A couple of weeks ago, while participating in a languages chat (#charlaele1) on Twitter I saw this tweet:
It was an answer to the question: What advantages does project-based learning (PBL) offer when teaching Spanish as a second language?
I instantly fell in love with her project. Unfortunately, way too often teachers can hear from their students the typical phrase: “–So… what is the point of doing this?“. That’s why PBL is the perfect cure for that kind of statements but this project, in particular, has an outstanding purpose. Sending “get well soon” messages to patients in hospitals.
We all know how long the time at the hospital seems to be so with this activity students can make someone’s day or simply be the reason to start a conversation that breaks with that sound of painful silence. Sometimes one runs out of things to talk about with the people around them or are just fed up of talking only about their illnesses.
On the other hand, students tend to embrace projects like this one and try to put their very bests on them. They know someone is going to read it (not just their teacher) and they have a purpose so they are really motivated.
A good thing is that it can be an activity adaptable to all ages, levels and in every language. From a simple: “Hi, my name is Paul. Get well soon!” to more elaborated ideas. The older ones can write sweet short messages… or their own experiences at the hospital maybe. A few words are enough to make someone smile or feel better and forget the pain. Even if it is for a second it will be worth it.
The hardest point it may be going to the hospital and convincing the authorities to make it happen. DON’T WORRY if this turns out to be not successful! There are other ways of making someone’s day with your student’s projects. For instance, at your own school.
Older students often feel very stressed because the amount of pressure and work they have during their last years at the school. You could make the younger students prepare encouraging messages for them so it helps to reduce their anxiety but this is just an idea. The possibilities are endless.
Last but not least I would like to give a massive round of applause to Mrs. Cabello (@) for such a lovely idea.
She is sharing the printable she created for this activity at no cost so please have a look at: