Three Chairs, A Drama Activity for Language Classes


I’ll share a quick drama activity I learned from our drama club while performing at an event at school.

  • Put 3 chairs in front of the board.
  • Put labels on the chairs as “sad-1”, “happy-2″,”angry-3”
  • Write some situations on slips of papers and put them in a box. (You are waiting at the bus stop and the bus is late / You are going to take an important exam /You are travelling to …
  • Let students choose a slip of paper
  • Give them a few minutes to prepare a very short story based on the situation they have on their papers.

Begin with the volunteers. Explain the rules.

Tell students that you will shout a number from 1 to 3 and she/he will sit on that chair and start telling the story according to the emotion written on the chair. While the student is telling the story change the numbers randomly.

This activity will be suitable for intermediate and above but I think it can also be tried with beginners as a reading aloud activity. The teacher can give a text to practise reading aloud and then asks the students to read the text sadly, angrily, cheerfully, etc


Ready, Steady, Cook


Materials: Prepare small ingredient cards. (One ingredient on card/with pictures if you want or you can either bring food to the classroom)

1 computer for 2 students 😉 or you may supply them with some magazines even in L1

Level: Upper-int and above


Watch a part from Ready Steady Cook. Tell them to jot down any cooking vocabulary they hear. After watching the segment talk about the programme. What do the participants do?


Brainstorm cooking vocabulary and utensils. Give them an exercise.

Brainstorm basic ingredients that they think they usually find in their own kitchen. Tell them the words on the board will be the ingredients of their kitchen cabinet.


Put them in pairs

Tell them to choose 4 ingredients from your box. ( The cards or the food)

Tell them they will search the web/ magazines and find a suitable recipe for a 2 course meal with the ingredients from their kitchen cabinet and they’ve chosen.

When they come up with their recipes, they have to present it to their friends.


Follow up:

1. As a class they can choose some best recipes from the presentations and create a mini cookery book.They can create a page explaining cooking techniques, utensils and basic ingredients.

2. They can create a class cookery slide show using photopeach.

3. Each team can create a glogter with pictures and their own videos explaining how to cook.

4. They can create a powerpoint presentation and record their voice explaining their recipes.

5. You can create a voicethread for the class and each team can record one of their recipes.

Describe My Holiday

It’s not my habit to write about my personal life on this blog. However, this is an exception. This year we decided to spend our holiday on Bozcaada (Tenedos), which was on our “places to see” list for more than a decade. Our friends who had been there told us that there was not much to do on this beautiful island except for its clean sea, wonderful and peaceful coasts, delicious fish restaurants, delicately decorated street cafes, wineries and delicious wines.

We only had a few days for a holiday this year so we set off for a dream destination. Kids were excited… On our way, we passed motorways, narrow roads, little villages, lakes, beautiful sunflower fields, a strait and olive trees.

I spent 5 magical days and enjoyed every minute of being there. At the time of departure, we left a part of our hearts there. We didn’t say ‘goodbye’.

Well, a teacher is a teacher everywhere and a blogger teacher wants to share what she has experienced, learned so I thought about a first week lesson.

beautiful sunset






Describe My Holiday ( A lesson idea)

Describe My Holiday on PhotoPeach

Create a slideshow with holiday pictures.

Create a handout with questions and a wordle to help the kids to guess your holiday.

Put them in groups and tell them they will write a composition titled “My Magical Holiday” and will describe your holiday.

Follow up:

Tell them to create a scrapbook for their own holiday with their photos.

Tell them to describe their own holidays.

Web 2.0 alternative

Glogster with their holiday photos and a short description of their holiday.

Power point presentation or photopeach


breakfast prepared by Mrs Behice, the friendly owner of the guest house “Pansiyon Bozcaada”








Passive Voice, two activities using web

Pub Quiz on the Net

Target Language: Passive Voice, Simple Past Tense

Level: A1, A2

Materials: ( colourful) pen, paper, internet connection,

Team students according to the size of your class.

Give them categories as inventions, literature, discoveries, music, etc.

Tell them in teams they will search on the web and come up with 10 questions, such as who composed ‘four seasons’?

Tell them in turns they will ask their questions to the opponent team. The answers should be in passive voice. The winner is the team with more correct answers.

Then tell your students to create a poster with their questions and the correct answers. They can use ‘glogster’ for the class blog.

Pub Quiz on Wordle

Target Language: Passive Voice, Simple Past Tense

Level: A1, A2

Materials: pen&paper, internet connection

Wordle: Passive voice

Create a word poster with some inventions, discoveries, books and movie titles, songs, etc.

Team your students

Distribute the word poster

Tell them to search the web and find out who the inventors were.

The group who finds who the writers, directors, inventors, etc first becomes the winner.

Follow up:

Students can create posters for the inventions.

Who is this net generation?

Maybe they will see the bridge or maybe I'll see it 🙂

I’ve been thinking about the change. We are all talking about the digital natives but I think I’ve just met them. The ones I graduated from high school last year, the previous years were just the pioneers and now I have to deal with the real ones.

If we really know them, we can guide them.

But the problem is we are just a handful of digital-immigrant-teachers and parents. The rest thinks these kids are just a bit weird and continue doing the things they are used to doing. They complain about their addiction to games, their early acquaintance to mobile apps. Yet, they are rarely aware that they can’t be taught.

I totally agree with ‘If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our students’ future’ ( John Dewey) and this must be a quote that every teacher would stick somewhere to see all the time and take action to update herself. And this very quote will be relevant in the future as well.

Marc Prensky calls these new students as ‘digital natives’ and points out that ‘Today’s students think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors’(Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants; pg 1) He also reminds us that these kids were born into a digital world and have grown using them.

I think I coped with this very well till last year but now I am face to face with the 2nd or the 3rd generation of these new kids.

I’d like to share how my students have changed. I also hope to understand them better and change my attitude towards them.

  1. They get bored easily.  They think everything is useless. There is no need to learn all the stuff as they are a one-click away to reach.
  2. We think they are multi-taskers but actually the only multi-task they are used to doing is texting while watching TV or travelling on the bus.
  3. They love socializing but they do it virtually. Even the youngest kids have twitter, facebook, foursquare, youtube accounts to broadcast their lives. They don’t usually sit and chat with their parents, siblings at home.
  4. They don’t get instructions. I tried many times in many ways, in many languages but always the majority of the class comes up with something totally different than I instructed. (and actually this post is being written because of this, I received two-assignment mails last night but they produced something I didn’t instruct)

So is this the end of battle?

Although I totally agree with the proverb Eric Roth reminded me the previous day ‘you can lead the horse to water, but you can’t force him to drink’ As I know deep down they are worried about their future and know that learning English will help them open new doors, I will try to follow the advice my PLN gave.

And here is the strategy:

  1. I will tell, retell and re-retell how to learn things, how to use web to reach the information, how to filter them.
  2. I will explain how important communication is. Social networking is a must in their lives but they should realise that they will enjoy the chats with their parents, sisters, brothers.
  3. I will try colourful progress charts as Naomi suggested
  4. I will continue giving interesting tasks but will also focus on more traditional ones.
  5. I will give them choice. ‘Choose a topic and and let’s work on it’ will be the instruction ( and I will hope that this will be comprehended)
  6. As Richard suggested I will allow them to work with activities which will ‘take their minds off other things’. ( I tried puzzles, word searches, games and they didn’t work with this group but, I’m sure I can find something else)

If these still don’t work, I will just take a deep breath and wait for the next group in September.

 Here you can find the summary of an #ELTchat Janet Bianchini reminded me yesterday

 References :

 Prensky. M. (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part II,  from On the Horizon (MCB University Press, Vol. 9 No. 6, December 2001)

BTW if you are celebrating Easter tomorrow, Happy Easter to you and to your loved ones.

Easter - bolied eggs ready for egg rolling #ELTpics