Today’s learners are way too visual than us. That’s why we tend to decorate our classes with posters, notes, post-it notes, charts, etc. They are so used to seeing everything by googling that if you try to describe it using words they understand nothing.
I came across with MapCrunch today and I thought it can be very useful with our visual but less verbal students in our tech savvy classes. MapCrunch virtually takes you to a random place in the world. You can find imagery captured by Google in 40 countries.
How to use?
Just click the “GO” button to be taken to a random place in the world. You can choose whether you want to see an urban image or an image of a place. You can click on the tour button and have a very quick 360 degrees tour around the place.
If you only want to see certain countries, select them on the right hand panel or click the “myMap” option on the top-right of side panel and type the city you want to see particularly and click on “GO” Click on the arrows to tour around the image.
How can you use mapcrunch in the class?
If you are reading a text about a certain place or a story which takes place in one of these 40 countries then show the city to your students just to make them to visualize. We did it for Wales and they loved the idea.
To describe places
To write descriptive essays.
To practise prepositions or modals of deduction.
To compare the place you live to the area on the image.
To write a compare and contrast essay on two different places. The place where you live and the image on the whiteboard.
You can ask your students to write a story which takes place in the area.
Welcome to the 33rd ELT carnival. The theme is Using Music and Songs in EFL Classes and today I’m happy to introduce a wonderful album to you. If you are ready grab a cup of coffee (hot or cold), put the record on and enjoy …
Wikipedia defines Information graphics or infographics as graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. They are great for today’s visual learners.
How can infographics be used in language classes?
Both teachers and students can create it
To introduce the writer of a novel or a story.
To talk about the era in which the story takes place.
To talk about the story or the novel highlighting the important events.
To talk about a character’s decision in a story or a novel.
To talk about movies.
To present a topic.
To preteach or teach a new subject.
To revise words, prefixes or suffixes.
To teach passives. (processing) first cows are milked. Then they are sent to …
I think we can make the list longer according to our needs. Before you start creating the infographic
Choose your template
Choose the relevant information to use in the infographic
I’ve just come across with easel.ly a site where you can create an infographic. It is quite easy to use the tool. All you have to do is to sign up, chose vhemes (visual themes), drag and drop a vheme onto your canvas and then create your infographic using the available tools on the site. Once you save the infographic, you can embed it on a blog or download it on your computer.
I combined some of the activities from here and added some follow-up writing activities.
1.First I asked my students who we thank in our lives. I wrote some phrases on the board to help them to express themselves. I gave them post-it notes and I divided them into groups I told them they have to thank the friends in their groups. I elicited the sentence and wrote some examples on the board “Thank you X for being very helpful” I also told them that they have to say a different THANK YOU to each of their friends. I put all the thank you post-it notes on the walls.
2. Then I asked them to list what the following words and phrases bring into their mind.
being late for work
3. I told my students to guess what the song we were going to listen be about using the words and phrases from exercise 1 and 2 write what the song we are going to listen will be about.
Then we listened to Dido’s Thank You and filled in the gaps on their handouts.
I also assigned them with a few follow-ups.
4. Understanding the song:
What kind of a day did she experience?
Why isn’t she unhappy?
How would she have felt in the song, if she didn’t have someone supportive in her life?
Change the song into a thank you letter. You may want to begin as below
You are sleeping now and I’m watching you. I know we couldn’t speak tonight as I was very tired but I want to thank you because —–
BTW I got really interesting letters written to their mothers 🙂
This song can also be used for revising narrative tenses or writing a narrative. After listening to the song you can ask your students to write ‘an unlucky day in the life of ——-‘ or you can tell your students to write a story of a day based on the song.