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 activities, creative tasks, creativity, efl, ELL, elt, esl, exercises, fun, fun activities, games, online games, pair work

Looking at Digital Games and Heroes

image taken from yahoo images
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.

  1. I think I’m like the character ————————– from the game ———— because ———————-.
  2. I like the title of the game ————————— because ———————-.
  3. The game which I find very challenging is ———————————.
  4. I want to meet the character ———————- from the game —————- because ————————-
  5. The character whose action I admire is ————————– because ——-
  6. For me the most interesting 3 online games are ———————————.
  7. It is easy to win a game in ————————– because ———————–
  8. It is difficult to win a game in ———————– because ———————-.
  9. The game ——————- is set in a ——————————. It is —————–.
  10. 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

 

 

Posted in activities, collaborative writing, creative tasks, creative writing, efl, esl, narratives, storytelling, web 2.0 tools

Guided Collaborative Story Writing

Image source: http://mindshift.kqed.org/
Image source: http://mindshift.kqed.org/

 

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.

Posted in activities, creative tasks, creative writing, creativity, descriptions, fun activities, grammar, grammar games, guided visualisation, lesson ideas, narratives, past continuous, past simple, past tenses, story writing, web 2.0 tools, writing, writing a paragraph, writing games

Getting Ready to Write A Story

IMG_2175

Level: All

Age: All

Target Language : Narrative Tenses, Adjectives to describe emotions, feelings, etc.                               

Give each student a handout with the chart below.

Play the sound effects you chose

Ask the students to fill in the following chart

What do you see?  
What do you hear?  
What do you feel?  
What do you taste?  
What do you smell?  

When your students finish completing their charts, ask them to share with their friends.

Remind them how we can start to write a first paragraph of a story. ( how we set the scene, etc)

Optional: you can ask your students to draw the scene based on their chart.

Then tell students to write an introduction paragraph for a short story or a novel.

You can download free sound effects

http://www.freesoundeffects.com/free-sounds/weather-sounds-10038/

http://www.soundsnap.com/browse

IMG_2599

 

 

Posted in creative follow-up tasks, creative tasks, Dubliners, Eveline, literature, reading, short stories

Short Story Lessons: Eveline

One of the stories I love revisiting is Eveline from Dubliners. This year with my year 12 students we read it again. I’d like to share the follow-up activities we did. I grouped the students and assigned them with one task. They chose one and created the followings.

FOLLOW-UP
1. Adapt Eveline to 21st century and rewrite a short story with the same
characters in your own city.
2. Create a biography about the life of a character from the story.
3. Create a billboard for the story.
4. Create a movie trailer.
5. Write a poem about one of the characters.
Digitalising the story
1. Choosing a web 2.0 tool, summarise the story or analyse the characters or suggest the story to others
2. Direct your own movie or animation.
3. You can create a poster, an animation, a slideshow, a book cover
4. Create a Fakebook account for one of the characters.

Trailer created by Aris. Thank you Aris for the hard work.

Karin created an awesome Fakebook account using class tools.net

Sintiya’s poem

Christina’s adaptation to 21st century and Istanbul

More Eveline activities here, here and here

You can also visit our class blog and leave them a comment here 🙂