Posted in 4 skills, drama, efl, ELL, elt, energizers, esl, ice-breakers, lesson idea, lessons for teachers, narratives, reading, speaking, stories, storytelling, teaching, teenagers

Three Chairs, A Drama Activity for Language Classes

threechairs

I’ll share a quick drama activity I learned from our drama club while performing at an event at school.

  • Put 3 chairs in front of the board.
  • Put labels on the chairs as “sad-1”, “happy-2″,”angry-3”
  • Write some situations on slips of papers and put them in a box. (You are waiting at the bus stop and the bus is late / You are going to take an important exam /You are travelling to …
  • Let students choose a slip of paper
  • Give them a few minutes to prepare a very short story based on the situation they have on their papers.

Begin with the volunteers. Explain the rules.

Tell students that you will shout a number from 1 to 3 and she/he will sit on that chair and start telling the story according to the emotion written on the chair. While the student is telling the story change the numbers randomly.

This activity will be suitable for intermediate and above but I think it can also be tried with beginners as a reading aloud activity. The teacher can give a text to practise reading aloud and then asks the students to read the text sadly, angrily, cheerfully, etc

 

Posted in 4 skills, creative tasks, creative writing, creativity, efl, fun, fun activities, ideas, inspiration, lesson ideas, poems, poetry, reading, The Road Not Taken

Choices We Make, a Poetry Lesson

“Let us go singing as far as we go: the road will be less tedious.”

Virgil

th-6

Choices are important in our lives. Sometimes there are times we regret, there are times we pray for what we’ve chosen.

I have a group of mixed-ability students in grade 11 studying mostly languages. Some of them are not happy because that was not what they actually wanted but that was the only option to take.

I had a very disappointing lesson the other day and when I arrived home I thought what I could do for them to realize or do something for themselves until the next fork appears on the road they had chosen. And I decided to go to the class with a poem. Yes, I chose The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost as I thought with a little help, they would be able to understand the poem and we’d be able to talk about our decisions. To sum up, it was a great lesson. We all enjoyed it and I think they also revised their decisions or their attitudes towards their choices.

Now I’d like to tell you how I planned the lesson. First of all I found some very valuable lesson ideas on the poem and took some inspiration from them and I prepared one suitable for my students.

First I asked what the word ‘road’ meant. Then I asked what it could be used as a metaphor. We looked at the picture I chose as a warm up. ( If you search Google/Yahoo images as “Two Roads”, you’ll get some pictures of the woods that come to a fork)

The students described the picture and then I asked them what they would do if they were in this picture, how they would feel, how they would decide. The best part of the lesson was actually here and I hadn’t predicted that while preparing it. They talked about how they would be both nervous and excited. We talked about what they could encounter on the road, where these roads might take them.

Then we brainstormed words/ideas related with roads. I chose a recording of the poem on YouTube and told students to listen and jot down any words or phrases they heard/caught/liked.

After listening to the poem twice, I gave them the handouts and told them to read the poem and find if the words they had heard were really in the poem. Then we discussed the poem. We talked about if the poet was happy with his choice, if the poem was sad or happy or hopeful. Now I’m waiting for their bookmarks on the poem. They’ll use the ideas from here.

wordle created with AnswerGarden
wordle created with AnswerGarden

Tagxedo link of AnswerGarden words/phrases

Posted in 4 skills, efl, web 2.0 tools, wordle

A Tool for Brainstorming; AnswerGarden

Wordle: how to use movies in class
AnswerGarden is a new tool that you can use in the classroom for barinstorming or getting feedback. You don’t have to sign up, but when you create a poll or a question to think. The website asks you to put a password on it and then you can decide how long it will be open. Once you’ve created the page you can post it in a tweet or embed it on your website or blog to use. You can only write 20 characters, that means, some phrases, words, or chunks.

When you think the answers are enough, you can export it to Wordle or Tagxedo or even get the QR code for the page.makes the tool I really loved the idea of getting a quick word cloud after finishing your brainstorming.

For a presentation that we will deliver today, we made a quick research yesterday and asked our FB and twitter friends to respond a question and the result was amazing.

I think it’s designed for brainstorming mainly but you can use it in many ways in EFL classes:

1. You can ask your students to remember the words you studied together. If you’re using a smart board, you can ask then to come to the board and write a word that they feel they learned. If you’re using iPads or other BYOD, you can ask them to do it at the same time.

2. You can ask them list the words that they think they can not use comfortably and then put the word cloud on the walls so that you can study later.

3. Instead of asking a question you can write the topic and ask them to brainstorm.

4. When you read a story, novel or watch a film, you can ask your students to describe one of the character adding an adjective one by one in groups , maybe.

I’d like to know your ideas as well.

I think AnswerGarden will be in my favourite tools list for the next academic year.

created using Tagxedo http://www.tagxedo.com/artful/580efc58c9464ba2
created using Tagxedo
http://www.tagxedo.com/artful/580efc58c9464ba2
Posted in 4 skills, efl, ELL, esl, lesson ideas, mapcrunch, web 2.0

MapCrunch for the Class

newspaper

Today’s learners are way too visual than us. That’s why we tend to decorate our classes with posters, notes, post-it notes, charts, etc. They are so used to seeing everything by googling that if you try to describe it using words they understand nothing.

I came across with MapCrunch today and I thought it can be very useful with our visual but less verbal students in our tech savvy classes. MapCrunch virtually takes you to a random place in the world. You can find imagery captured by Google in 40 countries.

How to use?

Just click the “GO” button to be taken to a random place in the world. You can choose whether you want to see an urban image or an image of a place. You can click on  the tour button and have a very quick 360 degrees tour around the place.

If you only want to see certain countries, select them on the right hand panel or click the “myMap” option on the top-right of side panel and type the city you want to see particularly and click on “GO” Click on the arrows to tour around the image.

How can you use mapcrunch in the class?

  1. If you are reading a text about a certain place or a story which takes place in one of these 40 countries then show the city to your students just to make them to visualize. We did it for Wales and they loved the idea.
  2. To describe places
  3. To write descriptive essays.
  4. To practise prepositions or modals of deduction.
  5. To compare the place you live to the area on the image.
  6. To write a compare and contrast essay on two different places. The place where you live and the image on the whiteboard.
  7. You can ask your students to write a story which takes place in the area.
  8. To give directions.