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Heeeeeeeeeeelp!

We have finally got to Dogme Challenge Nº 10 , and Karenne has invited us to ask questions. I will grab at this opportunity, as I’ve been having this question at the back of my mind since I read about dogme for the first time. So please, my wonderful, supportive and encouraging PLN can you help me in this one?

PLEASE!!!!!

I have been thinking a lot about dogme recently, and it comes natural to me when I have to “teach” writing or speaking, but what about as regards reading and listening? I don’t have any clue as how to go about these skills doegmecly. Could you write some tips about this? What do you do in your classes?

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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.

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.

How to download You Tube videos.

I’m writing this post in answer to Larisa Bezrukova’s comment in the Monsters Inc. post. First, I’m going to tell you how I do it. Maybe it’s not the best way, but I’m used to it. I have downloaded a programme called Real Player. Once you have installed it, whenever you find a video on the net, if  you place the  mouse cursor on it, a button will appear which says “Download video” (“Descargar este video” in my case). You click on it and Voila! you’ve got the video saved in your computer.

If you are not satisfied with that option, here you have a video Jamie Keddie has prepared. It is extremely clear. Have a look at it!

You may also have a look at Nancy Morales explanations. They are in Spanish but they are very easy to understand I believe.

If  you have any other idea, share it in the comments section. Remember that if you don’t have access to video in your classroom, there is also a way of just listening to the videos from you tube. For more information have a look at this post.

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.

The Lazy Way to Planning Lessons with Films ( Part 2)

imagesI have already posted about the advantages of teaching with films in this post. However, all the pages I have found in that occasion were commercial ones. FIRST PAY and then get the lesson plan. Fortunately, yesterday I  read a twit about two wonderful blogs with loads of lesson plans based on films. And what is more: they are free. I love this initiatives of collaborative learning in which we all get a benefit.

Well, let’s go to the point. The two blogs were created by Claudio Azevedo.  He introduces himself in his blog saying “I’m a teacher at Casa Thomas Jefferson, Brasilia, Brazil. I’m a Branch Coordinator and Teacher Trainer as well. I really like movies and seeing them with “different” eyes, trying to see how I can use them in my classroom.” Apart from that, he discusses the advantages of teaching English with films in this post.  What I like the most about his blogs is that he doesn’t only share the lesson plans, but he also gives tips on how to create our own lesson plans.

Well, by this point you must be all willing to know the addresses of his blogs. The first older one is ” Movie segments to assess grammar goals”.  It cointains a series of movie segments and activities to assess or practice grammar points through fun, challenging exercises. The new one, which is only one week old, is “Movie segments for Warm-ups and follow-ups”. The lesson plans found here are to be used to brainstorm, warm up, follow up, and activate schemata, preparing the students for the topic that will be discussed in class.

Well, that’s all for now. I hope you find it as useful as I had and please Claudio, keep up the great job you are doing. If you have a good lesson plan to share don’t hesitate to contact me or Claudio,  and we would be glad to publish it in our blogs.

My First Online Exercise

You might be surprised at this! A great lover of the net has never prepared an online exercise. Well, it is said that there is a first time for everything and here’s my first experience!

Before sharing with you my first creation, I would like to introduce you to the webpage where I have placed my exercise. ESL printables is a great website created by Víctor Gayol an English language teacher in Spain. In his website English language teachers exchange resources: worksheets, lesson plans,  activities, etc. Their collection is growing every day with the help of many teachers. If you want to download you have to send your own contributions. I have found wonderful material there, and of course I have made my own contributions too. I strongly recommend it.

And here goes MY online exercise. The episode of  “Shaun the sheep” called “Still Life” is a great video to use with kids. It is mute, but they can practise farm animals, colours, numbers, parts of the day, sad, happy, angry. Hope you like it. Have a look at it and please leave your comments. All your opinions are  welcomed!

BBC World News Podcast for Children.

imagesHi! It’s been a long time since my last post. I’m sorry but I’ve been quite busy. I’ll try to update more often from now on. At the moment I’m teaching online because schools are close here in Argentina due to the swine flue. For that reason, I will have more time to spend in front of the computer.

Well, let’s go to the important thing.  The bbc has created a great and extremely accurate podcast about breaking news. It is a great tool we can use for practising listening with our kids, teens and why not, with our adult students too. It consists of a 4 minute weekday news bulletin for 7-14 year olds.  The accompanying scripts are available on the BBC World Class website. Hope you find it useful.  See you soon.

Now you can also “Listen to You Tube”!

If you don’t have access to a computer or to a DVD in your classroom and you would love to use you tube videos in your lessons, HERE IS THE SOLUTION FOR YOU! Listen to You Tube is a webpage that allows you to convert YouTube flash video to MP3 audio. This service is fast, free, and requires no signup. All you need is a YouTube URL, and the software will transfer the video to their server, extract the MP3, and give you a link to download the audio file. Very easy and very useful indeed! Enjoy it!