Reading Short Stories


Reading is a must for me. I feel guilty when I can’t find time to read. I feel stressed if I can’t finish a book I have started reading. I know we grew in a world where we had be told that the books a the best friends and things are not the same anymore. Still I need to hold a real book, turn its pages, write notes on the margins, cover the page edges to continue later, tidy the shelves of my bookcases.

It is a bit difficult but I also want my kids to become passionate readers and so do my students.

I love teaching reading!

It is possible to teach so many things with one book. In my following posts I will share some titles that I love using in class and I will also be very happy if you share your thoughts.

Sometimes it is difficult to read novels in the class. Yet we usually choose at least two readers according to students’ levels to read and talk in the class but we also work with short stories a lot. It is often very challenging to use them. As they are short, they don’t make the students discouraged and if I tell them that the story is not a simplified one they feel motivated.

The following sites are great when I need help and support.

And I will continue with Roald Dahl and what we do in the class.

When I was on Holiday :)

Beach custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more -

Level: Any

Materials: power point, images of holiday places

Target language: Past tenses

Ask students to create a 2-slide powerpoint. On one slide they will upload a photo they have taken from a holiday. On the second slide, they will write a short text describing the picture. They may answer the following questions to write their texts.

▪ where was the photo taken?

▪ Who were you with?

▪ When were you there?

▪ How long did you stay there?

▪ What kind of a place was it?

▪ What were the typical things there (food, music, etc)

▪ Did you enjoy being there?

Then you can combine all the slides and prepare an ‘Our Holiday’ presentation.

Web 2.0 alternatives

  • Upload the pictures on voice thread and ask students to record their voice and describe their photos. Then ask the other students to comment on each photo.
  • Tell your students to create posters using tabblo
  • Create a glogster and upload all the photos students used, record their voices talking about their holidays or if they are ok with video recording, record them while talking about their holidays.



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.

Olympic Games in EFL/ESL Classrooms

During the Olympics I will not be able to do any lessons in the class as we started our summer holiday but there will be friends around the world that they will have classes while the GAMES are happening.

You can find some ideas and printables from the following links


English for games

Create a new Olympic Game or a mascot

The Olympics

More Olympics worksheets and teaching ideas

At the beginning of 2011-2012 I created the a wiki project but never found time to deal with it because of the Comenius project and the trips so if you want you can also become a member to this wiki and start creating projects with your students.

Olympic Games, London 2012


We are about to end another academic year. In some ways it was fruitful and in other ways, I had some disappointments. Some students did very well. Some, however, were happy with their moderate improvement.

Every year I ask students to write feedback twice. One two months later we meet and one at the end of the year. They all wrote great things, saying they are happy with the change and the improvement. I wish I were less demanding.

I believe one of the greatest end of the year activity is to get feedback from the learners on the course, teaching style, what went right, what went wrong, the course book and the other materials, the games, etc.

You can ask your students to start their portfolios at the beginning of the year and present some of their products at the end of the year, explaining why they have chosen to talk about them. I will definitely do this one next year.

On an A4 size paper they will write notes for their friends, telling them how they liked spending time together, why they liked their friendship and all the positive things that comes to their mind about that person. So for each student there must be a sheet of paper. When a student writes his/her note for his/her friend, ask them to fold and pass the paper to the student next to them. When they finish, collect the papers and add your thoughts as well. (Do this if you are sure they have  good rapport/friendship with each other)

Create a class yearbook. Devote your last lessons to create it. Decide the format, the cover, choose some photos and write about the lessons they enjoyed, the trips, enjoyable moments they spent together as a class, the books they read, advice for the new comers, a short or an acrostic poem for each student, etc. If you are happy with result and if they agree to be published, you can do it online using youblisher or any other tool.

Suggest them some apps and sites to practice English.

I’ve just come across with the following apps. I deliberately chose the free ones.

10 Minute English

Some British Council Apps

Listening Master


Some sites to practice English

English Central

ESOL Courses

Lyrics Training



LearnEnglish Kids


You can also create a google document and ask them to write short reviews of the apps or/and the sites they use.