Blog Archives

Quizzing!!!!

As you all may know by now, with my 5º grade students we are doing a project on animals. We are currently working on animal adaptations and after playing a quiz on the topic in class I have asked them to prepare their own quizzes. The results were great. You can see their creations here.They were fascinated to see the final results. If you would like to do something similar with your students, I can share with you the tutorial I’ve left them in our class blog:

1) Enter the page and write your quiz title (Try to be original!) and click on Create my Quiz

2) Click on Continue

3) Login by entering a USERNAME and PASSWORD

4) Click on Multiple Choice

5) Write in the Tag box: Animals

6) Enter the question, the different options and click next to the correct option. It should look like this:

8 ) Click on Multiple Choice again until you finish writing all your questions.

9) Select the category K12 education

10) Click on Create Quiz and that’s it! Your quizz is created!

Hope you’ve found it useful! If you had, why not sharing other ways of using this quizz creator?

Easy ways to make your photos talk!

Preparing a project with my 5º grade students about animals, I’ve remembered that there are many ways in which we can make photos talk. I thought that would give a fun twist to my students writing assignment. In groups they would be assigned an animal group (reptiles, mammals, insects, etc) and they would have to choose an animal from that group and talk about their characterisctics in the 1º person form. Of course, they could add some humorous information too. This would become more fun if they could make a photo of that animal speak and post it to their class blog: http://www.saintexupery5.wordpress.com.

I’ve prepared an introduction to the assignment using the programme crazy talk. Here is the description of it you can find in the website ” CrazyTalk is a revolutionary tool for creating sophisticated, zany or dramatic talking characters for unique digital content. Simply import an image and CrazyTalk guides you through the process to bring it to life with wizard-like menus for beginners and in-depth power editors for pros.” It is very good and easy to use and here you can see the result:

However, at school I cannot install new softwares. Therefore, my students cannot use that programme to create their own talking photos. Apart from that, we don’t have microfones. In spite of all the drawbacks, I’ve found a way out. You may already know about it: Blabberize and text-to-speech. Here, you can read the tutorial I’ve written for my students:

Instructions for creating your own talking photo:

1) Choose an animal and look for an image in Google images http://www.google.com.ar/imghp?hl=es&tab=wi

2) Right click the image and save it in the computer (Remember where you have saved it!)

3) Enter this webpage: http://www2.research.att.com/~ttsweb/tts/demo.php

4) Choose the speaker in step 1

5) Insert your text in the white box (step 2)

6) Click on download and right click on the link that appears in blue to save it to your computer. (Remember where you have saved it!)

7) Enter this webpage: http://blabberize.com/

8 ) Click on “MAKE”

9) Click on “Browse” and find your picture file.

10) Select the area of the image you want to use and click on

the blue arrow. 
11) Move the blue and green circles to accomodate them surrounding the mouth and click on the blue arrow.

12) Click on the pink arrow to upload the audio file you have stored in your computer. Click on browse and upload it.

13) When you finish doing this, call your teacher so that she can save it in the class account and upload it to the blog.

I would love to know whether you think it is clear or not and other ways in which we can use blabberise. Here you can see their creations, will be more than grateful if you can leave us a comment with your thoughts about them.

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!

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.

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!

Blogs Worth Taking a Look at…

I am very honoured because Philb81 has tagged me in his wonderful blog Classroom201X as one of his 10 blogs worth taking a look at. This is a new  initiative in the ELT blogosphere at the moment. If someone tags you in their list of 10 recommended teaching blogs, you then prepare your own list of 10 other blogs you would be willing to recommend, paste the logo above into your post and link back to the person/blog that initially tagged you. So here goes my list of 10 blogs to recommend (they are presented in alphabetical order):

  • David Truss Pair-a-dimes: Great reflections on education, technology and learning.
  • ELT notes : I always find a lot of food for thought from Claudia’s reflections.
  • English Raven: It helps me to have a look at TEFL from a different perspective
  • Kalinago English: I have taken lots of ideas from this blog and I have already tried many of her lesson plans. Thanks Karene for all the hard work!
  • L_missbossy’s ELT PLayground: A great blog about TEFL for Young learners
  • Marisa Constantinides- TEFL matters: Reflections on TEFL from a teacher trainer.
  • Movie Segemnts to Assess Grammar Goals: It contains a series of movie segments and activities to assess or practice grammar points through fun, challenging exercises. Thanks for sharing Claudio!
  • Succesful Teaching: A blog where you can get some strategies and ideas in order to have a succesful teaching experience. Thanks Pat for all the inspiration.
  • TEFLclips: A site dedicated to the possibilities for YouTube and other video sharing sites in the classroom. I love using videos in my classes and this site has helped me a lot. Thanks a lot Jamie.
  • Tu remanso: A blog in Spanish worth having a look at for some good reflections on education. Thanks Cinthia for sharing your reflections.

Hope you’ve found some new blogs WORTH TAKING A LOOK AT…

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: “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.

Glogster- Poster Yourself

I have just learned about Glogster thanks to a tweet by @jenverschoor (thanks a lot Jen!). With this application you can create an online poster. You can mix graphics, photos, videos, music and text into slick Glogs.

The great thing is that now there is an edu-glosgter page. You are allowed to create up to 200 students accounts for free. If you are wondering why bothering to use Glogster, in their webpage they provide you with some reasons:

  1. A fun, imaginative, and powerful learning experience which fosters independent creative self expression, positive learner-teacher relationships, and teamwork on collaborative class projects.
  2. A vibrant, multi-sensory learning experience which integrates learner’s knowledge and skills into traditionally text-oriented subjects and motivates learner’s desire to explore topics in which they may previously have been less interested.

I think it is worth giving it a try. If you do, please share with us your experience. Maybe, we can also share ideas on how we can use it in our classes. Looking forward to your comments.

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.