Posted in fillers, fun, lesson ideas, music, warmers, writing

Imagine and Create - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more  

Sometimes you can set unusual tasks  that challenge  thinking. Set time limit and tell your students to describe

Some ideas

 Create a 5th season and describe it.

Create a country and describe it.

Create a new era and describe it.

Create an other planet where people can live.

Imagine a day is 36 hours. Describe the typical school day of a teenager.

You can come up with more ideas and I’ll be happy to hear them.

 A variation for Create a 5th season 

  Glitter Symbols -








Play Vivaldi’s FOUR SEASON in jumbled order

Ask them to guess which season is described in each piece and ask them why they think like that.

Tell the answers.

Talk about how people feel in each season.

Ask them to create their own season and describe it.

They can even draw pictures of it.

 It may take long but the challenge is worth a try. They end up creating wonderful  seasons and they can be very creative.

Posted in fillers, fun, lesson ideas, listening, music, songs, warmers, writing

What is the movie?



This is an activity I did with one of my classes last week.

Choose a soundtrack of a movie (preferably an instrumental piece)

Tell them that piece of music is from a movie

Ask the students to relax and listen to the music

When the music is finished tell them they are going to listen to it again and write a paragraph answering the following questions.

  • What kind of a movie is it?
  • Describe the scene that this music is being played
  • Who are the actors and the actresses


The result was amazing. Although it was early in the morning, they came up with brilliant paragraphs. They even found each other very creative and music helped us to start the lesson with a smile on our faces. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Posted in glogster, lesson ideas, post reading, reader, reading, The Grapes of Wrath

Post-reading activities for the readers

With my intermediate and upper-intermediate students,we read readers in the classroom. They are abridged but with some activities, we try to analyze the texts as much as possible.

This is how I assigned them after we read The Grapes of Wrath

1. Choose a character and write a description

2. Write a book review.

3. Write a song lyric or a poem describing the events

4. You’re a newspaper reporter and took the photos of the migrant workers while working or while travelling. Write a diary entry explaining your feelings.

5. How is life similar to journey. Discuss.

6. Create an animation for the book using goanimate or xtranormal.

7. Write how the story continued for one of the characters.

You can also see some activities that we did before we started reading the book here.

Posted in conditionals, lesson ideas, matching, songs, writing

When I’m sixty-four - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more  

In pairs brainstorm ideas:

1. When is the retirement age?

2. What do people do when they are retired? You can talk about what  people do in our country and other countries.

3.  Why do you think some people want to go on working even after they get retired?

4.  When do you want to retire? Why?

 What do the following phrases mean?

 1. send me a Valentine

2. be handy

3. it’s not too dear

4. scrimp and save

5. State point of view

a) you manage to live on very little money in order to pay for something.

b) Send a card to someone you love or would like to have a romantic relationship with

c) Say or write your opinion clearly and carefully

d) Be able to use something skillfully

e) Not expensive

Match the halves of the sentences

1. If you say the word,.

2. When I get older losing my hair

3. Will you still need me, will you still feed me,

4. If I’d been out till quarter to three

5. Every summer we can rent a cottage In the Isle of Wight,

a) I could stay with you

b) When I’m sixty-four.

c) Would you lock the door

d) Will you still sending me a Valentine

e) if it’s not too dear

Listen to the song and see if your matches are correct.

Class Project:

Listen to the song and in groups choose a different scene and draw it. Make a video clip using movie maker.

Think about your life, your goals and prepare a list and publish it on your blog

Here is my example:

Ten Things I want to Do before I become 64

1. See my kids grow up I want to see them grow up and find the right job and the person for them:-)

2. Learn Italian I have always wanted to learn Italian but I can’t find the time, so before I become 64 I want to learn Italian, at least, to be able to sing the great songs I love to listen.

3. Start or participate a Comenius project my students want to be part of these collaborations. I’m sure meeting other students all around the world will boost their confidence.

4. Live at learst 3 months in Paris or Florence I love these two cities and will never get bored being there.

5. Attend an IATEFL conference I’m sure that will be a great experience. This year I’ll try to follow the livestream but I hope I can manage to be there next year.

6. Write a book when I was a teenager I used to write short stories and novels, imagining to be like the teenage writer I watched in the TV series or Jo of ‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott.

7. Write a cookbook Cooking is always a great hobby for me. I’d like to write a cookbook, compiling my mum’s delicious recipes.

8. Start painting I really want to be able to paint pictures. If I weren’t a teacher, I’d be an artist or an interior designer so before I become 64 I must definitely create something.

9. Open a cafe where mothers of little kids will be able to come and take some breath and the kids will play and socialize. The cafe will have a bookcorner so that everybody will enjoy the freedom of reading.

10. Study comparative literature I love being a student and I’d like to study literature. Maybe I can give myself an other chance to be a student again and take the university exam once more.

When I’m 64 – The Beatles

When I get older losing my hair,

Many years from now.

Will you still sending me a Valentine

Birthday greetings bottle of wine.

If I’d been out till quarter to three Would you lock the door,

Will you still need me,

will you still feed me,

When I’m sixty-four.

You will be older too,

And if you say the word,

I could stay with you.

I could be handy,

 mending a fuse.

When your lights have gone.

You can knit a sweater by the fireside

Sunday morning go for a ride,

Doing the garden, digging the weeds,

Who could ask for more.

Will you still need me,

will you still feed me,

When I’m sixty-four.

Every summer we can rent a cottage,

In the Isle of Wight, if it’s not too dear

We shall scrimp and save

Grandchildren on your knee

Vera Chuck & Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line,

Stating point of view

Indicate precisely what you mean to say

Yours sincerely, wasting away.

Give me your answer, fill in a form

Mine for evermore

Will you still need me, will you still feed me,

When I’m sixty-four. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Variation 1: You can even ask them to write an other list:

10 things I want to do after I retire

Variation 2: using animoto create a song review or a summary.

I must thank , Tara Benwell and Lindsey Vincent for some of the ideas and inspiration for this lesson.


I’d be glad if you can add some more ideas to this lesson.


Here I’m adding the clip my students created with movie maker

When I’m 64 from Eva Simkesyan on Vimeo.

You can find more lesson ideas here and here and here  and here.

Posted in lesson ideas, web 2.0

Cool Animations / A Pre-listening project



The listening was an interview with 2 people who who took part in an experiment for a television series. The experiment was about if people of the 21st century could live in Iron Age. I wanted them to learn something from this experiment because if they just listen, they do the task and they don’t even focus on the text. I told them to research the era before they come to the class and create an animation using goanimate or xtranormal and email me before the class.

Before we listened task, we watched the animations and then I asked them to prepare a poster on Iron Age people using the info they gathered through research and animations. In the end they had great knowledge about the iron age as they thought it was similar to The Paleolithic Era.

And you can watch their animations here. Some of them just copied and pasted the info but as we talked on the topic, they learned a lot.