Planning and reflection are crucial for the English language classroom. For teachers, reflective practice aids development and ensures future classes are planned to meet the needs of learners.
From the students' perspective, the ability to plan and reflect are key life skills. Supporting learners to reflect on their distance traveled and learning preferences develops their self-awareness, confidence, and ability to implement successful language development strategies. It also helps them to identify their goals and consider how to achieve them.
There are many graphic facilitation tools and templates to support planning and reflection. In general, these tend to be hand-drawn templates, but ready-made images and flashcards can be equally effective.
Here are 12 Ellii flashcards that you can use for planning and reflection. You can find each one by searching in the Ellii Media Gallery.
You can then:
- edit the title on the flashcard
- print it as a worksheet for each learner to add their thoughts
- display it on the whiteboard for students to add their opinions using Post-its or markers
- display it and ask students to draw it in their notebooks and add their ideas
- ask students to share their ideas and plans in pairs, in small groups, or as a presentation
- use it yourself to reflect on your own practice or plan your next classes
Each of these flashcards uses a visual metaphor to help learners and teachers reflect, dream, and plan. They’re perfect for use at the beginning or end of a course, calendar year, or academic year. You can use them alone or in combination, depending on your learners' needs.
1. Learner reflection
Reflection is very much related to internal thoughts. Use this thought bubble flashcard as a space to:
- add big dreams or ambitions for the future
- list all the positive things that happened in the past course or year
- write feedback or key learning points from the course
- make a list of future wishes or intentions
Depending on what you use it for, you could rename it to:
- future dreams
- things I loved about this course
- things I need to work on
This is a visual metaphor for taking a good look at oneself in the mirror. It can be quite personal, so in this instance you may give students the option to keep some of their reflections to themselves.
Ellii has four different mirrors. You could use just one and focus on a certain aspect to reflect on, or you could assign each flashcard a different aspect to reflect on. For example:
- Mirror 1: How hard did I work this term/year?
- Mirror 2: What results did I get?
- Mirror 3: What would I do differently?
- Mirror 4: What helped me learn the most?
3. Magic wand
The "magic wand" flashcard is a fun way to take the seriousness out of a reflective or planning task. You could ask students to use it to:
- add their wishes for the next year/term
- add their wishes for what they’d change about the past year/term
- discuss their BIG ambitions or long-term goals
- consider their wishes for the whole world
4. Protagonist & hero
There’s something quite empowering about this "protagonist" flashcard. The image shows someone working towards their goal in an enthusiastic way.
My suggestion would be to use it alongside the "hero" flashcard to set goals and ways to achieve them.
- Change the name of the "hero" flashcard to "goal" or "goals" and ask learners to add or list their goals.
- Change the name of the "protagonist" flashcard to "plan of action" and ask students to list the steps they need to take in order to reach their goal. The "clipboard" is a good alternative image for this activity.
- Ask students to support each other with feedback, advice, and suggestions.
5. Road maps
The visual metaphor of a road map is ubiquitous to graphic facilitation. It’s popular with strategic business planning to explain processes. It’s simple to draw, but these flashcards do the hard work for you! You could rename each flashcard and use them in various ways.
To the left of:
This flashcard could be renamed to "past," "what happened," or "reflections." You can then ask students to use it to list completed tasks and reflections on how each one went.
To the right of:
You could rename this flashcard to "future," "wishes," or "road map to success." At the end of the road, add the main goal and add steps for achieving it along the way.
This flashcard could be used to create a study or project plan, or to reflect on distance traveled. Students could draw their own to show difficulties they have as bumps or twists in the pathway.
These are just a few visual activities to aid planning and reflection. Have you tried any similar activities? Which visual metaphors or flashcards would you use? We’d love to hear your suggestions!