Roll a Dice

You feel tired and have no energy to plan a lesson for tomorrow,
Your students have been too fast to finish the tasks you planned for this lesson,
You see they sulk, they feel bored or tired and can’t understand the lesson,
then why not roll a dice and let the fun begin.
What can you do with a dice?
There are wonderful no-prep activities to liven up your class, to motivate your students to speak or even to write. Here are some activities you may want to use whenever you feel the need:
1. The student rolls the dice and tells things aboult herself according to the number on the dice. If the number is three, for instance, she must say three interesting facts about herself.
2. Write what each number is for (from 1 to 6) on the board. Such as, 1 something you’ve done so far today; 2 something you want to buy this year, etc and the students roll the dice in turns and talk about themselves.
3. Dictate them an opening sentence for a story. Tell them you’ll throw the dice and they have to continue to write the story. The dice will decide the number of sentences they’ll write. If the number on the dice is 4, they will write four sentences. Then dictate them another sentence, tell them they can change the subject but they have to fit the sentence into their story. Then roll the dice again and students continue to write. Roll the dice for the last time and tell students to finish their stories.
4. Ask students to write questions on cards. Put the pile of the cards in the middle of the desk. Roll the dice. The students must answer questions according to the number on the dice in turns.
5. Divide students into 6. Give each team a number from 1-6 and a topic such as travel, school, celebrations and then tell them to write questions on their topics on small slips of papers or cards. When the questions are ready, ask them to roll the dice and answer the questions in turns. If 1 is travel and they’ve rolled 1, then they will choose a question from that pile.
6. Assign a task for each number 1: draw the word, 2: use the word in a sentence, 3: define the word, 4: spell the word, 5: give a synonym, antonym or a derivative of the word, 6: ask a question using the word.

And the list goes on….
Hope these will help.

Revisiting Grammar

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May is round the corner. This means another school is about to end. Here you can find some revision games and activities that you’d like to use.

When I’m 65 (to revise tenses, time clauses)

Team your students

Prepare small cards, on small cards write random numbers such as 18, 22, 56, 38, etc.

Put the cards upside down on the desk

Tell students, take one card and make a sentence.

  • When I’m 65, I’ll probably have grandchildren.
  • When I was 18, I was a student at university.

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I had a great holiday there (to revise tenses)

Put some postcards or photos of places on the walls and tell students to walk around and imagine they were on holiday. They have to concentrate on one picture and then go back to their seats and write a paragraph, how they spent their holiday there. Then they can read and their friends try to guess which picture he has chosen.

I’m poem (to revise participles, relative clauses)

Ask them who they are. They will probably laugh and tell their names but tell them what roles do they have as a person in different places. Tell them that you’re their teacher, a mother, a wife, a friend, a colleague and although you are the same person but for your different roles, you have different responsibilities, feelings, emotions. Ask them if they are the same person as a sister, cousin, grandchild etc. Then give them the skeleton and ask them to write a poem describing who they are for different people and how they feel and react.

  • I’m the girl who loves reading books
  • I’m the sister watching you grow up

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

 

 

FlipQuiz

We love playing games in the class and quiz-show type games are very popular in our classrooms. We have the PowerPoint format of most games but if we want to change certain things on them to adapt the game for our own needs, we spend long hours and sometimes we give up. I’ve just come across with a very handy way to create my own games.

FlipQuiz 

First of all it’s free and very easy to use. All you have to do is to sign up and go to your dashboard. You will see two buttons at the top. Click on the green one and start creating your board. You will be able to create 6 categories and for each category you can add 5 questions. You can either add the answers or leave it blank. Then click on save and share the link with your students. I’m planning to revise Conditionals in the class with FlipQuiz

 

FlipQuiz

I think FlipQuiz can be used in a language classroom effectively. I will use it

1. with readers, novels and short stories, reading texts to check comprehension

2. to revise grammar

3. to revise vocabulary

4. just for fun ( as who wants to be a millionaire)

 

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.