April 2010 archive

10 Activities You Can Do With Flashcards



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Flashcards were the most important visuals of EFL classrooms, and they are now widely available online. You can find great sites here and here.

You can always create your own material so you can create your flashcards by cutting up magazine pictures or writing the words and definitions on the cards or you can use the ready-made ones.

Flashcards are great tools for beginners but we can also use them with more advanced students too.

Well, what can we do with flashcards in the classroom?

  1. You can choose 3 different flashcards and ask your students to create a story.
  2. You can prepare flashcard sets, pictures and definitions seperately and play memory games.
  3. You can show a set of flashcards and ask them to write the ones they remember.
  4. You can quiz your students by showing them the flashcards and asking them to write the answers.
  5. Show a flashcard and ask them to write sentences to describe the Picture until you stop them.
  6. Show them a flashcard and ask them to brainstorm ideas. Then tell them to compare ideas and ask them to create stories in pairs using the words they’ve come up with.
  7. Prepare 10 flashcards showing some characters, place, time and event. Then ask students to write their own stories using all the words you have given.
  8. Use flashcards to review any grammar topic.
  9. Show 2 flashcards and ask students to write how these two things are similar to each other.
  10.  Have a deck of flashcards and tell your students they will choose one in turns and speak about the picture for 2 minutes. They shouldn’t stop.

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Go and Open the Door



I really love this poem and when I come across with it in Creative Poetry Writing with a great activity and as we were doing conditionals, even if, as long as and some other conjunctions I wanted to do the activity with my students.

I’ll quickly summarize it.

Tell your students that they will write poems but before writing they will discover something.

They will have pen and paper while listening to you

Begin telling ‘ You just discovered a hidden door in the classroom, where is it?’

Imagine what might be behind the door

Time to open it now. Go and open the door and step in.

You are in a room now and while walking you get amazed because you see all the memories from your past.

What do you find? Describe

You decide you will come back again but before leaving take just one thing with you.

Leave the room and come back to the class

What will you do now? Share your experience with us.

Read the poem or give it as handouts

Tell them they are going to write a poem similar to it.

FEEDBACK: They said they enjoyed the activity. I was amazed watching them while writing they were writing as they were hypnotised. When they finished, they decided to create glogs with their poems.

I really love them when they volunteer creating things with web 2.0

Here is what Burak wrote and you can read the others here

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What is the movie?



This is an activity I did with one of my classes last week.

Choose a soundtrack of a movie (preferably an instrumental piece)

Tell them that piece of music is from a movie

Ask the students to relax and listen to the music

When the music is finished tell them they are going to listen to it again and write a paragraph answering the following questions.

  • What kind of a movie is it?
  • Describe the scene that this music is being played
  • Who are the actors and the actresses


The result was amazing. Although it was early in the morning, they came up with brilliant paragraphs. They even found each other very creative and music helped us to start the lesson with a smile on our faces.

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It’s Worth Taking a Look at this Blog


I’m linked to this challenge by Janet Bianchini. I’m so honoured that she listed my blog as one of the blogs which is worth keeping an eye on. Here is her list,  full of my favourites but I have to list ten different blogs so here is mine:

Teacher Reboot Camp

Kalinago English

Classrooms on the Danube: An exploration of the quality of classroom life.

Six Things

Think and dream in English

Ozge Karaoglu’s Blog

Vicky Loras’s Blog

Marisa Constantinides – TEFL Matters

Rliberni’s Blog – Radical language

Why did the Chickenman cross the road?

There are other great blogs that I love reading . It’s a kind of sharing and brainstorming. Since I started blogging and blog reading I’ve been learning a lot from my friends a lot.

Post-reading activities for the readers

With my intermediate and upper-intermediate students,we read readers in the classroom. They are abridged but with some activities, we try to analyze the texts as much as possible.

This is how I assigned them after we read The Grapes of Wrath

1. Choose a character and write a description

2. Write a book review.

3. Write a song lyric or a poem describing the events

4. You’re a newspaper reporter and took the photos of the migrant workers while working or while travelling. Write a diary entry explaining your feelings.

5. How is life similar to journey. Discuss.

6. Create an animation for the book using goanimate or xtranormal.

7. Write how the story continued for one of the characters.

You can also see some activities that we did before we started reading the book here.

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