Blog Archives

Clowning on the first class day!

Yesterday I started a course called: “Clown como estrategia didáctica” (clown as a didactic strategy). I had a lot of fun, and  felt like a child again enjoying the freedom of just playing around and not thinking or worrying about anything else. We should never loose that innocence, and if we have already lost it, recover it by all means. I can assure you it is worth the effort.

While I was there, I revisited two old activities, I haven’t used for a long time, that are perfect for getting to know each other. It was wonderful, having looked at them from a new perspective. There I was the student, and not the teacher, and could have fun without paying attention to anything else (timing, students who were not connected with what was going on in the class, minding students didn’t get hurt, or run wildly out of control). I was free to relax and enjoy myself.

little Gabriel clown by L O O K
little Gabriel clown, a photo by L O O K on Flickr.

However, at one point we have to come back to reality and face the truth: I’m still a grown-up adult and a teacher of kids, teenagers and adults. I remembered about Eva’s carnival  and decided to share these two activities that are very useful for the  first week of classes:

A Chain of Hands: At first, the teacher asked us to start walking around the room. Then, she told us to make eye contact with the people we encountered, while we kept on walking. After that, when we encountered a person we were supposed to give him/her a highfive and say a word or make a sound (whatever came to our mind at that moment). The following step was to hold hands and introduce ourselves (Hi, I’m Sabrina). And finally the best part, we had to hold a person’s hand and introduce ourselves, but we couldn’t stop holding hands till we found another person to hold hands with. It was very funny, because sometimes you found yourself holding hands with two people at the same time, as your previous partner had not yet found a person to hold hands with. We ended up with some strange hand chains. I’m not sure whether I’ve been clear enough, you know you can always ask for more details in the comments section.

You are what you do!: This is a super simple activity but it always spreads a roar of laughter. The participants have to make a circle, and one of them introduces himself and makes a movement, or uses a strange tone of voice, or both at the same time. The rest of them, have to observe him closely and repeat everything he’s said and done. They have to mirror his introduction. I just love this activity, and students really become creative once they understand what they are supposed to do.

That’s all for now falks! Hope I have inspired you for your beginning of classes. If you want to find another idea, have a look at this post. As here in Argentina we are starting the second semester,  and therefore, I cannot try these activities in my classes, I’m looking forward to hearing about your experience. =)

Baam Game

A long time ago, I’ve seen this game in Ddeubel’s ning: ESL Classroom 2.0 and I’ve totally forgotten about it for a very looooong time. Yesterday, I was trying to find a fun activity to do with my secondary school students about a play we are seeing on Tuesday and this game came back to my mind. The idea is very simple, but I think it is a game that really motivates students to take part. This is mainly because winning the game isn’t related to the students’ competence in the language, but with LUCK!

The game’s rules:

1.   Decide which team goes first.

2.   Appoint a scorekeeper.

3.   Teams answer correctly and earn money. If a team is correct, they can continue until max. 3 times or until they get BAAM!

4.   If a team hits BAAM! they go bankrupt!

5.   The team with the most money at the end is the winner.
In ddeubel’s ning you will find the templates to make your own games. However, here I’m adding my own two versions of the game.One is about countries and nationalities  and the second one is a revision of  “jobs” vocabulary.
Hope you find them useful! If you use the template to create your own game,  DO share it with us.

Playing With Current News

Are you bored of dicussing current news with your students always in the same way? Finding a piece of news in a newspaper, True or False, questions, vocabulary work and personal reactions to the text seem to be the only way available. However, there is more to it than just that. Having a look at Larry Ferlazzo’s blog I have found another online jewel for teaching English. It is a game called Play the News, with which you will be able to have some fun with your students while working on the well-known “current affairs topic”.

Play the News is an interactive game based on current news. You are given some background information and you can watch some videos in order to get informed for the game. Then, you are asked to choose a role to voice your opinion on the subject. Finally, you are given the possibility of predicting what is going to happen in the real world. To be able to play you have to register for free.

I believe it will become a great tool in most of my Business Classes and in some General English classes too. What do you think about it? What are the possibilities that this game has to offer? As always, please if you use it, share your experience with us.