If my kids become bloggers

Here is a really cool writing activity you can try with your students.

Today we started with some questions written on cards about reading, watching movies, book characters, new trends on social media, etc. Then we read a paragraph about JK Rowling and Harry Potter, why it was a huge success, why we love it, the similarities between the real world and Hogwarts. Then we talked about YouTubers, BookTubers, bloggers, Vlogs, microblogging, Instagram and some hashtags. Some of the terms were new for them but they managed to define the ones they know very well. I introduced them the hashtag #bookstagram and we checked some accounts on Instagram. We found some accounts who share books and beautiful photos of what they are reading.

We also read the bios, checked the user names and then I told them to write their Instagram bios as a book blogger. After that, I told them to choose a book from the bookshelf to read later on so they spent some time to choose their books. When they were ready, I gave them a handout with an Instagram template on and told them to write about the book they chose, why they chose, etc. Once they finished they passed their paper to the person sitting next to them for writing comments. Once they received their own papers, they replied the comments. Then we took the photos of their books with some cool decorations.

Below you can see the photos we took to be posted on Instagram with the hashtag #bookstagram. They carefully arranged the tables, windowsill, the coffee cup and we enjoyed the whole session a lot and I hope they’ll read the books they chose from the shelves today.

Roll The Dice

You feel tired and have no energy to plan a lesson for tomorrow,
Your students have been too fast to finish the tasks you planned for this lesson,
You see they sulk, they feel bored or tired and can’t understand the lesson,
then why not roll a dice and let the fun begin.
What can you do with a dice?
There are wonderful no-prep activities to liven up your class, to motivate your students to speak or even to write. Here are some activities you may want to use whenever you feel the need:
1. The student rolls the dice and tells things aboult herself according to the number on the dice. If the number is three, for instance, she must say three interesting facts about herself.
2. Write what each number is for (from 1 to 6) on the board. Such as, 1 something you’ve done so far today; 2 something you want to buy this year, etc and the students roll the dice in turns and talk about themselves.
3. Dictate them an opening sentence for a story. Tell them you’ll throw the dice and they have to continue to write the story. The dice will decide the number of sentences they’ll write. If the number on the dice is 4, they will write four sentences. Then dictate them another sentence, tell them they can change the subject but they have to fit the sentence into their story. Then roll the dice again and students continue to write. Roll the dice for the last time and tell students to finish their stories.
4. Ask students to write questions on cards. Put the pile of the cards in the middle of the desk. Roll the dice. The students must answer questions according to the number on the dice in turns.
5. Divide students into 6. Give each team a number from 1-6 and a topic such as travel, school, celebrations and then tell them to write questions on their topics on small slips of papers or cards. When the questions are ready, ask them to roll the dice and answer the questions in turns. If 1 is travel and they’ve rolled 1, then they will choose a question from that pile.
6. Assign a task for each number 1: draw the word, 2: use the word in a sentence, 3: define the word, 4: spell the word, 5: give a synonym, antonym or a derivative of the word, 6: ask a question using the word.

And the list goes on….
Hope these will help.

Speaking For An Audience

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These new kids need more public speaking skills than us. They will work on projects in teams, they will present their projects and they will need to be more confident in front of an audience. Thus, as teachers we can encourage our students to speak in front of an audience by assigning weekly projects. Friday afternoons can be a great time for doing this as on the last day of the week they feel tired and demotivated. You can find a lovely box, or a jar and put the project ideas in and ask them to choose the one for the next week.

Here are some suggestions but we can add more,

  1. Every week students choose a song which tell a story and prepare a 3-minute presentation about the song. They have to mention the band, singer, genre and the story of the song.
  2. Students scan through the week’s newspapers, online news channels and prepare their 3-minute presentation on current affairs.
  3. Students find out about the movies or the plays on and choose one that they’ve watched or want to watch and prepare a presentation.
  4. Students choose a quote that they like. Tell the class who said that and why they have chosen it and what it means.
  5. Students choose a colour and research how that colour effects people.
  6. Students choose two places they want to compare. they can be two cities, two cafes, two bookshops, two clothes shops, etc and prepare a 3-minute talk.

 

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

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