Fun with Readers

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Last week, with a group of twelve-year olds we had great fun reading a short story. It was our first meeting so I started with a getting to know activity which came from freshly Leo Selivan’s  latests blog post. Kids loved drawing stick figures and introducing themselves in third person.

Then we read the story and enjoyed ourselves a lot. On this blog post, I want to share some of the activities we did during the workshops.

1.I gave them word posters and asked them to work in groups. We checked the vocabulary together and then in groups they wrote a mini saga choosing 5 words from the word cloud.

2. We wrote a rap together about the characters and their meeting with the fantastic characters. Then we sang it all together.

3. When the characters met new fantasy characters, I put them in teams and asked them to write their songs together. 

4. I also cut some of the illustrations from the book and gave each pair a different picture and asked them to write “a six word story” for each picture.

5. After reading the story, they created a fantasy character and the land of the character drawing the character and the land.

6. Finally, as they told me they loved the stick figure activity very much, I asked them to work in pairs and gave each pair a character. They wrote their memes on a padlet wall.

In the end for feedback I told the kids to write 3 things they loved, 2 things they learned and a feeling. I loved the feedbacks very much but one of them made my day.

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Twitter Bios for Book Characters

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I’d like to share a quick activity I’ve done with my students. After reading a short story or a novel in the class or if the students are assigned to read their own choices, you can use this activity.

Ask the students to write Twitter bios for each character, (or the ones they’ve chosen) in stead of writing character descriptions. You can start with your own example. Tell them to highlight the significant characteristic of that character, adding hashtags as well. You may want to create a template for the exercise, the Power Point will help or you can ask your students to create their own templates.

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Stories, Stories, Stories

Using photos in EFL Classroom, part 3

We are all stories, right? We tell a new story, the same story, another story all the time and we do it in the class too.

Today I’m going to mention activities that can be used to create new stories for the theme “Using Photos in EFL Classes”.

You can either ask your students to bring some photos they have taken or you can choose the photos you’ve taken or as usual, go to #ELTpics and tell them to choose the pictures they want to think about and write their stories.

You can tell them to write

watching the sea from a distance
watching the sea from a distance
  • Twitter stories, that is 140 characters only per photo
On a cold sunny day in January, I took the tube to go to Covent Garden, I walked around a little. I heard a singer singing a beautiful song.
On a cold sunny day in January, I took the tube to go to Covent Garden, I walked around a little. I heard a singer singing a beautiful song.
  • A mini saga, which is a short piece of writing containing exactly 50 words, plus a title of up to 15 letters.
Going Home It was summer, a hot day in August. We were on our way home. We had a lovely holiday on an island and now we were heading to the big city, to chaos, to exhaustion, to stress. Suddenly my husband said “forget the city, let’s make that island our home.”
Going Home
It was summer, a hot day in August. We were on our way home. We had a lovely holiday on an island and now we were heading to the big city, to chaos, to exhaustion, to stress. Suddenly my husband said “forget the city, let’s make that island our home.”

You can read the previous posts here Using Photos in EFL Classroom Part 1 and here Using Photos in EFL Classroom Part 2 

 

Using Photos in EFL Classrooms, Part 2

Padlet Galleries

If you are working on a “theme” that you think can be photographed easily, you can ask your students take photos and add them to the Padlet wall you’ve created for that specific “theme” and ask students to write what made them to take the photo, how they felt about that photo. You may also ask them to describe the photo or write a few words to predict what will happen after the moment they took the photo. You can also ask them to write captions for the photos they have taken.

If you haven’t used Padlet before, you can check one of my previous posts here 

And here is the Padlet wall I created for this post as an example.

Using Photos in Language Classes, Part 1

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“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” Dorothea Lange

Visuals are useful and powerful tools to enhance the use of language, combining the images and the concepts they refer in the minds of the learners. Photos, as all visual images, also encourage the learners to predict and guess the story of the photo they are looking at. It is easy to bring the real world into the classroom and talk and discuss about it.

Today’s children love taking photos. They love taking “selfies” but they also take photos of everyday objects, food, the place they live, the place they visit and they don’t need a camera for taking photos anymore. They don’t even need to go somewhere to develop them to bring into the classroom. There is even no need for a printer, a computer as long as they have a smart phone, Internet connection and Google Tools to share it with you and their class mates. Moreover, as they are addicted to use the phone and can’t live a minute apart from them, why shouldn’t we take advantage of this and challenge them?

I think we can ask them to take their own photos or we can bring the ones that we have taken or chosen from other people’s sets. I’d suggest #ELTpics for projects with photos if you don’t want to use your own photos or the student photos.

In the early years the photos can be used to

Teach, revise vocabulary

Drill the target language

Describe the photo

Role play

Gamify

However in the advanced levels photos encourage students to write and tell stories, to discuss certain issues, and do a lot more things.

So I’m planning to write a few posts on using photos in the language classrooms. I will list some activities that can be used with any level.

Caption Writing Project

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  • Tell students to take photos on their way home or at the weekend, etc.
  • You can guide them to take photos of food, supermarkets, street markets, people commuting in the morning, etc.
  • Start a Google Slide and share with your class.
  • Tell students to upload their photos to the slide.
  • Depending on the size of the class, divide students in teams and give each team a set of photos (depending on the number of photos uploaded)
  • Tell each team to write captions for the photos they have for their teams.
  • Choose the best photo, best caption, the most creative caption, etc. (optional)

Follow up:

  • You can print them out and create a class display.
  • You can download the Slide as pdf and upload the file to “youblisher” and create an ebook that can be shared or embedded to your class blog or school website. This very easy activity can be turned into a class project as well.
  • If you decide to continue the project all year long, you may then decide to print the sets and turn them into a printed “class catalogue”.

 To be continued …

 

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