Archive of ‘writing’ category

Stories, Stories, Stories

Using photos in EFL Classroom, part 3

We are all stories, right? We tell a new story, the same story, another story all the time and we do it in the class too.

Today I’m going to mention activities that can be used to create new stories for the theme “Using Photos in EFL Classes”.

You can either ask your students to bring some photos they have taken or you can choose the photos you’ve taken or as usual, go to #ELTpics and tell them to choose the pictures they want to think about and write their stories.

You can tell them to write

watching the sea from a distance

watching the sea from a distance

  • Twitter stories, that is 140 characters only per photo
On a cold sunny day in January, I took the tube to go to Covent Garden, I walked around a little. I heard a singer singing a beautiful song.

On a cold sunny day in January, I took the tube to go to Covent Garden, I walked around a little. I heard a singer singing a beautiful song.

  • A mini saga, which is a short piece of writing containing exactly 50 words, plus a title of up to 15 letters.
Going Home It was summer, a hot day in August. We were on our way home. We had a lovely holiday on an island and now we were heading to the big city, to chaos, to exhaustion, to stress. Suddenly my husband said “forget the city, let’s make that island our home.”

Going Home
It was summer, a hot day in August. We were on our way home. We had a lovely holiday on an island and now we were heading to the big city, to chaos, to exhaustion, to stress. Suddenly my husband said “forget the city, let’s make that island our home.”

You can read the previous posts here Using Photos in EFL Classroom Part 1 and here Using Photos in EFL Classroom Part 2 

 

Getting Ready to Write A Story

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Level: All

Age: All

Target Language : Narrative Tenses, Adjectives to describe emotions, feelings, etc.                               

Give each student a handout with the chart below.

Play the sound effects you chose

Ask the students to fill in the following chart

What do you see?  
What do you hear?  
What do you feel?  
What do you taste?  
What do you smell?  

When your students finish completing their charts, ask them to share with their friends.

Remind them how we can start to write a first paragraph of a story. ( how we set the scene, etc)

Optional: you can ask your students to draw the scene based on their chart.

Then tell students to write an introduction paragraph for a short story or a novel.

You can download free sound effects

http://www.freesoundeffects.com/free-sounds/weather-sounds-10038/

http://www.soundsnap.com/browse

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The Challenging Case of Fast Finishers in a Mixed Ability Class

We all have more motivated, fast thinking students in our classes. Often we feel guilty that they can’t advance more as they wait for their classmates to finish the tasks given. I got the idea of more tasks for fast finishers from Pinterest pins. Some teachers prepared posters for them, some had jars with reviewing activities. I liked the idea of the jar but  as I move from class to class, it’s difficult for me to carry a jar along with my huge pencil case. Therefore I decided to have an envelope and fill in with creative writing ideas. I prepared colorful pieces of paper and index cards with topics to write. Even with younger learners, I started collecting wonderful paragraphs. Now I’m planning to have a fast finishers corner in the classrooms to showcase these good examples and praise their work.

Some of the writing activities on my cards are 

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A Drill-like Narrative Writing Activity

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We were working on narrative tenses and the writing task of the lesson was ‘writing a story’. My class is small and it’s a real mixed-ability class. although it’s small, it sometimes takes very ages for the students to master something. The book we’re using organized the activity very well – first making students to know and use the connectors to make them aware of the sequences in a story. We did the exercise on the book and wrote a paragraph using At First, Then, After that, Eventually, Finally but some of the students had problems writing their own paragraphs so I decided to continue.

photo credit @AClilToClimb #eltpics

I divided the group into two and told them they would write a story using At First, Then, After that, Eventually, Finally.

Each group now had a good students to help the others.

I changed one student from the groups and exchanged them with each other after they finished writing and reading their paragraphs aloud.

I left the good ones in the group, changing one students after writing a paragraph for four times.

In the fifth round, all the good ones were in one group but two groups managed to use the connectors and produced their own sentences.

Then they all went back to their seats and wrote their own paragraphs.

As a follow-up, they wrote another paragraph, creating a book with bookr.

 

 

 

Twitter as Book Response Task

Sometimes you don’t need to assign your students with certain tasks, just give them a tool and watch what happens.

After discussing the book together, I divided them into groups and told them they are going to write a twitter chat based on the novel. That was it! They were very  eager to start their work and I just said, “you are free, come up with something you will like”

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In the end they said they loved it because they felt they were very creative 🙂

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