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Sentence Navigator lessons feature a variety of activities designed to gradually build up accuracy and application, but in a variety of ways and sequences.
The Activity Types featured below link to specific activity applications, with a detailed explanation and an example from the lessons to refer to.
Some of these activities can also be seen in the Teacher's Guide screencasts provided for Lessons 1 and 2 for Level 1 on the Sentence Navigator Overview page.
"My Dictionary" usually forms the first part of a standard Sentence Navigator lesson, and is designed to review/present common vocabulary items that will be used in the activities that follow.
As in the example to the right, this process starts off with a "word scroll". Students should attempt to read the words in the list and then demonstrate to the teacher that they know what they mean. If there are words in the list that they cannot read/pronounce or do not understand the meaning for, the teacher should spend some time going over them.
The students then flip to a separate sheet, as in the example to the bottom right. The students write in the words, and attempt to illustrate them. They are basically building their own picture- dictionary through this process. As they are illustrating the words, there should be less and less reliance on L1 and direct translations in order to remember what the words mean. They are building a "conceptual awareness" of what the words mean, using personal illustrations.
The strip above each illustration box reading "color" is for word categorization.
At the end of a book or a series of lessons, the students can be invited to rebuild the picture dictionary in alphabetical order. They can do this by cutting out each box/word, sorting them into initial letters, then pasting them onto a special sheet for each letter of the alphabet. Or, they can redraw and re-write the words onto sheets labelled a, b, c etc.
"Spelling" usually follows up from "My Dictionary". This is a chance for the teacher to give a quick test to see how many words the students can accurately spell from the previous Sentence Navigator lesson (or from the students' core textbook lessons). Depending on level/ability, the teacher can choose ten or twenty words for the students to spell. It is a good idea to maintain some kind of continuity, so the students can aspire to better scores each time they take the spelling quiz, and it is recommended that teachers recycle words that many students continually have difficulties with.
This is a fairly straight forward activity that requires the students to unscramble words and re-write them with accurate spelling. The words used in the sentence navigator lessons are usually from the "My Dictionary" list, so the activity is designed to give students some additional practice with recognizing and spelling these words.
"Crossword Challenge" becomes a vocabulary application/building activity from Sentence Navigator 3 onwards. The words required are usually taken directly from the "My Dictionary" section, so it is follow up application of vocabulary requiring more concentration, using clues written in English. The activity doubles as a method of demonstrating vocabulary as it works in real meaningful English sentences.
"Find the Way" is one of the most common Sentence Navigation activities to occur in this approach to grammar learning.
The activity starts off with an illustration of some sort, usually with some key words attached. In the example to the right, the key concept is a picture of a boy and the name "John". Then there is a question, in this case "What is his name?" Students must "navigate" by choosing one of three words in a number of sections corresponding to the number of words required to build an appropriate answer. Having circled the words they think are correct, the teacher then checks and indicates whether the words chosen are correct - if so the student can write out the answer. If not, the teacher should point to the section that is incorrect and invite the student to self correct.
In simpler versions of "Find the Way", word order is pretty much assured and it is more a case of choosing the correct word based on pronoun differentiation, punctuation, or appropriate noun, verb or adjective.
In more complicated/challenging versions, the words are more jumbled according to word order, and students must not only choose the right words, but they must choose them in the right sequence. In the second example to the right here, students must also read more into the information illustrated for them.
The benefits of "Find the Way" are that through this kind of activity, the teacher can see how the students are beginning to internalize English words, grammar and word order, and it is basically a building activity that allows for self-correction on the part of the students. Students should eventually become familiar with certain kinds of patterns in terms of the way common English words fit together to create sentences.
Note also that various words are featured in bold type - these are designed to illustrate the "stressed" segments of the sentence. Using the Sentence Navigator word categorization method, students can extend this activity by coloring in the word boxes using the color corresponding to the word's grammatical function.
"Jumbled Thoughts" is a process whereby two people are represented as thinking of what they need to say, have all the words required but are unsure how to put them together. It follows a question-answer format, and is not entirely unlike the way students feel about communicating themselves (in many situations). Students should basically unjumble the "Thought" words into a correctly structured utterance. The blank figures can then be decorated to look like real people, and students can even fill in the background and blank space between the two characters in an attempt to create some sort of "situation" where the conversation might take place. In the example to the right, this kind of situation could be a first day at school where two students are introducing themselves.
"Conversation Creation" is somewhat similar to "Jumbled Thoughts" except that in this case students are invited to imagine and produce situations and dialogue independently. Conversation Creation usually occurs late in Sentence Navigator lessons, as it is more "production" based and by that stage students should have plenty of examples to model both situations and dialogue on.
"Sentence Skyline" is an activity designed to illustrate conceptually for students how sentence stress works in English. Basically, stressed words are assigned prominent mountain backdrops, whereas unstressed words have smaller, less prominent bumps. Students are given the sentence and they copy it into the sentence skyline. It is not designed to be a difficult activity. At this stage it is more about giving the students recurrent exposure to the way sentence stress works.
The activity can be used to develop students oral skills in an attempt to produce more "natural sounding" English. The mountain backdrops very clearly illustrate for students which words take up more space, time and "volume" in speaking. As students get more used to asigning more attention and prominence to various stressed words, there is every chance that this may start to affect their natural oral production.
"Listen and Link" is designed to both develop application and conceptual understanding of individual clauses, and to facilitate a guided process to joining clauses to create longer sentences and paragraphs.
The activity basically works through short one-clause sentences, and then features a guided grid with the required conjunction(s) to join the sentences together. Linking in this way is featured in a variety of the Sentence Navigator activities, but this is the first and most simple method the students are exposed to.
"Polite Peter" is a character-associated activity that is featured from Sentence Navigator 3. Polite Peter is designed to show how various utterances in English can be construed as either casual or polite - orientated around language that involves requests, offers or commands. The casual form is usually illustrated followed by the polite one, with a more positive/approved spin on the latter. Peter assigns "Politeness Points", and students should be encouraged to follow the examples set.
"Money Matters" is designed to introduce the concept of money/purchasing language, and actual units used in monetary amounts. The monetary units covered include Korean, US and British. Other monetary units from other countries can easily be included in these activities. It is recommended that students be encouraged to learn how to state money used in their home country before learning how other countries (English- speaking or no) assign monetary units.
This is the prize theme behind the entire Sentence Navigator series of lessons.
Students are provided with a "scene" of English words, featuring a starting word, a finishing word, and a scattering of jumbled words in between. The aim is quite simple - to "navigate" one's way through the words available to find a combination that makes sense and is correctly structured. They are then invited to apply the structures as full sentences, provide independent answers to questions identified, write questions for answers identified, or match identified questions to appropriate identified answers.
As in many other Sentence Navigator activities, sentence stress is marked with bolder text and bolder/larger shape outlines.
Sentence Navigation starts off as a relatively simple activity, where different shapes help to identify what words need to be linked together (as in the example to the top right). This is designed to give students familiarity with the process and solid guidance.
As the series progresses, Sentence Navigation becomes progrssively harder, as can be seen from the two examples below (Example 2 | Example 3).
To make the whole process more appealing, there is a thematic feel to most of the Sentence Navigator "word scenes", where the word captions represent something very similar to or reminiscent of the communicative language being applied.
The basic philosophy behind the Sentence Navigation activity is that students are provided with all the "cogs" they need to build accurate English sentences, but it is up to them how to best figure out the cogs that are needed and in what order. It is hoped that in building the structures themselves and self-correcting their own mistakes, they will instinctively think about how English grammar works and constantly evaulate and adapt the patterns they internalize.
"Find Out!" is an activity designed to blend practice into communicative production, using English Raven's own "Speaking in a Crowded Room" activity.
Having practiced the language forms through a variety of activities that are more or less "personal", students are encouraged to immediately apply the language in a communicative setting that features the other members of their classroom. First they write down their own responses to a variety of prompts, then they attempt to elicit similar information from their fellow students.
Find Out! is a great activity for combining reading, speaking, listening and writing all in one communicative activity.
"Grammar Awareness" Activities are featured in various Sentence Navigator lessons, designed to illustrate how various grammatical processes take place and how grammatical forms relate to function.
The auxiallery verbs "to be" and "to do" are often featured in these sections, as they are key features in many basic grammatical constructions. Students are regularly invited to practive the formation of Yes/No Questions/Answers, with a view to building a framework that can later be applied to modal verbs, tag questions and embedded questions.