“Let us go singing as far as we go: the road will be less tedious.”
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
Tagxedo link of AnswerGarden words/phrases
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
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
Divide the class into two.
Explain the rules. You will give the students a category.
Call 2 students from each team to the board.
Set 2 minutes and tell them to write the words that come to their mind.
Things in a fridge
Things you can buy from a supermarket
Things you can find in a living room.
Adjectives that describe personality.
2. Right Word, Wrong Place
Prepare a handout with newly learned structures or some quotes on the topic you’d like to discuss in the class.
Make grammatically incorrect sentences changing the place of two words in the sentence and ask students to correct them.
3. Catch the words
Draw a circle and write some letters with which students form words. Prepare a handout jumbling the words you’ve recently studied in the class.
On slips of papers, write sentences or ask students to write sentences.
Put the students in pairs.
Give each pair 4 slips of papers, preferably the same 4 sentences and tell them to write a dialogue and insert the sentences they have on the slips of papers into their dialogues.
5. Comprehension Questions
Write the topic of the reading passage/listening activity on the board.
Tell students to copy it on a piece of paper and then write a question about it.
Then pass the paper to their friend and ask them to write another question. Then tell them to pass it to the next student. When each student receive their own papers, ask them to read the text and try to find if any of the questions are answered.
It’s summer in the northern hemisphere and most of us have started our summer holidays. Yet some of spend their holidays working in the summer schools or summer camps. Here you can find some activities that may help you
Asking Questions, some fun activities
Games, Fillers, Warm-ups
Fun Writing Activities
Old Techniques Revisited
Motivating Learners with Fun Activities
Songs in EFL Classroom