March lesson ideas - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more


My March themes and some activities for these days are as follows. I hope I’ll be able to use some of them with my classes.

1. March 4, the world book day :

In the class we can create posters telling why we should read, how reading can help us to become ourselves. Students can create another poster suggesting their favourite books to their friends. They can create glogs for the class blogs.

2. March 8, the international women’s day:

My next small talk topic for my classes will be the most important women in history. Just a plan but I’ll assign them to

a) talk about 5 extra ordinary women who played a great role in history and tell why you have chosen them.

b) Choose the most influential woman of all times and introduce her to the class.

c) Prepare a talk on why international women’s day is celebrated.

3. March 27, the world theatre day:

Students can research and find out about

a) theatre in ancient times 

b) genres such as tragedy, comedy, vaudeville or another one of their choice.

Students can also watch a play, preferably with the teacher and then you can ask them to do the followings after the play

a) You are a critic and write the review of the play.

b) A role play: One of you is the actor or the actress of that play and one of you is the reporter. Write the interview then act it out.

c) Write an article for the school magazine about the play.

 Write a very short sketch for your class to act it on stage. This can be a group work.

4. March  27  1899, the first international radio transmition was sent by Marconi.

a) As all of them are digital natives and born with their mobiles, they can create a poster telling why the mobile phones are important for them.

b) Researching the evolution of telephone they can create a timeline and write a report.

c) Using goAnimate or Xtranormal they can create an animation on how teenagers are using the phone.

For #2, 3 and 4 you can ask your students visit Virsona and have a chat with  Marconi, Shakespeare or an important woman from history. This link was suggested in my February post by Alexandra Francisco and it looks so cool and helpful.

And an idea for the class blogs for the celebrations; you can get a widget from My

The help, the comfort

As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, keep it.

Mahatma Gandhi

I’ve been thinking about commenting or retweeting since I read the post Karenne Sylvester wrote. I had been reading blogs before I started blogging but I never left a comment. It was most probably I was a stranger, not a member of the community. I wasn’t in their virtual lives, a lurker may be…I never thought I had to leave a remark, even a simple ‘Thank you’ note for what they had shared. Later, however, I learned I was wrong.

I felt the necessity of it after I started blogging and using twitter. It was not easy at first as I was thinking ‘who am I anyway?’ but my instincts were forcing me to add something so I started saying ‘Thanks for sharing all these great stuff’. I admired their enthusiasm and felt great when they replied me back. Then I saw comments for my posts. They were  important because I realised that people came to my blog and read the things I had written. Retweeting also encouraged me and in a way I felt responsible for leaving comments to the posts that I was reading.

Blogging is different from keeping a diary. There is interaction. I receive positive energy from my colleagues and sometimes I feel I need to continue just because a colleague called me a great educator although I’m just a teacher or if I see a friend who just said s/he will use the idea or if a friend adds some more tricks to mine.

This interaction and positive energy enable me to learn something new every day. I feel more confident now while sharing my thoughts or leaving my comments to the posts I read and I know that those comments are a great way of encouaging the blogger to continue to write. From now on I’ll try to say more…:)

Web 2.0 tools for pre and post activities



For sometime I’ve been using web 2.0 tools for follow-ups. They are also great for pre activities.

This is something I used with my 10 graders for their reading activity last week and from now on I’ll try to find ways how I can use them for pre and post activities.

The reading was on superheroes. I prepared an animoto. Before we watched the animoto, we talked about superheroes. Who their favourites were, why they were called superheroes, how they were similar to each other…

I told them to watch the slide and write down the superheroes they saw. Then in pairs they checked, we watched the superheoes again and I asked which one or ones from the slide could not be called a superhero.

Before we did the reading task of the book, we did the wall dictation. I sticked the texts on the walls and divided the class into three. I gave them some questions to be answered. I told them to scan the text and find the aswers for the questions. Of course the group who finished first became the champion.

They liked doing both the slides and the dictation. The slide I prepared with animoto both created enthusiasm and motivation for the reading activity.

And the Oscars go…


oscarsIn my month themes I wrote I’d like to do something related with the Oscars as we all know the nominees now. Today I assigned my students to prepare small talks on it.

For these short presentations my students will have 3 minutes to talk. I prepare a rubric to mark their presentations too. They like the idea of small talks and by doing them they improved their speaking skills and they are better at presenting their ideas now. Although they make mistakes while speaking, they are more fluent now. In the class I have really creative students so this is another challenge for the rest. They also use their creativity to surprise me and their friends.

Their small talk topic is Oscars as I mentioned above and these are my suggestions for what they can prepare.

1. Conduct a survey in the school and find out who do your friends think will get the awards this year in the following cathegories: Best actor/ Best actress/ Best Director/ Best film

2. Find out the nominated songs and present them in an interesting way.

3. Choose your own winners and give your reasons.

4. You are free to prepare something else on this very cool topic.

5. Choose one of the movies that was nominated and create your own poster for it and talk about it.

6. Choose one of the nominated movies and give information about its plot, setting, etc.

The deadline is February, 26th and I hope I’ll be able to share their presentations with you.

What I have bookmarked recently…

jelly beans for faves


Twitter enabled me to reach many links and resources and delicious is another tool which makes my teaching life easier these days. I try to bookmark the interesting articles, lesson ideas and tools. There are so many great things on my delicious list now and I can prepare a lesson wherever I am. I don’t have to carry my computer with me or I don’t have to wait until I go home.The list is growing bigger and bigger everyday because of that I sometimes feel I’ll forget them so I want to list what I’ve bookmarked recently.

And my  sweetest recent links are:

HistoryStuff  is a site which may be more helpful for history teachers but the activities are so fun that every EFL teacher can find something to do with this site.

Big Huge Labs is a site where you can create beautiful posters, jigsaw puzzles; make your magazine cover and so on. I can ask my students to prepare a magazine cover or their own movie poster for a project. It is easy to use and looks fun.

60 second recap If you are using any of the books Jenny is talking about, the site will be a good reference for your students. The site aims teenagers to understand literature.

I love using songs in my lessons. Songs helped me reach my students in the past and now in the present I choose the songs I love. As they know the songs on the lists by heart, I think it’s useless to bring them to the classroom so I choose the old ones that I think they will like. Here is an activity I really liked and twitted and bookmarked. It’s on EFL Classroom 2.0.  I want to do a similar activity as soon as possible. Another song activity is from Humanising Language Teaching magazine’s last issue.

Class Tools is a site I’ve just discovered thanks to the EVO sessions. It is great for vocabulary revisions. I prepared some games and added them on my class blogs. My students enjoyed playing with them. I think it will be among the most delicious of my favourites.

Definr is a very fast online dictionary and it looks cool.

I hope I’ll be able to make this list longer soon.