PLAs #5 – One-Minute Essay

by / Wednesday, 20 May 2020 / Published in Instruction, PLAs

The One-Minute Essay is an easy to implement reflective moment that can be done at pretty much any time you like. Since it’s only a minute long, it could be used at the beginning of a lesson to have learners anticipate what they are about to experience. It could be used directly after a short instructional lecture to have learners review the main points of what they just heard. It could be used at the end of a class or unit, to reflect on most significant learnings. In any case, using One-Minute Essay as a regular routine with your learners will strengthen their ability to construct their awareness of their own metacognitive knowledge, which will lead to higher retention and a heightened sense of intrinsic motivation. All-in-all this is a great activity for summarizing recent content, and should be implemented on a regular basis.

Library - ID Essentials.043

Name: One-Minute Essay

Activity type: Reflection

HOTS: Learners enhance their critical thinking skills and understanding of metacognitive knowledge.

Grouping: Best with ONES. Let every individual learner get a chance to reflect deeply on what they are learning.

Online tool: Nearpod’s open-ended question is ideal. You could also use a discussion board in your BbL course if you want learners reading and responding to other’s reflections.

This is the Top Ten Participatory Learning Activities (PLAs) Series. Each week, Dr. Larry Davies describes PLAs that are effective to use online. Your use of these PLAs will foster better learning and higher motivation in your learners. Each PLA contains an illustration that contains four elements:

  • The name of the activity.
  • Which one of the four types the activity is (that’s the lightbulb), including,
    • Creative/critical thinking activity (inside the lightbulb, top left – the brain);
    • Small group conversational activity (bottom left – the speech bubbles);
    • Exit activity (given at the end of a lesson, unit, or project) (top right – the exit sign);
    • Timed activity (where learners are under pressure to complete it within minutes) (bottom left – the clock).
  • Whether it’s a Higher or Lower Order Thinking Skills Activity (HOTS or LOTS) (the HOTS/LOTS lever with “the pail”).
  • A suggested grouping to maximize the benefit of the activity (the circles arranged in many ways).

Also, the description will contain suggestions for one or more online tools you can use with the PLA.

Previous blogs in this series include:

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