Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Informal vs Formal Language - Creating Anchor Lessons

Wow!  The beginning of the year is off to a fantastically furious start.  I wanted to post about my first days back in the classroom, but I was a little overwhelmed trying to figure everything out!

I would like to share a lesson I did on Tuesday.  Starting the year with memorable Anchor Lessons that are referred to all year is a successful tip from my Pre-AP Training.

Since my class is English, and I want the students to use formal language when writing and speaking, I created a lesson on informal vs formal language.

As I posted about earlier, my lessons always follow the Daily Elements of MAX Teaching.

The first question involved simply thinking about what the term Formal Language meant.

Students then completed a sentence sort.  Each pair received 20 sentences.  They were to each take 10 and sort them into Formal and Informal.  After the individual sort was complete, students were able to work together to put all 20 sentences into the correct categories.  

After students worked with examples of informal and formal sentences, they completed the next task.

They LoVeD writing on the board.  

I snapped a quick picture of each hour's information so I could combine the ideas on an Anchor Chart after school.   I think one of my favorites was "eating at a diner" for Informal and "eating at a fancy restaurant" for Formal.  And, just as an FYI, the Olive Garden is a fancy restaurant!

A discussion of Text-Message Language, Informal Language, and Formal Language was next.

Students chose a phrase and wrote it the three different ways.  After sharing with their small group, they choose one person's phrase to put on a sticky note and add to a class poster.  Again, I combined ideas from each hour to create an Anchor Chart.

The culminating activity consisted of students writing a text message, an informal private Facebook message, and a formal request to Amazon about receiving the wrong necklace for Grandma.

Students left class saying they had "fun"...which I think is a good day in the land of 6th grade!  I will use the anchor charts as reminders before we write over the next few weeks.  Later it the year I can again pull them out if informal language starts creeping its way into our classroom.

How do you teach the difference between the language registers?


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