Monday, May 31, 2010

Advertising


In order to practice the superlative and the comparative I asked the students to prepare a homemade video. First I distributed the names of the products and now they have 2 weeks to prepare the text and record the images. They are supposed to use 3 comparatives and 3 superlatives during the advertising and the video should have 30 to 45 seconds. Let`s wait for the result....

World cup Anthem




Wavin' flag is the world cup anthem and the students love the song. My ideas was preparing a lesson that I could use the song to teach them sth. First the students just listen to the song, (I've chosen to work with the original version, only in English) then they write down all the words they can hear. After that I give them the lyric and they check how many word they got right. In addition we talk a little bit about the singer and why this song was chosen to be the cup anthem. (they have to give their opinions) Finally we check vocabulary and sing along! PS: you can notice that there are some superlatives and comparatives that you can work with and also a lot of new words, so it is possible to work with monolingual dictionaries. I believe it's too dense for beginners.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Alternative homework


Some students (almost all of them) think doing homework is boring and tiring. However, I believe it is extremely necessary to keep contact with the language during the week! Everybody loves surf on the internet, so why not use the internet as a tool to learn and practice English. For the weekend I asked my students to take a look at this site: http://www.omegle.com/. They can chat with people from all over the world and make new friends while practicing their English! PS: It`s important to tell them (especialy kids and teens) about the risks of those kinds of sites.

Have a nice weekend you all!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

They should pay for their mistakes


It`s important practice personal questions: tell who you are, what you do and where you live. That`s when many of my students have problems when pronouncing the word live (as in it). They usually pronounce live ( as in life). To make they pay attention at their mistake I put a cup in the middle of the table an sad that for each time they sad live ( as in life) they should put 50 cents in it. Of course I didn`t really charge them, I was just joking. However they became much more careful. Try it! PS: it is important to explain the students that both pronunciations exist, but the words have different meanings.

Art and Passive voice


It takes a while for the students to understand passive voice, so the secret is talk about topics in which passive voice comes out naturaly. So, I looked for some pictures of famous paitings and esculptures on the internet, I also got the name of the artist and the date it was made. In order to practice the students were divided in pairs, student A had to ask B questions about the pictures on their worksheets and vice versa. They practiced their speaking and learned a bit more about art!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mime game


Present Continuous is a really nice subject to work!
Today my students loved when I proposed this game: The mime game! One made gestures pretending he/she was doing an activity and the other ones had to guess what he or she was doing. Then they changed roles. It`s nice because you put some movement in your lesson. Try it!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Making deductions


Hey there!
Here`s my idea to talk about deduction practicing the structure must be and can`t be.
I cut some advertising pictures off magazines but it can also be made with internet images.
I showed the pictures the students and they were supposed to guess what was the product advertised. For example: they look at the picture bellow and had to make statements like this: It must be a soap advertisement because the man is in the shower. To elicit more discussion I asked questions like: Can it be a shower ad? They said thing like: It can be! After everyone`s opinion, I told the correct information. You can play with students imagination, it`s great! Enjoy!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The text disappeared


When reading the students tend to pronounce every word separately and read slowly with fluency. In order to make them less dependent of the text I have this activity: after reading and practicing and memorizing a dialog from the book I put some keywords on the board and ask the students to repeat the coversations just following them. They were allowed to use their own word but they could not change the main topic and the sequence of phrases. This way I`m sure they know what they are talking about and the conversation becames much more natural. Try it!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Simple Present (negatives)



Students have trouble in memorizing the order of the sentences. To practice Present Simple negative sentences structures I`ve prepared a "puzzle". I wrote many phrases and cut them in pieces: subject / auxiliary / verb / complement. They had to match the parts and the one who made more sentences won. The only thing I could have done differently was the size of the letters, it was too small. However, the activity was great. I hope you like it, bye!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Guessing game


Today I played the gessing game with my students in order to make them practice everyday objects vocabulary. I put lots of things in a cloth bag (a ruler, a light bulb, a mug, a magazine) and asked them to touch it and guess what there was in it. They took notes and look up the new words in the dictionary. Finally I asked them to tell out loud their guesses and mark one point for each right object. Who had the biggest numbers of points won. They are very competitive and they loved it!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Giving directions video

I'm very happy because I've learned how to download videos from youtube! hehehehehe In one of my many classes today I talked about giving directions so I looked for a video about it. And guess what? I foud it!
video

Speaking activity


Today I want to review last class content just orally before we start the new unit. I have a homemade "dice" and I glue small pieces of paper with diferent sayings on them (I change depending on the content). Today I want to talk about what they have to do, don't have to do or need to do at home. They are supposed to throw the dice and say a true sentence about them according to what is written on the up side. If the dice falls with the have to side up, they say for example: " I have to help my mom to do the dishes every day. " Simple sentences just like that! It's nice to review many thing and even just to start a conversation lesson. Did you like it?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sequencing


Today after a regular reading activity my students were asked to retell the story just looking at pictures. Usually when I ask that, they don't connect the scenes in the pictures and there's no detail. In speaking activities there are problems when organizing ideas and linking sentences. That's why, today, I prepared a list of some linking words they could say and showed some examples of sequencing before they started telling the story. I showed words and expressions like: first of all (...) , but then (...), suddenly (...), however (...), moreover (...), as a result (...). They did great! The sentences in the story were much more complete and full of details. In addition, they were really excited not saying just and... and... and... but... but...

We should always show them exactly what we want for the activity, moreover add something new in ordinary activities.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fashion Show


Last time I taught clothes vocabulary in a teenagers group we had a fashion show. We also practiced present continuous.
The students brought some extra pieces of clothes. We checked the new vocabulary: scarf, hat, gloves, sneakers etc. Then each one chose the clothes to wear and we went outside, to the yard. In pair they had to present a fashion show: one was the model while the other played the presenter and after they exchanged roles.

USA map puzzle


Last January I traveled to US and brought some tools for my English lessons. One of them was an "USA floor puzzle". I thought it would be nice with the kids. I was right, they loved it!
The map is very collorful, big pieces and full of pictures of famous places like the Stone Mountain, Statue of Liberty, bridges, fruit and animals. Everything in its right State or city.
Here is my idea:
First, we moved to another classroom where there was more space and we could make more noise. In addition, it's nice to change the routine sometimes, hehehehe
Then, I told them to solve the puzzle.
After that, they practiced pronunciation by saying the names of some States and cities. It's important because sometimes they've heard about it and pronounce it wrong. (e.g. New York pronouced "niu iórqui ")
I wrote on the board 10 famous sights and they had to find them and write on their notebooks where those places were. ( e.g. The Stone Mountain is in Atlanta.)
Finaly, they look for 5 names of fruit and 5 names of animal and 5 sports checking spelling and pronunciation together.
During the whole class I asked question to remind them about those places appearing movies or the news. They had fun and learned lots of things at the same time.

Australia


In my school my teens study with STAR TEAM (Oxford) Last week, we read a text about Australia in class and as homework I ask the students to look for more information about the country on the internet: famous cities, food, drink, cutoms, etc.
The aim was to make them practice reading in English (on line) and writing while learning about the foreign country.
The papers were really nice. They found lots of information about wildlife and places for tourism.
However, by doing this kind of activity, I'm afraid they sometimes don't use sites in English or don't find enough information...I don't have computers in my classrooms, so I can't apply this activity here at school. Any suggestion to make it differently?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Verb there to be and furniture vocab


Sorry everybody, I had problems with my laptop on Friday and I couldn't post anything this weekend... :(

On Thursday I used pictures again to talk about the verb there is/are and also practice furniture vocabulary. I've found some great pictures in some decoration magazines. They were full of details of all parts of a house. The students had to study the pictures, check new words they would need and describe it. After that they exchanged pictures and asked questions each other. "Is there a rug? Yes, there is." It was very nice and easy! Of course I kept the pictures so I can use them with other groups too!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Last letter game!


When there are 5 minutes left and you have finished everything you prepared try this game: one student say a word ( book ) and the next student must say another word that starts with the last letter ( knife ) and so on. You can play it with adults or kids, beginners or advanced students, big or small groups. It`s fun and they review most of their vocabulary! Enjoy your last 5 minutes!

Free Conversation Class


Today I prepared my lesson about a movie that I haven`t seen yet, but I`ve heard a lot about... ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Actually I`ve had the idea after visiting www.myminischool.blogspot.com.

I started asking my student questions about movies and actors in general and then I handed out the worksheet I had prepared previously. How did I prepare it?

I searched on the internet some information about the movie (characters, crew, plot and movie review). I also added 2 grammar exercises: to find spelling mistakes in one extract from the book and to find the prepositions.(I`ve found the extracts on my mini school blog)

After that I collected some information about Johnny Depp`s personal and professional life, like a biography with a lot of interesting information. He`s one of my favorite actors, so I enjoyed reading about him. Did you know that Nicholas Cage helped him with his first acting job? And that he dropped out school when he was 16?

Anyway, my class was great. My student loves the story because she had read the books and even before we started she said she would like to watch Alice in wonderland...We had a lot of new words to discuss meanings and uses.