more online materials, create advertisements, complete graphic organizers and KWL (Know, Want to know, Learned), and make detailed presentations on familiar topics.
The curriculum is intended for intensive STARTALK programs (5 days a week, 6 hours per day, including 2 hours for homework and further practice), but can be easily adapted for different time frames such as weekend schools, semester long programs, etc.
In the process of learning, students will read articles and stories, write summaries, play related games, talk about routine activities, and share their findings with their classmates the next day. Learners will also interpret works of art, photographs, and pieces of literature (i.e., simple poems, folkloric stories, etc.). They will work in pairs and small groups to compare and contrast similarities and differences between New Year celebrations in Afghanistan, in Iran, and in the United States. They will look at Nowruz related pictures and predict/brainstorm ideas that may be associated with Nowruz. By the end of the program, learners will be able to read and write about favorite foods, games, activities, and important places that Afghans usually visit during Nowruz celebrations. They will also be able to make short presentations and write the steps that are involved in the celebrations in detail.
- Learning Plan/Lesson Plan
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