A chef friend of mine once told me the secret to good cooking. According to him, success lies in obtaining excellent ingredients.
It all seems so simple really. And as a language teacher I can relate to this. We can’t overestimate the importance of the ingredients that we select for the classroom – that is the materials.
Materials should inspire teachers and engage students. They should be provoking (without necessarily being provocative although that can be good). They should arouse curiosity and get heads thinking and language emerging. During the last few years, the modern teacher has been given access to an explosion in good ingredients to take into the classroom.
Take Western Spaghetti for example – a great animation by filmmaker PES. During this one and a half minute clip, we watch a series of bizarre household objects – a ball of wool, a Rubik’s cube, a handful of rubber bands – being transformed into a delicious looking plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce.
The clip is everything we would want to get students on our side. But what do we do with it? Well, that is where Lessonstream comes in. Lessonstream is a selection of lesson plans – or rather, recipes – which serve to demonstrate how teachers can make use of such materials.
Of course, good chefs don’t stick rigidly to recipes. They adapt them. And I would never expect a teacher to use one of my lesson plans exactly how I have written it.
For that reason, the site uses a Creative Commons license. That is what the logo in the bottom right hand side of the screen is all about. What this means is that teachers have permission to remix, mash and share the content on my site for non-commercial purposes.