Posted in fun, fun activities, future tense, games, ice-breakers, ideas, lesson idea, lesson ideas, lessons for teachers, narrative tenses, narratives, past continuous, past simple, past tenses, poems, realative clauses, revision

Revisiting Grammar

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May is round the corner. This means another school is about to end. Here you can find some revision games and activities that you’d like to use.

When I’m 65 (to revise tenses, time clauses)

Team your students

Prepare small cards, on small cards write random numbers such as 18, 22, 56, 38, etc.

Put the cards upside down on the desk

Tell students, take one card and make a sentence.

  • When I’m 65, I’ll probably have grandchildren.
  • When I was 18, I was a student at university.

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I had a great holiday there (to revise tenses)

Put some postcards or photos of places on the walls and tell students to walk around and imagine they were on holiday. They have to concentrate on one picture and then go back to their seats and write a paragraph, how they spent their holiday there. Then they can read and their friends try to guess which picture he has chosen.

I’m poem (to revise participles, relative clauses)

Ask them who they are. They will probably laugh and tell their names but tell them what roles do they have as a person in different places. Tell them that you’re their teacher, a mother, a wife, a friend, a colleague and although you are the same person but for your different roles, you have different responsibilities, feelings, emotions. Ask them if they are the same person as a sister, cousin, grandchild etc. Then give them the skeleton and ask them to write a poem describing who they are for different people and how they feel and react.

  • I’m the girl who loves reading books
  • I’m the sister watching you grow up
Posted in character analysis, creative tasks, follow up, fun, novels, reading, short stories, Twitter bios

Twitter Bios for Book Characters

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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.

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Posted in creative tasks, efl, elt, esl, fun, lesson ideas, photography, projects

Using Photos in Language Classes, Part 1

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“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” Dorothea Lange

Visuals are useful and powerful tools to enhance the use of language, combining the images and the concepts they refer in the minds of the learners. Photos, as all visual images, also encourage the learners to predict and guess the story of the photo they are looking at. It is easy to bring the real world into the classroom and talk and discuss about it.

Today’s children love taking photos. They love taking “selfies” but they also take photos of everyday objects, food, the place they live, the place they visit and they don’t need a camera for taking photos anymore. They don’t even need to go somewhere to develop them to bring into the classroom. There is even no need for a printer, a computer as long as they have a smart phone, Internet connection and Google Tools to share it with you and their class mates. Moreover, as they are addicted to use the phone and can’t live a minute apart from them, why shouldn’t we take advantage of this and challenge them?

I think we can ask them to take their own photos or we can bring the ones that we have taken or chosen from other people’s sets. I’d suggest #ELTpics for projects with photos if you don’t want to use your own photos or the student photos.

In the early years the photos can be used to

Teach, revise vocabulary

Drill the target language

Describe the photo

Role play

Gamify

However in the advanced levels photos encourage students to write and tell stories, to discuss certain issues, and do a lot more things.

So I’m planning to write a few posts on using photos in the language classrooms. I will list some activities that can be used with any level.

Caption Writing Project

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  • Tell students to take photos on their way home or at the weekend, etc.
  • You can guide them to take photos of food, supermarkets, street markets, people commuting in the morning, etc.
  • Start a Google Slide and share with your class.
  • Tell students to upload their photos to the slide.
  • Depending on the size of the class, divide students in teams and give each team a set of photos (depending on the number of photos uploaded)
  • Tell each team to write captions for the photos they have for their teams.
  • Choose the best photo, best caption, the most creative caption, etc. (optional)

Follow up:

  • You can print them out and create a class display.
  • You can download the Slide as pdf and upload the file to “youblisher” and create an ebook that can be shared or embedded to your class blog or school website. This very easy activity can be turned into a class project as well.
  • If you decide to continue the project all year long, you may then decide to print the sets and turn them into a printed “class catalogue”.

 To be continued …

 

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Posted in creative follow-up tasks, creative tasks, efl, fun, novels, post reading, reading, short stories

Opposites, an activity for while or post reading

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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)

             Benjamin Cynical

              Boxer      Lazy

              Molly      Caring

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.

Posted in creativity, drama, efl, elt, fun, ideas, improvisation, reading, reading short stories

A Fun Activity for the Story You’re Reading in the Class

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I am working with graded readers, short stories and novels with my classes. I was also preparing my talk for TESOL France and looking for some new ideas to share, I designed the following lesson inspired from Chaz Pugliese’s Gossip activity from the book Being Creative. The activity may not sound similar but while reading it, I just thought this will be a fun activity. I’m planning to do it this week with my 12th graders.

Level: B2 and above

Put students in 3s

As and Bs will speak

Cs will eavesdrop and take notes while As and Bs are talking.

A and B are characters from the novel/short story you’re reading in the class. 

Tell them they are going to gossip about another character from the story. 

For example: Squealer and Napoleon gossip about Boxer (Animal Farm)

Cs are either a passerby, a student from your class or a 4th character from the story. They will take notes of what they’ve heard and will inform the class after the activity.

Variation: If the students will not be able to improvise, you can put them in 3s and give some time to write the dialogue. Then Cs from each group go to listen to another A and B’s gossip.