Last week, with a group of twelve-year olds we had great fun reading a short story. It was our first meeting so I started with a getting to know activity which came from freshly Leo Selivan’s latests blog post. Kids loved drawing stick figures and introducing themselves in third person.
Then we read the story and enjoyed ourselves a lot. On this blog post, I want to share some of the activities we did during the workshops.
1.I gave them word posters and asked them to work in groups. We checked the vocabulary together and then in groups they wrote a mini saga choosing 5 words from the word cloud.
2. We wrote a rap together about the characters and their meeting with the fantastic characters. Then we sang it all together.
3. When the characters met new fantasy characters, I put them in teams and asked them to write their songs together.
4. I also cut some of the illustrations from the book and gave each pair a different picture and asked them to write “a six word story” for each picture.
5. After reading the story, they created a fantasy character and the land of the character drawing the character and the land.
6. Finally, as they told me they loved the stick figure activity very much, I asked them to work in pairs and gave each pair a character. They wrote their memes on a padlet wall.
In the end for feedback I told the kids to write 3 things they loved, 2 things they learned and a feeling. I loved the feedbacks very much but one of them made my day.
1. Each person is given a sheet of paper with a series of instructions to follow. Each student’s instructions should be different. Tell them to stand up and mingle until you stop them. Then ask them to share their answers. Your instructions can be as “Find someone who …”
- Find out who has been abroad before.
- Who can play any instruments?
- Find what your classmates have for their breakfast.
- Who spent their summer holiday on an island?
2. Give each student a post-it note. Tell them to write their names at the top. Then ask them to write 1 adjective that will describe their physical appearance and 5 adjectives that will describe their character. Collect the post-it notes. Tell students they will guess the person you chose. Ask them to stand up next to their seats. Read one adjective each time and if they think that adjective doesn’t describe them, they have to sit down (whether they have written the adjective or not) Once they sit, they can’t stand up again. Continue calling an adjective, till they guess who the person is.
3. Divide the class into teams. Tell them they will advertise themselves to you. Prepare a bank of advertisements for them to get inspired. This will work well with a group of students who know each other well but the teacher meets them for the first time.
4. Provide A4 size paper, crayons, markers for each student. Ask each student to prepare a poster which contains some symbols or pictures describing who they are, what’s important to them or what they enjoy.
Each poster should be divided into 4 or 6 segments. Each segment can contain a picture of favourite emotion, favourite food, a hobby, a skill, a motto etc. Set time limits. When they finish, tell them to stand up, play some music and tell them to walk around till you stop the music and ask them to find a partner and introduce themselves to each other, then they have to exchange the papers and they will introduce their new friend to the class.
Some other activities from the archives of A Journey in TEFL
image taken from yahoo images
I am not a fan of online games. I don’t play any but my son spends most of his free time playing online games. I have lots of students who do the same and when the subject is online games, even the quietest one starts to speak. A few years ago I had three students in my class. They were very much interested in games. They were very interesting boys because they were not ordinary players as they learned a lot about mythology and literature playing these games. One of them is writing stories and probably he’ll become a famous writer one day. That’s my hope for him.
I was clearing my files during the break and I came across a handout I coped from a book (unfortunately I don’t remember the name of the book) on literature. There were questions about favourite titles and characters. I put the handout among the ones I’d like to use this year but then suddenly I thought about another activity. Why shouldn’t I adapt it to games that the students are fond of playing and would work on the activity eagerly?
So here are my questions. I’ll be very happy if you can suggest other questions for this activity.
Think about the online games you love playing. First finish the sentences then compare your answers with your partner.
- I think I’m like the character ————————– from the game ———— because ———————-.
- I like the title of the game ————————— because ———————-.
- The game which I find very challenging is ———————————.
- I want to meet the character ———————- from the game —————- because ————————-
- The character whose action I admire is ————————– because ——-
- For me the most interesting 3 online games are ———————————.
- It is easy to win a game in ————————– because ———————–
- It is difficult to win a game in ———————– because ———————-.
- The game ——————- is set in a ——————————. It is —————–.
- 10. In the game ———————— you need to be a team to win.
Here you can find the handout I prepared for the activity.
Links to some blogs and interesting posts on online games
When you tell your students “You three work together”, there will probably be some among the majority who will complain and tell that they don’t want to work with A or B in that group. They will sulk, they won’t contribute, isolate themselves or even worse they won’t let the other members work. However; if you do it randomly, and if you use a different technique from time to time, the complaints will be less. I’d like to share some of the methods I use to group or pair my students.
Image source: http://mindshift.kqed.org/%5B/caption%5D
- Ask students to gather together as 1st child, middle child, younger child or single child of their families. Let them speak about the differences or similarities they experience for five minutes. Then tell them to report to the whole class and then tell them they will work together for the next activity.
- Ask students to gather together according to their zodiac signs. Let them speak for five minutes and find common things in their personalities. Then tell them to report to the whole class and Finally tell them they will work together for the next activity.
- Prepare 4-5 different card sets in different colors. Laminate them if possible and keep them in an envelope at the back of your lesson planning notebook, course book or file and use them to group your students. As all reds in one group, all greens in another group, etc.
- Tell students to line up according alphabetically, according to the months they were born in or heights, etc. Then team them as fours or fives regarding your activity.
- You can prepare cards with different shapes, pictures on them. Put them in a bag or a box, shuffle them and ask students to pick one. Then tell them they will work together with the ones who have the same picture, image on their cards.
- Bring smarties into the class, tell them they should only take one from the box and then group them according to the colour of the candy they chose. You can do this with mini mars, twix or sneakes bars as well. Put them in a box and ask them to pick one.
- Prepare slips of papers, tell your students to stand up, mingle around and find their partners. You can write anything on the slips of papers. For example, you can ask them to find their partners matching the a)sub clauses with main clauses, b)riddles with their answers, c) problems with the piece of advice, d) synonyms and antonyms, e)words you just studied with their definitions, etc.
- If you have a smart board in class, you can go to https://www.superteachertools.net/instantclassroom/newlevel.php, click create group, write your students names and team them with the help of the tools.
- Choose some photos regarding the number of your class. Divide each photograph into four and put them in a box ask students to pick one piece and find the matching ones to work together.
Find a photo story, pictures that can be used as sequences or some pictures that can form a story. Make enough copies for your students.
Put students in groups.
Give each group the 1st picture
Tell them to brainstorm anything that comes into their minds first and then tell them to organize their thoughts in sentences as the first part of their story. Don’t forget to mention before that they will write a story collaboratively and they will use past tenses. You may also want to suggest some linking words that they can use to organize their paragraphs.
Tell them to pass their paper to the other groups clockwise and give them the 2nd picture of the story and tell them to continue writing their 2nd paragraph.
Continue the process until the pictures you have all distributed.
Ask students to exchange papers once more to edit. Tell them to read the stories carefully and make necessary changes or corrections.
Ask them to read the stories aloud. Put them on the walls. They can read all the stories in groups and choose the best one. You can collect all the stories on youblisher or issuu, you can ask them to create a glogster, using the pictures and adding the paragraphs or PowerPoint Presentations recording their voices or they can upload their presentation on brainshark and record their story.