Last week, with a group of twelve-year olds we had great fun reading a short story. It was our first meeting so I started with a getting to know activity which came from freshly Leo Selivan’s latests blog post. Kids loved drawing stick figures and introducing themselves in third person.
Then we read the story and enjoyed ourselves a lot. On this blog post, I want to share some of the activities we did during the workshops.
1.I gave them word posters and asked them to work in groups. We checked the vocabulary together and then in groups they wrote a mini saga choosing 5 words from the word cloud.
2. We wrote a rap together about the characters and their meeting with the fantastic characters. Then we sang it all together.
3. When the characters met new fantasy characters, I put them in teams and asked them to write their songs together.
4. I also cut some of the illustrations from the book and gave each pair a different picture and asked them to write “a six word story” for each picture.
5. After reading the story, they created a fantasy character and the land of the character drawing the character and the land.
6. Finally, as they told me they loved the stick figure activity very much, I asked them to work in pairs and gave each pair a character. They wrote their memes on a padlet wall.
In the end for feedback I told the kids to write 3 things they loved, 2 things they learned and a feeling. I loved the feedbacks very much but one of them made my day.
I’d like to share a quick activity I’ve done with my students. After reading a short story or a novel in the class or if the students are assigned to read their own choices, you can use this activity.
Ask the students to write Twitter bios for each character, (or the ones they’ve chosen) in stead of writing character descriptions. You can start with your own example. Tell them to highlight the significant characteristic of that character, adding hashtags as well. You may want to create a template for the exercise, the Power Point will help or you can ask your students to create their own templates.
I am working with graded readers, short stories and novels with my classes. I was also preparing my talk for TESOL France and looking for some new ideas to share, I designed the following lesson inspired from Chaz Pugliese’s Gossip activity from the book Being Creative. The activity may not sound similar but while reading it, I just thought this will be a fun activity. I’m planning to do it this week with my 12th graders.
Level: B2 and above
Put students in 3s
As and Bs will speak
Cs will eavesdrop and take notes while As and Bs are talking.
A and B are characters from the novel/short story you’re reading in the class.
Tell them they are going to gossip about another character from the story.
For example: Squealer and Napoleon gossip about Boxer (Animal Farm)
Cs are either a passerby, a student from your class or a 4th character from the story. They will take notes of what they’ve heard and will inform the class after the activity.
Variation: If the students will not be able to improvise, you can put them in 3s and give some time to write the dialogue. Then Cs from each group go to listen to another A and B’s gossip.
Without literature, language classes will be boring. I like ways to bring the novels, short stories, poems into the classroom and make my students think about things happening in them.
I believe we are pretty lucky because we have so many online resources and texts that we can recommend our students to read. To tell the truth, I prefer paper and I love preparing my own handouts but I liked the idea of Curriculet, an online reading platform I came across on Scoop.it.
It allows teachers to create reading classes and help students to understand and analyze the texts by assigning questions. Watching videos, they can listen to useful information that will help them see between the lines. It is free. Sign up and see how tempting it is to use.
More links for literature resources:
One of the stories I love revisiting is Eveline from Dubliners. This year with my year 12 students we read it again. I’d like to share the follow-up activities we did. I grouped the students and assigned them with one task. They chose one and created the followings.
1. Adapt Eveline to 21st century and rewrite a short story with the same
characters in your own city.
2. Create a biography about the life of a character from the story.
3. Create a billboard for the story.
4. Create a movie trailer.
5. Write a poem about one of the characters.
Digitalising the story
1. Choosing a web 2.0 tool, summarise the story or analyse the characters or suggest the story to others
2. Direct your own movie or animation.
3. You can create a poster, an animation, a slideshow, a book cover
4. Create a Fakebook account for one of the characters.
Trailer created by Aris. Thank you Aris for the hard work.
Karin created an awesome Fakebook account using class tools.net
Christina’s adaptation to 21st century and Istanbul
More Eveline activities here, here and here
You can also visit our class blog and leave them a comment here 🙂