ZooBurst, 3D pop-up storytelling tool for your class






ZooBurst is a digital storytelling tool that lets you create your own 3D pop-up books by uploading pictures and adding text.

ZooBurst is also a very secure tool for young learners as its target users are teachers and students. If you choose the premium account you can have a class dashboard and control your students’ works easily.

If you have a webcam installed on your computer, you can also experience any ZooBurst book in Augmented Reality. You can create stories on your computer or iPad. If you are using the free account, you can create 10 books and your online pop-up book created with ZooBurst can be embedded in any website or blog.

I rarely read user manuals or watch tutorials, I sign up and fight with the tool for some time but I know some of you are not like me. Here you can read the detailed user manual of ZooBurst.


Smore; another great tool

Smore is an online flyer creator but it looks very versatile and we, teachers can use it in many ways

You can design a flyer to invite people for an event you or your school created

describe a product

create a class newspaper or a school newsletter

compiling students board on one topic and embed into your class blogs

The tool allows you to upload photos and write text. You can edit your flyer after publishing it. When you click on update, it automatically updates the changes you’ve recently made. You can share your flyer and best of all embed it to your blogs or wikis. You can even print it out. You can allow comments, sharing on social media or enable them from the privacy settings

I will definitely share it with my colleagues at school and my students as well. I think they will create beautiful posters.

I designed a flyer for my  TESOL France talk.

Ready, Steady, Cook


Materials: Prepare small ingredient cards. (One ingredient on card/with pictures if you want or you can either bring food to the classroom)

1 computer for 2 students 😉 or you may supply them with some magazines even in L1

Level: Upper-int and above


Watch a part from Ready Steady Cook. Tell them to jot down any cooking vocabulary they hear. After watching the segment talk about the programme. What do the participants do?


Brainstorm cooking vocabulary and utensils. Give them an exercise.

Brainstorm basic ingredients that they think they usually find in their own kitchen. Tell them the words on the board will be the ingredients of their kitchen cabinet.


Put them in pairs

Tell them to choose 4 ingredients from your box. ( The cards or the food)

Tell them they will search the web/ magazines and find a suitable recipe for a 2 course meal with the ingredients from their kitchen cabinet and they’ve chosen.

When they come up with their recipes, they have to present it to their friends.


Follow up:

1. As a class they can choose some best recipes from the presentations and create a mini cookery book.They can create a page explaining cooking techniques, utensils and basic ingredients.

2. They can create a class cookery slide show using photopeach.

3. Each team can create a glogter with pictures and their own videos explaining how to cook.

4. They can create a powerpoint presentation and record their voice explaining their recipes.

5. You can create a voicethread for the class and each team can record one of their recipes.

Reading Short Stories ~ Roald Dahl in Class



One of my favourite writers for the ‘Reading Class’ is Roald Dahl. I’ve been using his short stories for almost a decade and the students have always loved them.

I just came across with this pdf http://www.msad54.org/district/literacyspecialist/pdf/blooms.pdf

But you can also get more ideas for using Bloom’s taxonomy in reading classes which I find very practical when preparing my own handouts for my students http://www.scoop.it/t/blooms-taxonomy-in-efl-classroom

I mostly use the following Roald Dahl stories with my 11th and 12th graders.

The Landlady, a very shocking story and teenagers love it.

Here are some great lessons of the story I found on the net.



Word games and puzzles http://teachers.henrico.k12.va.us/wilder/williams_d/thelandlady.html

An adaptation on YouTube http://youtu.be/4tcj5P3jjeI

My suggestion as a follow up:

Pretend you are Billy. You just found out what happened to the two young men and realised you were also poisoned, and locked into a room. Luckily you have still your mobile (as the landlady is a little bit old-fashioned she hadn’t known anything about mobiles and social media). Write a text message to a close friend, update your status on Facebook and send a tweet to the whole world and ask for help. Write your version of the story.

Create a scrapbook based on the setting, events and characters from the story. (You can use a web 2.0 option for this task)

My students’ web 2.0 projects on the story. http://englishwithgrade12fld.blogspot.com/2011/10/landlady-by-roald-dahl.html

The Way Up To Heaven


A YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJAPwN9eAqk

A suggestion on how to analyse this story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcNMaD8Vnww

A pre reading task:


Lamb to Slaughter

Years ago my students adapted the story to stage, wrote the script and performed. Unfortunately in those years, technology was not like this and I was also a bit technophobic so even a simple camera recording isn’t available now.

Here are some links to inspire you to prepare your own

A Short story inspired writing lesson http://writingfix.com/Short_story_Prompts/Lamb_slaughter1.htm

From Roald Dahl’s fans http://www.roalddahlfans.com/teachers/lamb.php



A web 2.0 suggestion:

You can watch a clip fro Hitchcock’s ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ then ask the students to redirect the movie. They have can prepare a PowerPoint presentation, a prezi or a glogster and introduce to the class their cast, soundtrack, setting, etc giving their reasons why they chose the actors and the music. They can also create a movie poster.

More ideas for reading classes:

Or if you can read all the stories in a row, maybe you can ask the similarities of these three women.

Fun with Class Readers 1

Fun with Class Readers 2

Fun with Class Readers 3

Reading Challenge

And don’t forget to visit the beautiful official Roald Dahl page


Dogus University ELT Conference

‘Turning Challenges into Opportunities’ was called the conference and it really helped us to see the opportunities that lay ahead us. A teacher who is eager to teach and overcome obstacles will always find ways to turn challenges into opportunities.

I’d like to thank all the Dogus University conference organisers, stuff and students who tried to do their best for the participants to spend two long weekend days with smiles on their faces while leaving the venue.

My presentation was

Revisiting Storytelling Digitally


Storytelling is one of the things we should give more emphasis in our classes. With stories we can experience many lives. By listening, we can learn how to tell our own stories. We are all storytellers but the generation we are teaching has started doing it digitally. This session will revise the storytelling, suggesting new ways to create digital ones.


The aim of my session was to tell participants how digital storytelling is similar to the traditional storytelling. The only difference is the media we are creating the stories with and how effective it can be as it will allow the learners to reach a real audience, not just the teacher in the classroom. We went through storytelling stages together, looked at how we can create digital ones, then I introduced my favourite tools to tell digital stories and shared some examples of my students’ digital products.