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.
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.
I’d like to share a quick activity that I’m planning to do with my students tomorrow.
1. Tell students to think about the characters in the book/story/novel you’re working on
2. Ask them to prepare a list of characters traits and then ask their friends if the adjectives they chose for these characters are correct or they are the opposites.
For example: (from Animal Farm)
Variation: Prepare cards with characters’ names and an adjective to describe them. Ask students to choose a card at a time and decide if the adjective is correct or it must be the opposite to describe the character.
One of the stories I love revisiting is Eveline from Dubliners. This year with my year 12 students we read it again. I’d like to share the follow-up activities we did. I grouped the students and assigned them with one task. They chose one and created the followings.
1. Adapt Eveline to 21st century and rewrite a short story with the same
characters in your own city.
2. Create a biography about the life of a character from the story.
3. Create a billboard for the story.
4. Create a movie trailer.
5. Write a poem about one of the characters.
Digitalising the story
1. Choosing a web 2.0 tool, summarise the story or analyse the characters or suggest the story to others
2. Direct your own movie or animation.
3. You can create a poster, an animation, a slideshow, a book cover
4. Create a Fakebook account for one of the characters.
Trailer created by Aris. Thank you Aris for the hard work.
Karin created an awesome Fakebook account using class tools.net
Christina’s adaptation to 21st century and Istanbul
More Eveline activities here, here and here
You can also visit our class blog and leave them a comment here 🙂
image from #eltpics via @mkofab
In December, I had the chance to listen to Steven Krashen at YTU ELT symposium. He talked about the importance of reading, how he became a good reader and what narrow reading is. You can read Marisa Constantinides’ fabulous post on Dr Krashen’s talk here.
That was the time I went back to the past and thought how I became a reader. I did the narrow reading. There was a time in my life, I read Enid Blyton novels, then came the French classics and the Russians, I fell in love with Sartre, Camus and their contemporaries, then came the Italian novelists and the South Americans and of course there was a time I only read British novelists. There was a time I read poetry only -Orhan Veli, Melih Cevdet, Zahrad.
I was lucky to have two primary school teachers who led me to the paths of reading so I want to follow their footsteps. I believe teachers can help students become good readers. That’s why I think about fun activities to go with reading lessons.
Here you will find some activities that I use with my classes.
Write questions from the story or novel on slips of papers or post-it-notes and number them from 1-9. (Prepare double or triple questions for each number as students may not answer the questions)
Put in an envelope or a box or stick the papers on a ‘tic-tac-toe’ grid.
Team your students as Xs and Os.
Draw a tic-tac-toe grid on the board and tell them to choose a number. Take the numbered post-it from your tic-tac-toe handout. If they answer the question correctly, cross the number with X or O.
Continue until the questions finish.
2. Who Wants to be a Billionaire?
Play the game with questions from the novel or the story you read in the class.
3. Who said that?
Choose quotes or sentences from the novel
Divide the class into two teams.
Ask students “Who said that?”
4. Snowball fights
Tell students to write questions or quotes from the novel or the story on a piece of paper.
Tell them to make a paper snowball and allow them to play snowball fights for a while.
Tell them to take the closest snowball and answer the questions.
You can guide them to ask their questions according to Bloom’s Taxonomy using http://teachers.ash.org.au/researchskills/dalton.htm#top
Now I’d like you to invite my first ever blog challenge 🙂
Would you like to share some of your favorite reading activities on your blog?
If you don’t blog, I’d be very happy to host your post on this blog.