Development of the ability to express one’s views
The activity is preceded by homework. The students are asked to create a card from A5 sheet of paper, draw the zodiac on it (alternatively cut out the zodiac from a magazine and glue it to the card), and mark their signs by crayons. They can consult the site www.horoskopy.cz and write the personality traits pertaining to their sign according to a template (strengths, weaknesses, likes, does not like). Then the students circle or add to each group the personality trait they find the most fitting to them.
In the class, the students are split into groups according to their signs. The teacher leaves 2–4 students ungrouped. The individual groups present the characteristics of the signs under which they were born. The rest of the class tries to determine the dominant traits of the group members. The decisive criterion is their behaviour and conduct in and out of the school. The traits are discussed within the class.
Presentation of all groups is followed by a contest – who will be the fastest in determining the signs of the ungrouped students and their typical traits based on information gained (accuracy to be graded by an activity mark).
How this resource relates to Shaping Characters objectives
- Attitudes and attributes
- Education techniques
- Motivation and resilience
Educational objective: Development of the ability to express one’s views, communicate, and reason; ability to identify personality traits; learning how to judge oneself and others, how to accept the criticism
Qualities in focus: Courage to express one’s views; impartiality
Target group, age of the students: 13–14 years of age
Suitable for: Citizenship Education, Czech Language and Literature
Internet, card with the zodiac
1 unit (45 minutes) and homework
What could have been done differently or is planned for future repeats?
This activity was atypical. Attention and curiousness of the students was obvious since the very beginning, which was confirmed during the class. Based on the information from the Internet, they found out a lot about astrology, a theme that sparked a lively debate. Nine groups were formed within the class (according to nine signs – Virgo, Aquarius, Pisces, Sagittarius, Taurus, Gemini, Leo, Cancer, Taurus). During the presentations, they listened and ultimately commented on the dominant personality traits of their schoolmates, finding suitable reasoning for their arguments. Obviously, active students with the gift of eloquent speech were among the most active, and it was necessary to urge others to speak out.
They ultimately found out that personality traits of schoolmates born under the same sign largely differ and in some cases, do not fall within the characteristic presented. They gradually found enough courage to look into a schoolmate’s face and tell what they think of him/her, and in return, the schoolmates were able to accept the criticism.