Blog Archives

Dexter’s Routine. Video Lesson Plan

Are you a fan of Dexter series? Is it worth watching? I’ve never seen it. However, I’ve found two videos on You Tube that are just perfect for an activity revising present simple for routines. First, let’s watch the videos, and start racking your brains to see what we can do with them…

The first thing that got to my mind when I watched them was: collaborative viewing. I’m sure you all know this activity, but it’s sometimes good to revisit old activities. I thought that students could work in pairs. One is watching the first video, and the other one is with his back to the screen. The first one has to retell what’s going on in the video, while the other one takes down notes. The objective would be to write Dexter’s morning routine. Then, they exchange roles to watch the second video. This time they would write the girl’s night routine.

This was the first idea that came to my mind. However, I believe there are plenty more things we can do with these two videos, since they are so visual. Why not sharing your ideas? We’d all be very grateful…

 

Drama is tiptoing into my classroom!

I’ve been away for so long! Sorry, but I’ve been very busy with some personal issues and now, trying to come back to the blogosphere! As I’ve told you in my previous post , this year, I’m also devoting some time to literature in my classes. I have even started a project: “Myths, Legends and Folktales from Around the World”, which is going great.

In that project, as you can imagine, we are reading stories from different parts of the world. When the time came for England, what legend do you imagine I’ve shared with them? Yeah, :

King Arthur's Legend of course!

I always try to present the stories in different ways. And by this time of the year, I was already running out of ideas. At that moment, I remembered something I hadn’t tried much in my classes, but I love: DRAMA! This story was perfect for it, because it is full of actions. There was the answer then. Answer and movement were the keys.

I wrote the story in a simplified way and divided my students in 4 groups. You can read my simplified  story version here. I gave each group one part of the story and asked them to perform it to the rest of class. They would just have to concentrate on the actions, as I was going to read the story while they perform. It was a wonderful experience, as students really had to work hard on understanding the story. Furthermore, by moving and doing the actions they internalised lots of verbs and vocabulary. It became memorable to them.

When we finished the activity, they were so excited and eager to keep on working with the story, that I’m planning to ask them to write short dialogues in order to write a mini-play. I’ll soon share with you their productions. What do you think? Are they going to be interested in it? Do you have any other ideas or suggestions on how I can continue working with this story? Looking forward to your comments. I’ve missed you so much!

First Class: All About Them Lesson Plan

Classes have finally started here in Argentina. First classes are always difficult to plan for me, because I believe that the focus should be on getting to know each other in a fun and interesting way. I’m always short of  ideas, and for one reason or another I don’t want to do the same I did the previous year with my new classes. However, this year, I’m very happy with how everything turned out (hopefully next year I will still be as glad as I am today with the results and will be eager to repeat the experience).

I started the classes with a very simple activity; an activity I bet you have done several times: throwing a ball and asking the one who has caught it to tell us their name. This time, however, I gave it a little twist. The person who had the ball was asked to introduce the person sitting next to them. They had to talk about the things they like, don’t like, personality, and whatever came to their mind. This was a great warm up and preparation for the last  activity I was planning to do on that day.

Then, as they didn’t know me. I prepared an anagram with my name and words related to me in some way. I gave them a clue and they had to guess the word. For example, the first word is my favourite sport (SWIMMING). Once they guessed the word, I gave them some details about the topic to make it more fun. For example, in fact, it is not that it is my favourite sport, I hate sports, and that’s the only one I can at least do (LOL). Here, you can see my anagram. CHALLENGE: Would you like to guess in what way the other words relate to me?

ME!!!!!!

Finally, I asked them to create crosswords about them in small groups. The words that would form the crosswords would be their names. They had to create the crosswords and write the references. At the end of the class, we exchanged the crosswords and they had to solve them. It was great fun, student centered, students created content, by them and about them, and I managed to make them write without complaining in the first class. Proud with the results, here you can see some of them (the photos quality is not very good, sorry):

If you want some more ideas for your first week classes, have a look at this post.

Bunny Chow (Traditional South African Dish)

Today, I’m sharing with you a short activity I’m planning to do as part of my world cup project with my 5º grade students. In this activity, students will learn how to prepare Bunny Chows, a very traditional dish from South Africa.

They will have to watch the following video from You Tube and complete the activities you will find below.

1) Write down the missing ingredients.

Ingredients:

1 loaf of b_ _ _ _

Chop O _ _ _ _ _                         20 g

T _ _ _ _ _  Puré                         300 g

S _ _ _

R_ _   Chilli

R _ _  Chilli Powder

G _ _ _ _ _                                 50 g

G _ _ _ _ _                                 50 g

2 ) Complete with the appropriate words:

CUT     BLENDER   FRENCH FRIES    GARNISH    MIX   FRY

First, _____________ the onions.

Put two spoons of Yoghurt and the onions in the _____________

Fry and __________ in a frying pan the ginger, the garlic, the tomato puré, the red chillis and  some salt. Let them cook for some minuter.

___________ the inside part of the bread and place the mixture inside it. ___________ it with some chop onions and chillis. Accompany it with _____________________.

Hope you use it in your classes. Please, share your experience with it  and more ideas on how to exploit the world cup tournament.

Robots Lesson Plan

With my second grade students we are doing a thematic project on toys. As in the last classes we’ve been talking about robots, I’ve decided to prepare a lesson plan on the trailer of the film “Robots”.

I started the class by asking them if they had seen the film. As most of them answered yes, I asked them how many characters there were in the film, if they remembered their names, their colours and what they can do.

After that, we watched the trailer. They were supposed to count how many robots appeared.

After watching it, I asked them: Can the robots talk, sing, walk, take photos, kick, read, cook? Then, we watched it a second time and I stopped the video each time a new robot was introduced. I questioned them:

What colour is it? Is it a boy or a girl? Is it tall or short? Is it fat or thin? Is it beautiful or ugly?

Finally, I gave each of the students a picture of one of the robots. They had to colour it and complete the sentences about it. You can download the worksheet here.

The following class, my students in groups created their own robots. They made a poster in which they draw them and wrote similar sentences about them.

Hope you find it useful and if you use it in your classes share your experience with us.  I would also love to get more ideas on how to work with this topic in my class. Thanks in advance!

Baboons a 2010 Soccer World Cup problem- Lesson Plan

With my 5º grade students at school we are doing a thematic project on the World Cup.  Sean Banville’s web page Breaking News English has inspired me.  I love his site so I’ll take the chance to recommend it to you! He has “EFL / ESL English Lesson Plans & Podcast for studying Current Events and News. There are thousands of FREE 13-page, Ready-to-Print Handouts with Downloads & Quizzes.”

The thing is, that he has written a wonderful lesson plan about the problem of baboons for the 2010 world cup organisers. But, as his lesson plans are aimed at adults and teenagers with an intermediate or above level, I couldn’t use it with my children at school. However, I have adapted the news article and prepared a new lesson plan about the same topic for young learners.

First, I asked my students to search for information about baboons on the net as a homework. I asked them to complete a fact file about them, similar to this one:

SCIENTIFIC NAME:

SIZE:

WEIGHT:

LIFESPAN:

HABITAT:

COUNTRIES WHERE THEY LIVE:

DIET:

GESTATION:

I also asked them to find out why baboons are a problem for the world cup organisers. The next class, we did the reading activities you will find in this file.

Hope you’ve found it useful and do share some more ideas to work on this topic. I will be grateful!

ESL / EFL Lesson Plans Carnival

I am very honured to have taken part in Karenne’s ESL/ EFL Carnival. I think that it was an excellent idea having made it thematic. The contributions had to be lesson plans. Therefor, there is a great collection of wonderful and very creative lesson plans. I suggest that you should go and have a look at them. You will find fresh ideas and new blogs to follow. Do have a look…

Lesson Plan: “Strategies for learning new vocabulary with Avatar film”

Cameron’s film Avatar is in everybody’s mouth at the moment. For that reason, we can take the opportunity and bring it into the classroom, to teach our students in a fun way, how to use   context clues  when reading to infer new vocabulary. This is a useful tool all students need to know for autonomous reading and expansion of vocabulary.

The lesson plan starts with a listening activity based on the film’s trailer, in which students will be able to appreciate the wonderful “natural” world Cameron’s team has created for the occasion.

Then, they will reflect about the strategies we can use when reading a text to infer the meaning of new words from the context. They will apply this to discover the meaning of some words in a text adapted from the New York Times about the Na´vi language (a language created for the aliens in the film to speak).

They will finally listen to an extract in  Na´vi language to reflect upon the strategies we can use for understanding oral material in a foreign language.

I really hope you like this lesson plan and you have a lot of fun with your students. Don’t forget to comment on how it goes.

Lesson Plan: “A reflection on Haiti Crisis”


It’s been a long time since my last post because I’ve been away on holidays. But now I’m back in Buenos Aires and about to start a new-working-year. Trying to find a topic to talk about in my in-company classes, Haiti crisis came to my mind. It is  an issue that is currently everywhere. For that reason, I have prepared a lesson plan to reflect about the gap that exists between developing and third world countries and how this affects their ability to react when a crisis, a natural disaster, etc strikes them. I have based my lesson plan on an article from the New York Times called “Earth Science Meets Social Science” and a video called “Haiti’s Legacy of Environmental Disaster”. Here you will find the lesson plan: Feeling Vulnerable Lesson Plan.

I hope you find it useful and feel free to leave any comments, suggestions, criticisms or whatever you feel like it.

Monsters Inc. (Present Simple and Present Continuous)

As I have already told you in this post I love Claudio’s blog: Movie Segments to Asses Grammar Goals. I have been inspired by him so I will share with you one lesson plan I have prepared to revise the use of  Present Simple and Present Continuous. It is based on this scene from the movie Monsters Inc. You should start watching from minute 4:50 onwards :

And here go the activities:

1) Complete the sentences with the appropriate tense ( Present Simple and Present Continuous)

a)      Every day, Sulley _______________ (drive) to work. However, today they ____________ (walk)

b)      Right now, Mike _______________ (talk) to Sulley’s mum on the phone.

c)      Afterwards, they often ______________ (watch) tv, but today they __________ (also / star) on a tv commercial.

d)      Sulley and Mike _____________ (not exercise) together. Sulley ______ (do) his routine and Mike __________ (guide) him.

e)      Then, Sulley always ______________ (brush) his teeth.

f)        Sulley usually ____________ (get up) at 6:00 but today he ____________ (still/ sleep) at 6:05.

2) Watch the film and put the sentences in the correct order.

3) Write 5 sentences about what the monsters Sulley and Mike encounter on their way to work are doing at the moment.

4) Did you like the scene? Why (not)?

Hope you like it and find it useful. If you have used it, please share your experience with us. If you have more ideas to work with this particular film or with movies in general, don’t hesitate to share your views.

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