Posted in 1st day activity, 1st week activities, creative tasks, efl, ELL, elt, esl, first day activity, first week activities, first week activity, getting to know you, ideas, lesson idea, lesson ideas, teaching

A first week activity inspired by a novel

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September is here and another school year is on its way. I’m just enjoying the last few lazy days reading and planning ahead. I’m reading “The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George at the moment. I loved the book. Not only for the plot, not only it is set in Paris along the River Seine but also the richness of the creative writing ideas that pop up in front of my eyes while reading it.

The book takes place in Paris and tells the story of a bookshop owner Jean Perdu who calls his bookshop the Literary Apothecary, because he doesn’t just sell books to his customers, he also prescribes them to suit their minor ailments he diagnoses in them.

I just don’t want to forget those brilliant ideas Mr Perdu brought into my mind so I decided to write them.

Here is one as a first week activity. Mr Perdu says “books are like people, and people are like books.” And continues “ I ask myself is he or she the main character in his or her life?” (pg 28) well, I’m not going to reveal more but I’m planning my first day activity as follows.

The activity will be suitable for any level if you plan it that way but I’ll do it with my year 12 students.

Tell students they are a character in a novel.

Tell them to describe themselves, their motives, ambitions, weak points, strengths.

Who else are in their story? What kind of characters are they? A short description for them as the characters of the story…

The blurb of their story, their problem and how they expect the story will end.

I’ll tell them to create a book cover and a few pages of their books to display on classroom walls.

I think this will be a good beginning for a class who will be studying hard for their university exam. This year their main concern is the exam and how they will shape their future so I guess starting the year with these book covers will be fun.

 

Posted in 4 skills, drama, efl, ELL, elt, energizers, esl, ice-breakers, lesson idea, lessons for teachers, narratives, reading, speaking, stories, storytelling, teaching, teenagers

Three Chairs, A Drama Activity for Language Classes

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I’ll share a quick drama activity I learned from our drama club while performing at an event at school.

  • Put 3 chairs in front of the board.
  • Put labels on the chairs as “sad-1”, “happy-2″,”angry-3”
  • Write some situations on slips of papers and put them in a box. (You are waiting at the bus stop and the bus is late / You are going to take an important exam /You are travelling to …
  • Let students choose a slip of paper
  • Give them a few minutes to prepare a very short story based on the situation they have on their papers.

Begin with the volunteers. Explain the rules.

Tell students that you will shout a number from 1 to 3 and she/he will sit on that chair and start telling the story according to the emotion written on the chair. While the student is telling the story change the numbers randomly.

This activity will be suitable for intermediate and above but I think it can also be tried with beginners as a reading aloud activity. The teacher can give a text to practise reading aloud and then asks the students to read the text sadly, angrily, cheerfully, etc

 

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 efl, esl, lesson idea, Valentine's day

A quick Lesson for Valentine’s Day

 

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AGE: ALL

LEVEL: A1, BEGINNER

MATERIALS: HEART SHAPED PAPER CUT-OUTS

Using paper, prepare heart-shaped cut-outs, as shown below.

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Give students the handout. Ask them to complete the categories with the given words, phrases. Or you can prepare your own categories according to your students’ likes.

A piece of cake, a piece of chocolate, a piece of apple pie, a slice of pizza, a big hamburger, a parrot, a tiny kitten, a friendly dog, goldfish, sister, brother, grandmother, friend, cousin, a cup of hot chocolate, a cup of tea, a glass of fruit juice, sea, mountain, lake, river, city, town

Food People Pets Drinks Places
         
         
         
         

Then give them heart-shaped cut-outs and tell them they are going to create their heart-shaped books. On each heart they will write

Love is …

and continue with the phrases from the categories or they can add their own words or phrases. Tell them to illustrate and colour their books.

Posted in class project, creative tasks, fun, lesson idea, literature, redaing tasks, twitter, writing

Twitter as Book Response Task

Sometimes you don’t need to assign your students with certain tasks, just give them a tool and watch what happens.

After discussing the book together, I divided them into groups and told them they are going to write a twitter chat based on the novel. That was it! They were very  eager to start their work and I just said, “you are free, come up with something you will like”

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In the end they said they loved it because they felt they were very creative 🙂