Blog Archives

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.


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:


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!

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.

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!

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!

Lesson Plan: 9/11

Today is another anniversary of 9/11. When such schocking things take place, we tend to remember them as if it was yesterday. For that reason, you may start the lesson by asking your students “what were you doing on 9/11 2001 (when the twin towers fell)?”
There is a very good explanatory video available in Brain Pop for free during September. You will also find a quiz your students can do after watching the video.

You may also watch the trailer of the movies United 93 or World Trade Center and have a class debate on films based on true events.

Here you have some questions you might want to use during the discussion:
1) Have you seen United 93 or World Trade Union?
2) If not, do you want to see them? Why (not)?
3)If so, what did you think of them? How well do they evoke the horror of the events of that day?
4)Do you think it is right to ake a film about such events?

If you want, you can share your point of view on this issue in the comment section. Feel free to add any other idea to make this lesson plan more appealing for our students.

Lesson Plan: Madonna’s 50th Birthday!

It’s Madonna’s 50th birthday on Saturday 16th August, why not celebrate it in the classroom with this lesson plan (see attached file below) ?

You can start by asking students to guess whose birthday is it on the 16th of August by doing a reading activity based on Madonna’s biography. Then, to revise the past simple form of verbs, students can be asked to complete the song by Madonna “Drowned World (Substitute for Love)” with the verbs in the correct form. Finally, they will listen to the song to check their answers and do some comprehension questions.

Here you’ve got the video of the song. It is great fun for the students to watch it, instead of just listening to the song. Apart from that, it acts as a visual aid to help them understand the song better.

Hope you like it. My students loved it. If you have any other ideas, don’t hesitate to share them with us.


Let’s Celebrate Bono’s Birthday in the Classroom!

Today is Bono’s birthday, so let’s take this opportunity to bring a bit of music into the classroom. I have prepared some activities for the song Bono has dedicated to his father: “Sometimes you can’t Make it on your Own”. You will find activities for teaching vocabulary, listening comprehension and grammar (don’t have to vs. mustn’t). Download the file, play the video from You Tube and that’s it.

A great fun lesson to enjoy with your students. Don’t forget to tell us how it works and if you have any other idea : SHARE IT WITH US

PDF File: You_can\’t_make_it_on_your_own

Lesson Plans Based on You Tube Videos

Talking about films, I would like to share with you a wonderful resource I have just found surfing the net: TEFL Clips. It is an excellent and very useful blog in which you will find a lesson plan per week based on a You Tube video. I believe that You Tube has opened up tons of possibilities for TEFL. We are able to expose our students to real English with material that is fun and attractive. So why not cut down on the amount of time we spend planning and use the lesson plans available here? Share with us your opinion about the site and what you do with You Tube videos in your classes.