September is here and another school year is on its way. I’m just enjoying the last few lazy days reading and planning ahead. I’m reading “The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George at the moment. I loved the book. Not only for the plot, not only it is set in Paris along the River Seine but also the richness of the creative writing ideas that pop up in front of my eyes while reading it.
The book takes place in Paris and tells the story of a bookshop owner Jean Perdu who calls his bookshop the Literary Apothecary, because he doesn’t just sell books to his customers, he also prescribes them to suit their minor ailments he diagnoses in them.
I just don’t want to forget those brilliant ideas Mr Perdu brought into my mind so I decided to write them.
Here is one as a first week activity. Mr Perdu says “books are like people, and people are like books.” And continues “ I ask myself is he or she the main character in his or her life?” (pg 28) well, I’m not going to reveal more but I’m planning my first day activity as follows.
The activity will be suitable for any level if you plan it that way but I’ll do it with my year 12 students.
Tell students they are a character in a novel.
Tell them to describe themselves, their motives, ambitions, weak points, strengths.
Who else are in their story? What kind of characters are they? A short description for them as the characters of the story…
The blurb of their story, their problem and how they expect the story will end.
I’ll tell them to create a book cover and a few pages of their books to display on classroom walls.
I think this will be a good beginning for a class who will be studying hard for their university exam. This year their main concern is the exam and how they will shape their future so I guess starting the year with these book covers will be fun.
Sorry for the delay but I was so busy with so many things and now I want to share what I’ve done so far this year.
For my grade 12 students who are getting ready for a very important exam for their future, I planned a motivational first week lesson. For this, I asked a few questions to my former students ( via Facebook) who made their dreams true, entering the universities they were planning to go.
I sent them the questions, they emailed me their answers.
I prepared a handout with three interviews. First I put my students in groups and ask them to match the questions with the answers, then I asked what these three students had in common, how they studied, what they learned while studying at university and then I asked them to prepare a poster on Achieving our Goals.
The students liked the idea and I think the things they read about studying, achieving goals were more powerful than my words telling them to study hard for their dreams. Sometimes elder young people can be better role models for the younger ones J
It’s not my habit to write about my personal life on this blog. However, this is an exception. This year we decided to spend our holiday on Bozcaada (Tenedos), which was on our “places to see” list for more than a decade. Our friends who had been there told us that there was not much to do on this beautiful island except for its clean sea, wonderful and peaceful coasts, delicious fish restaurants, delicately decorated street cafes, wineries and delicious wines.
We only had a few days for a holiday this year so we set off for a dream destination. Kids were excited… On our way, we passed motorways, narrow roads, little villages, lakes, beautiful sunflower fields, a strait and olive trees.
I spent 5 magical days and enjoyed every minute of being there. At the time of departure, we left a part of our hearts there. We didn’t say ‘goodbye’.
Well, a teacher is a teacher everywhere and a blogger teacher wants to share what she has experienced, learned so I thought about a first week lesson.
Describe My Holiday ( A lesson idea)
Describe My Holiday on PhotoPeach
Create a slideshow with holiday pictures.
Create a handout with questions and a wordle to help the kids to guess your holiday.
Put them in groups and tell them they will write a composition titled “My Magical Holiday” and will describe your holiday.
Tell them to create a scrapbook for their own holiday with their photos.
Tell them to describe their own holidays.
Web 2.0 alternative
Glogster with their holiday photos and a short description of their holiday.
Power point presentation or photopeach
breakfast prepared by Mrs Behice, the friendly owner of the guest house “Pansiyon Bozcaada”
Ask students to create a 2-slide powerpoint. On one slide they will upload a photo they have taken from a holiday. On the second slide, they will write a short text describing the picture. They may answer the following questions to write their texts.
▪ where was the photo taken?
▪ Who were you with?
▪ When were you there?
▪ How long did you stay there?
▪ What kind of a place was it?
▪ What were the typical things there (food, music, etc)
▪ Did you enjoy being there?
Then you can combine all the slides and prepare an ‘Our Holiday’ presentation.
Web 2.0 alternatives
Upload the pictures on voice thread and ask students to record their voice and describe their photos. Then ask the other students to comment on each photo.
Tell your students to create posters using tabblo
Create a glogster and upload all the photos students used, record their voices talking about their holidays or if they are ok with video recording, record them while talking about their holidays.
The original activity is described here and the poem ‘Go and Open the Door’ by Miroslav Holub is here. This is a very powerful poem and I think it will work really well with teenagers and adults on the first week of the term.
Here is a variation with the poem for the new comers.
A big poster of a classroom door (or any other door)
Introduce some vocabulary if you think they will cause problems when you read the poem.
Tell them you will read a poem, they can close their eyes if they want.
Before you begin reading the poem, play a relaxing
Tell them they are about to open the door of their new classroom. They don’t know what they will find there. First focus on the followings:
What are their expectations?
Why are they in this class?
How will they improve themselves?
What are their expectations from their teachers?
When and how will they have fun?
Stop the music and read the poem.
Tell them to open the door of the classroom and step in, meet the people, the teacher and find a seat. Now tell them to open their eyes and jot down the things they thought.
Ask the volunteers to share their ideas.
Give them post-it notes and ask them to write what they’ve found when they opened their classroom door.
Stick the door poster on the wall.
Get students’ post-it notes and stick on the door.