Archive of ‘esl’ category

4 New First Week Activities and Some Oldies

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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

http://evasimkesyan.com/2012/08/16/getting-ready-to-go-back-to-school-2/

http://evasimkesyan.com/2011/08/31/24th-edition-of-efleslell-blog-carnival/

http://evasimkesyan.com/2010/04/28/go-and-open-the-door/

http://evasimkesyan.com/2011/08/22/variations-with-‘go-and-open-the-door’/

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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

 

 

Guided Collaborative Story Writing

Image source: http://mindshift.kqed.org/ Image source: http://mindshift.kqed.org/%5B/caption%5D

 

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.

Fun Activities with Conditionals

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1. Writing chain stories or even writing chain poems.

If you decide to do the chain poem writing activity, then give them a skeleton

If I drink coffee,

I’ll stay awake tonight

If I stay awake tonight,

I’ll fall asleep in the morning.

And if I fall asleep in the morning,

My teacher will be very angry.

 

2. Go and Open the Door

This activity was taken from Creative Poetry Writing by Jane Spiro.

3. Prepare conversation cards or even prepare conversation cards on PowerPoint or Google presentation.

4. Prepare 2 different sets of cards. You can use two different colours. One colour for If Clause, one colour for the result clause.

Divide the class into two and play tic-tac-toe or put them in groups and tell them the first group who matches the halves will be the winner.

5. Songs are great for teaching or revising conditionals.

My favorites are:

  • If I were a boy (Beyonce)
  • If I had a Million Dollars (the BarenakedLadies)
  • Smile (Charlie Chaplin)
  • Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper)
  • Hero (Enrique Iglasias)
  • Count on me (Bruno Mars)
  • California Dreaming (The mamas and Papas) 

6. A great list of fun activities on TEF.net http://edition.tefl.net/ideas/grammar/activities-second-conditional/

7. Ask students to stand up and form a circle. Shout a half conditional sentence, throw the ball to a student and ask him to complete it.

8. Give students scrap paper, preferably used photocopies and tell them to write 5 half conditional sentences on. Then tell them to stand up and play snowball fights. Stop them when you think the fun is enough for them. Tell them to pick the closest snowball, go back to their seats and finish the sentences.

9. You can aslo find some fun activities here. 

10. Tell them to find out some superstitions from a different country and their own country and prepare a quiz or a poster.

 

 

 

A Drill-like Narrative Writing Activity

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We were working on narrative tenses and the writing task of the lesson was ‘writing a story’. My class is small and it’s a real mixed-ability class. although it’s small, it sometimes takes very ages for the students to master something. The book we’re using organized the activity very well – first making students to know and use the connectors to make them aware of the sequences in a story. We did the exercise on the book and wrote a paragraph using At First, Then, After that, Eventually, Finally but some of the students had problems writing their own paragraphs so I decided to continue.

photo credit @AClilToClimb #eltpics

I divided the group into two and told them they would write a story using At First, Then, After that, Eventually, Finally.

Each group now had a good students to help the others.

I changed one student from the groups and exchanged them with each other after they finished writing and reading their paragraphs aloud.

I left the good ones in the group, changing one students after writing a paragraph for four times.

In the fifth round, all the good ones were in one group but two groups managed to use the connectors and produced their own sentences.

Then they all went back to their seats and wrote their own paragraphs.

As a follow-up, they wrote another paragraph, creating a book with bookr.

 

 

 

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