Reading Short Stories ~ Roald Dahl in Class

One of my favourite writers for the ‘Reading Class’ is Roald Dahl. I’ve been using his short stories for almost a decade and the students have always loved them.

I just came across with this pdf

But you can also get more ideas for using Bloom’s taxonomy in reading classes which I find very practical when preparing my own handouts for my students

I mostly use the following Roald Dahl stories with my 11th and 12th graders.

The Landlady, a very shocking story and teenagers love it.

Here are some great lessons of the story I found on the net.

Word games and puzzles

An adaptation on YouTube

My suggestion as a follow up:

Pretend you are Billy. You just found out what happened to the two young men and realised you were also poisoned, and locked into a room. Luckily you have still your mobile (as the landlady is a little bit old-fashioned she hadn’t known anything about mobiles and social media). Write a text message to a close friend, update your status on Facebook and send a tweet to the whole world and ask for help. Write your version of the story.

Create a scrapbook based on the setting, events and characters from the story. (You can use a web 2.0 option for this task)

My students’ web 2.0 projects on the story.

The Way Up To Heaven

A YouTube video

A suggestion on how to analyse this story

A pre reading task:

Lamb to Slaughter

Years ago my students adapted the story to stage, wrote the script and performed. Unfortunately in those years, technology was not like this and I was also a bit technophobic so even a simple camera recording isn’t available now.

Here are some links to inspire you to prepare your own

A Short story inspired writing lesson

From Roald Dahl’s fans

A web 2.0 suggestion:

You can watch a clip fro Hitchcock’s ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ then ask the students to redirect the movie. They have can prepare a PowerPoint presentation, a prezi or a glogster and introduce to the class their cast, soundtrack, setting, etc giving their reasons why they chose the actors and the music. They can also create a movie poster.

More ideas for reading classes:

Or if you can read all the stories in a row, maybe you can ask the similarities of these three women.

Fun with Class Readers 1

Fun with Class Readers 2

Fun with Class Readers 3

Reading Challenge

And don’t forget to visit the beautiful official Roald Dahl page


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.

IATEFL Chronicles, Year 2

Sessions I attended

My session was on 22nd of March. It was a part of the Technology and Teens symposium. I was a bit stressed but it all went very well and we all received very positive feedbacks from the participants which made all of us very happy.

It was a great feeling when one finds you inspiring and I am so happy that they were there and supported us.

As I said I was very nervous that day, I missed the plenary and attended Ann Foreman’s workshop, where she wanted us to think about our professional development and asked us to plan an app to save us from chaos. It was a great session, truly inspiring and very creative. You can view Ann’s presentation and handouts here.

During the break we rushed to our room to check if everything was OK and then waited the time to come.

IATEFL 2012, Glasgow - Technology and Teens Symposium

Graham Stanley started the symposium by giving a short introduction about teenagers of today and the technology in their lives.

The first talk was the introduction of the new site Learn English Teens of British Council. Kevan Cummins explained how the website works and what is on it. I’m sure soon it will become a hit as Learn English Kids which we love very much at our school.

I was the second presenter and you can find the details of my talk here.

Then Vicky Saumell briefly explained what digital storytelling is and how she uses it in her classes. The ideas she shared with us were great and I’m so happy that I’ll take great ideas with me for the next week.  Vicky is on twitter and if you follow her, you can learn loads from her. Her handle is @vickysaumell and more info about her talk is here.

The last talk was on mobile phones in class. Karin Tıraşın and Çigdem Ugur shared their experiences using cell-phones in the EFL classroom. They explained how they planned, how it went and what they learned from this experience. It was an amazing talk about a very carefully planned project. More about the session can be read here.

After the session, relieved and relaxed we rushed to Clyde auditorium to enjoy Pecha Kucha night hosted by Jeremy Harmer.

Last talk I attended today was called Tech-achers: get your one-way ticket to tech islands. The presenters were two very young ladies whom I love following and find very inspiring. Işıl Boy and Beyza Yılmaz welcomed the participants with an old song from my childhood, one-way ticket and explained what VLE and PLE are and how a teacher gets support from other teachers.

I enjoyed every minute of my time at IATEFL. I met new friends, old friends and had the chance to know them better and now I’m ready to pack and fly home tomorrow.



Since I rediscovered tabblo, I’ve been playing with it. It is such a great tool and will spice up your lessons or presentations.

” is a great place for creating shareable online stories with your photos and words.”

You can upload or use flickr photos, add text, choose a layout to tell your stories. You can publish your tabblos on your blogs, wikis or send them to friends by email or print them and display on noticeboards and classroom walls. If you don’t want others to see them, just keep them private.

How can tabblos be used in EFL classroom?

1. To preapre the students for a reading text.

2. Great for homework. Ask students to create travel brochures, fashion pages, movie reviews.

3. Write summaries for stories, novels

4. Use tabblos as writing prompts

5. prepare visuals for the new words.

5 Cool Tools to be Bookmarked

 Batlyrics is a fabulous site if you like using songs in your lessons. I learned it via Nik Peachey from his ISTEK talk. Just type a phrase you want to focus and find the songs which have it. Great for revising, practising or presenting grammar with songs.
forvois a pronunciation guide. I learned it via Ann Foreman at her IATEFL workshop.
And another pronunciation site I learned from Ann was phonetics and I immediately shared it with my students who are studying at university and having problems with phonetics.

And another wonderful site from Ann’s session was lingro. Just enter a website adress and make all the words on the text  clickable.