Rebuilding the Berlin Wall
Report by Margaret Drummond
Ilford County High School is a Boys’ Grammar School in East London. All students study at least one Modern Language to GCSE, opting for either Spanish or German in year 8.
The aim of the Berlin Wall project was to produce a piece of group work representing the achievement of all year groups. We were especially interested in using media technology incorporating sound files as we are currently experimenting with new digital recorders.
A living witness of the Wall
Our site manager had lived and worked in Berlin during the Cold War as a member of the Armed Forces and we were keen to use a "living witness" to motivate the students. He prepared a power-point incorporating many of his own photographs, a film detailing the devices in no-man’s land and images showing the practical problems of living in a divided city.
Students in years 8 and 9 attended talks in English and were asked to complete a piece of homework on a brick template on Berlin Wall facts. Year 8 completed this in English, having only studied German for eight weeks. We were very grateful to the Goethe Institut who provided two Berlin boxes of materials in English and German, enabling students to complete this work.
Year 9 students were encouraged to write about the talks in German. A writing frame was prepared focussing on the perfect tense. Students were required to work through a number of graded interactive activities, putting the words (bricks) in the correct order on a wall, a multiple choice activity and a gap fill exercise without prompts. Students were asked to reconstruct the text and to record sentences using digital recorders. Sentences were then matched with appropriate photographs.
The texts were printed in colour using the "brick" template and laminated Using "brick effect" backing paper. On two free-standing screens students built their own Berlin Wall, adding suitable German graffiti and this was displayed in the school foyer.