Posted in Comenius Project, efl, motivation, projects

From the tech age to the ancient days

The view from the school

 

The fifth mobility in our Comenius Project was to Calabria, a beautiful small town in the Southern Italy.

Our main task was to perform the plays our students wrote based on their short stories written from the same story beginning.

We watched the plays on Wednesday, 12th 2012. It was amazing to see how creative each school could go with the same story beginning we all had different plays, stressing the values we had chosen previously.

We also discussed the questionnaire results on how the project helped us and we were not surprised at all to have almost the same results.

Beautiful towns

Of course we worked hard but we also enjoyed the great hospitality and kindness of the Italian people, delicious food, fresh fruits from the trees, the beautiful view of the Tiranian see, walking in the narrow streets of the picturesque little towns like Ajeta, Tortora, Cosenza, Calabria which were great opportunities for all of us to breathe the mystic smell of the history. Walking on the same paths where our ancient ancestors had lived was exciting and seeing we haven’t come further than they already achieved was amazing. The civilization existed in the ancient times. We, human beings, haven’t changed a lot since then. Same problems, same passions, same dangers still exist. We just managed to build new cities based on what they had built, we designed new tools inspired by what they had created and now in this techie age, we have our computers, our lonely lives and even the games we play in our virtual worlds pay tribute to the ancient days.

Our host school organized the trips in a very careful way that from the second day of our mobility to the last minute we enjoyed every moment we spent together. Visiting Pompei and the beautiful Salerno decorated for Christmas were fascinating.

On the last day of the meeting the students, teamed with their international friends took part in a treasure hunt in the old town of Scale. They discovered both the town and the books and poems read during the project, enjoying working together.

It was hard to say goodbye but we all know that every ending is a new beginning and every beginning is a new adventure.

I am glad we had the chance to meet our Italian friends and I am sure the next mobility in Poland will be as amazing as this one.

Posted in Enoch's Two Letters by Alan Sillitoe, Eveline by James Joyce, lesson ideas, lesson plans, literature, reading, stories, web 2.0, wordle, young learners

Eveline vs Edna, Reading Short Stories in Class

Another short story I love reading with my students is Eveline from Dubliners. I know it is difficult to understand Joyce for a teenager yet when guided, students get something from Dubliners. I have tried Eveline and Araby and they worked well.

I’d like to share what I do with ‘Eveline’.

Describe Ireland, Dublin and Dubliners at the beginning of the 20th century.

Create a glogster

Add links and ask students to research and tell you what they’ve come up with.

Talk about women’s place in society

Talk about daughters’ place in families.

Talk about unemployment. Causes and results.

How can unemployment change a person?

Introduce vocabulary.

Create a wordle of the story.

Put students in groups and ask them to guess the story.

Read the story and discuss your questions.

As a follow up, distribute a handout with the 1st paragraph of the story on.

Tell students to continue the story and adapt it to 21st century. I’m sure their Eveline will be more courageous.

Tell them to digitalise their story.

They can create a slideshow, glogster, comic or an animation.

Here you can see what I had previously wrote about ‘Eveline’

After reading Eveline then Enoch’s Two Letters by Alan Sillitoe, one of the angry young men of literature, I realized we can compare the two women in these two stories, Eveline and Edna. When I choose to read Eveline in class, I usually continue with Enoch’s Two Letters.

After we read the story, I tell my students to compare and contrast Eveline and Edna

  • They can write an essay
  • Create posters (glogster) describing two women, highlighting their differences.
  • They can write a pop song comparing Eveline and Edna.

A handout for Eveline and Enoch’s Two Letters

And I will also be glad if you share your ideas 🙂

Posted in digital storytelling, lesson ideas, links, literature, short stories, stories, The Lamb to The Slaughter, web 2.0

Reading Short Stories ~ Roald Dahl in Class

 

http://www.roalddahl.com/

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 http://www.msad54.org/district/literacyspecialist/pdf/blooms.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 http://www.scoop.it/t/blooms-taxonomy-in-efl-classroom

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.

http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/britlit/landlady

http://mysite.verizon.net/zila84/_llady.pdf

Word games and puzzles http://teachers.henrico.k12.va.us/wilder/williams_d/thelandlady.html

An adaptation on YouTube http://youtu.be/4tcj5P3jjeI

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. http://englishwithgrade12fld.blogspot.com/2011/10/landlady-by-roald-dahl.html

The Way Up To Heaven

http://www.roalddahlfans.com/shortstories/wayu.php

A YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJAPwN9eAqk

A suggestion on how to analyse this story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcNMaD8Vnww

A pre reading task:

http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/5484042/The_way_up_to_heaven_by_Roald_Dahl

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 http://writingfix.com/Short_story_Prompts/Lamb_slaughter1.htm

From Roald Dahl’s fans http://www.roalddahlfans.com/teachers/lamb.php

http://www.brighthubeducation.com/homework-help-literature/123135-study-questions-for-lamb-to-the-slaughter/

http://lk-theroadnottaken.blogspot.com/2010/09/teaching-roald-dahls-lamb-to-slaughter.html

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

 

Posted in efl, gapfillers, literature, PLN, professional development, RLI, Teacher Workshops, teaching, twitter, web.:2:0

Far Far Away From The Madding Crowd

 

farfromthe maddingcrowd1

Dreams can come true. I have just learned it.

It all started with a tweet. It was an ordinary evening with twitter when I saw Berni Wall’s tweet offering a week of teachers’ workshops in Yorkshire. First, I couldn’t believe my eyes. When I DMed her, I understood how serious she was. It was a wonderful offer so I told her that I would love to come. Not until the last week had I known that I would also meet my friend, Alexandra Francisco with whom we started our celebration wiki project. It would also give me a chance to meet my twitter friends in real life.

classes

Last week was fabulous. These workshops gave us a chance to update ourselves, we exchanged ideas and now I’m full with ideas for next year. Even with Alex, we decided which celebrations we are going to do with our classes and the details for our colleagues will soon appear on the wiki.

pond

It is always easy to attend a workshop or a seminar in London or a bigger city in the UK. However, it will always be difficult to do such things far from the big cities. The opportunity was great as it was offering a week far from the madding crowd, away from the hustle busle of the big city, a great chance for me to experience the countryside which had been my dream for many years.

walks

The workshops covered the areas that are vital in EFL but I must admit I loved the literature bit more. Berni had told us that we would talk about Bronte sisters as we would have a chance to visit Haworth and from Monday to Saturday every evening after the dinner, we sat and watched the DVDs of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Tennant of Wildfell Hall. On Wednesday we visited the Bronte Parsonage and then we set off for our Bronte pilgrimage (as we all called it) in the moors. I wish we all had had the chance of these walks while studying at university.

pilgrimage1

There are so many things that I can still add here but words will not be enough to describe what we had experienced together in the room 5 teachers (Berni, Alex, Blanca, Culya and me)of English who came from different parts of the worlds.

A big Thank You to Berni who made this possible for all of us. I know that she wants to continue this as she was already trying to plan the next one when we were about to leave.

farfromthe maddingcrowd3

Final thoughts:

Well, all these were only a dream for me last year these times and now the people who I met via twitter are my colleagues from my borderless staffroom.

Im happy that I met Berni, Alex and Blanca.

Still thinking about joining twitter?

You can read more about our adventure of expanding our knowledge, sitting around a table chatting about similar problems.

You will find Alex’s story here, Berni’s here and Culya’s here