A Drill-like Narrative Writing Activity


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.




#37th ELT Blog Carnival


Welcome to the 37th ELT Blog Carnival. Many thanks for the colleagues who shared their lessons here and Many thanks to my PLN who spread the news of the carnival when I tweeted or FBed about it. OK, Folks… Let’s begin … Do you hear the merry sounds, songs, giggles of a happy moment from a celebration. Life without these days will be ‘like everyday‘. Right …. Here I go …. Let’s celebrate all together.

I’ll start from the first entry I received …


1. Vicky Loras sent and amazing entry for the International Book Day. Vicky, as a book enthusiast, describes ways how to make this day memorable and promote reading at the same time.

2. Then we have 2 wonderful ideas from Movie Segments for Warm-ups and Follow-Ups by Claudio Azavedo, You have a look for “Four Christmases How Grinch Stole”  and “New Year’s Eve When Harry Met Sally”

3. Teacher Marija is present at this blog carnival with a Christmas Test that you can print and use in the class.

4. A Christmas classic that most of us use in our reading classes during the holiday season is The Gift of magi by O’Henry. You will like the lesson Ceri Jones  wrote and shared on her blog.

5. When I posted about the carnival on celebrations I did hope to find more resources on various celebrations. Larry Ferlazzo’s famous “best” list is for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa can be bookmarked for numerous visits.

6. Carissa Peck contributes to the blog carnival with lessons for all seasons. Clicking on the links you can find great ideas to use with your own classes.

7. Claudie teaches people from all over the world – many different countries, different religions and she describes how she uses December in her classes in her post.

8. EFL Classroom 2.0 has loads of holiday related materials. David Deubelbeiss presents 50 Holiday Activities for Teaching English.I’m sure we can find something that will appeal our students.

9. My contribution to the carnival is a post I wrote last year just after Christmas and New Year and I hope this time I’m not too late to share it.

10. I really don’t want to finish the list with an odd number so I’ll add a project I and a very creative and enthusiastic teacher, Alexandra Fransisco started back in 2009 and continued for two year. With Celebr8u&medigitally, I had the chance to meet the students’ of my PLN. The wiki is full of web 2.0 projects for many celebrations.

I hope 2014 will be a happy and prosperous year and there will be peace and calm everywhere. Enjoy the holiday season.

You can always revisit the previous carnivals to get inspiration for your lessons from The ELT Blog Carnival home page  

nutella cookies
Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season 🙂



Happy Drilling in EFL Classroom



Drills are the most important exercises at the 1st phase of learning a new structure. They may be neglected thinking that they are mechanical and meaningless but they may be very effective for some learners. They are repetitive so they can make the form memorable. Making a drill type of exercise a little bit meaningful and adding a pinch of creativity to it can be challenging but it is worth it. I want to list some ideas here and I’ll divide them into two categories. Tools and the Activities …



1. Ask students to take photos of people or pets at home,in the street or give them your own photos or tell them to draw.

2. Give them an A4 size paper and show them how to fold it as a tiny book , or show them how to fold as 6 equal rectangles, or see more foldables here 

3. Introduce them some desktop tools to work with or some web 2.0 tools like bookr, bubblr, imagechef, animo to, glogster, 

4. Buy colourful post-it notes with different shapes.


1. Tell them to write what they were doing/ had done / did when,after before the photo was taken ( I was —ing when my mother took this photo) / I had eaten my sandwich before this my mum took the photo.

2. Give the skeleton and ask them to write a poem. You can see another example here.

Ready for a Fun EFL Blog Carnival?










Once again you are kindly invited to the next ELL, ESL, ELT carnival on this blog. The theme of the 36th carnival will be All about Holidays. It will be published on the 1st week of December.

You can share a lesson on holidays and celebrations, not just Christmas or New Year that are waiting for us. We will be rich if you can also share lesson ideas from your culture or other cultures that.

Let’s make a jolly, energetic holiday carnival that we will visit all year long.

If you want to participate, you can use the easy submission form and send me your blog list or you can contact me from here or twitter (I’m @evab2001) if the form doesn’t work.

If you don’t blog, you can still participate. I’ll be glad to host your song lesson posts on my blog.

And don’t forget to visit the 35th Blog Carnival hosted by dear Vicky Hollet.

You can read all the previous entries from here.


MapCrunch for the Class


Today’s learners are way too visual than us. That’s why we tend to decorate our classes with posters, notes, post-it notes, charts, etc. They are so used to seeing everything by googling that if you try to describe it using words they understand nothing.

I came across with MapCrunch today and I thought it can be very useful with our visual but less verbal students in our tech savvy classes. MapCrunch virtually takes you to a random place in the world. You can find imagery captured by Google in 40 countries.

How to use?

Just click the “GO” button to be taken to a random place in the world. You can choose whether you want to see an urban image or an image of a place. You can click on  the tour button and have a very quick 360 degrees tour around the place.

If you only want to see certain countries, select them on the right hand panel or click the “myMap” option on the top-right of side panel and type the city you want to see particularly and click on “GO” Click on the arrows to tour around the image.

How can you use mapcrunch in the class?

  1. If you are reading a text about a certain place or a story which takes place in one of these 40 countries then show the city to your students just to make them to visualize. We did it for Wales and they loved the idea.
  2. To describe places
  3. To write descriptive essays.
  4. To practise prepositions or modals of deduction.
  5. To compare the place you live to the area on the image.
  6. To write a compare and contrast essay on two different places. The place where you live and the image on the whiteboard.
  7. You can ask your students to write a story which takes place in the area.
  8. To give directions.