Back to School : Getting to know your students.

So this is it! Back to school.. 🙂 I am pretty excited about it, let's be honest, educators have such a big break 😀 and I do miss teaching. So these are my top ideas/activities on getting back to school, mainly related to new groups, adults and teens.

1. Find someone who (A2 and above/Adults): love this, just because I get them to stand up, mingle, move around and get to know each other.

  • Hand out the sheets (attached below) and demonstrate the first example by asking  the question to a student. Ask students to fill up the information at the same time.

Teacher – Have you got a pet?
Student -Yes
Teacher -Is it a cat or a dog?
Student – Dog
Teacher – What's his/her name?
Student – Klio.

  • Ask students to think for a minute on how to formulate the questions and then elicit. 
  • Then, get them to stand up, mingle around the classroom to write as many names as possible. Also remind them to ask more question to fill up the 'more information' section.
  •  Elicit feedback with students telling you about their findings. Example: Yiannis speaks more than three languages. Persian, Greek, English and Spanish and his favorite language is Persian.
  • Adapt this game by making your own questions depending on the level and age group.

PRESS HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE HANDOUT 

2. True or False.

  • Write five statements about you on the whiteboard and tell students that 4 statements are True while one is False. 
  • Students make their guesses in an open class discussion. 
  • Get students to do the same by writing 4 true statements about themselves and one False. Then, get them to work in two's or three's and play the game.

3. About me (A2 above/works well with teenagers)

  • Write a set of questions on a handout or the whiteboard related to hobbies, interests, music, sports, holidays e.t.c.
  • Give out some empty pieces of papers and ask students to answer each question on a different paper and then folder it. 
  • Collect the paper, add it in a box or a jar and get students to pick and guess who's paper might be. If right then he/she gets a point.
  • Encourage students to ask a question to find more information and get an extra point. 

PRESS HERE FOR THE QUESTIONS I USE.  

A different way of practicing asking personal and getting to know your students is 'The Best Friend's Challenge'. This game however, can only be successful if your students already know each other really well. Here how it goes:

How to play: write the following questions in different cards and cut them down. Place them in a box. Student A draws a questions and tries to guess how Student B would have answered the question. Student A and B write the answer down and show their answers with the count of 3. If the answers match they get a point. 

 
1.   What’s my favourite colour?
2.   What are the place I would like to visit?
3.   What’s my favourite food?
4.   What’s the food I hate the most?
5.   How many minutes do I take to get dressed?
6.   What are the things I carry with me all the time?
7.   What my favourite subject at school?
8.   What my worst subject at school?
9.   What annoys me the most?
10. What’s my favourite sport?
11. What’s the craziest thing I have done?
12. What do I usually have for breakfast?
13. What my favourite song at the moment?
14. Where am I going on holiday this Christmas/Easter?
15. What’s my favourite TV show?
16. What do I do in my free time?
17. What’s my favourite kind of sweet?
18. Which is my favourite type of film? Horror, Comedy, Action etc..
19. If I could meet anyone, who would it be?
20. What would I do if I won the lottery?
21. What's my favourite kind of sandwich?
22. What's my favourite hobby?
23. How do I spend my free time? 
 
After finishing the game we worked on fluency. So I asked my students to answer the questions, expand their answers and I recorded them.  In that way, I had the chance to listen to the audio again and correct some basic mistakes.  To avoid making them feel embarrassed I gave them the corrections in handouts and we practised again. This activity is great for students preparing for exams. 
   You can also get your students to come up with more questions and play the game again 🙂


4. Jinx Challenge. (For all levels and ages.)
This can be played after getting to know your students to add a bit of fun. I've attached the YouTube video here that I get the inspiration from. Enjoy it!

 
 

 

Working with Phrasal verbs 2: Teenagers

When it comes to teenagers I have to admit that my ideas are more creative than my first posts ‘Working with Phrasal verbs 1’.

IDEA 1

  • I get them to use the phrasal verbs in shapes and graphics. Like this they have all gather in a handout with a definition and an example. They find that useful and memorable. It also works really well with visual learners.

This is an example a student of mine did last week. 

IDEA 2

  • I  ask them to use the phrasal verbs in comics. You will be amazed how much they enjoy that and how fast they learn to make comics online by themselves. For the first time I suggest doing one comic together so they can see how to go about it.

>

You can make your own comics online in these websites:

Make beliefs comix
Pixton
ToonDoo
Bitstrips

IDEA 3

Play Games: Mystery Reward Game!!!!

  • Teenagers are incredibly competitive. Games and competitions work really well with phrasal verbs and students love it!

One game that we usually play to revise vocabulary is the ‘Choose a symbol’. Each symbol means something else. Students however, don’t know what each symbol means and I think it what makes it fun and engaging.

Step 1: Divide students into two teams and give each team a copy.
Step 2: Ask the first team to choose a symbol. Then you could ask them to give you an ‘example sentence’ or a ‘definition’ of the phrasal verb. (Alternatively you could prepare some sentences and ask them to guess the missing word in the gap)
Step 3: Once they have answer tell them the prize of the symbol.
Step 4: Repeat steps 2-3.

DOWNLOAD THE GAME HERE!!!!!
Some ideas are:

  10+ points
-10 points

  Double points

Swap points

     No points

5+ points

Play again (no points)

3+ points

Swap points.

Hope you enjoyed this post, feel free to comment and share more ideas about teaching phrasal verbs to teens 🙂

Gaming: Clash Royale

 

Quite recently I've realised that the only way to get my students enjoy learning English outside the classroom is through gaming. Games like Minecraft, Clash Royale can get your students to learn and improve their vocabulary outside classroom. There are so many advantages to Gaming. When I first thought of this post I wanted to list so many benefits but I'm going to stick to the most important ones: 

Benefits of Virtual Gaming

  • Vocabulary learning can be significantly improved.
  • Writing skills can also increased significantly.
  • Gaming can help in motivating students to engaged in activities relating to the learning of a second language 
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY: LEARNERS LOVE IT!

In this posts I have also included an activity on Clash Royale. STEP 1: I think that you should first download the game yourself, just to get a general idea what is it like and you never know,  you just might like it 🙂 . If not you could also check this Youtuber playing instead.

 

STEP 2:  Get your students to change the game's language to English.
Step 3: Let them know that soon you'll have an activity on Clash Royale and they should learn the names of their cards (in English of course!)

DOWNLOAD THE WORKSHEET HERE

 Activity 1:
Before: Divide students into pairs. Ask them, to come up with as many cards as possible. Go through the cards and help them with pronunciation.
Activity 1: Give Ss two minutes to complete Activity 1 individually and then check in pairs.

Activity 2: 
Before: Check the meaning of the underlined words.

Activity 2: Allow 3-4 for students to complete the sentences and then ask them to check in pairs.

Activity 3: 
Before: Tell students that now they should think of their strategy and write few sentences about it. Then, they're going to present their strategy in the class. *if you are allowed to use mobiles you can get them to demonstrate their strategy. 
Activity 3: Allow 6-7 minutes and help students with vocabulary. Encourage them to use words and expression from Activity 2. 
After: Students take turns to present their strategy and vote for the best one at the end of the presentations.

 

Hope you enjoy this post 🙂

Expressions with Can’t.

Expression with Can’t. 
 1. Can’t hear myself think: if you cannot hear yourself thing, you cannot give your attention to anything because there is so much noise. 
EXAMPLE:

2. I can’t stand: to be unable to tolerate someone or something; 
disliking someone or something extremely.

EXAMPLE:

3. Can’t be bothered: be unwilling to make the effort to do something.
EXAMPLE:
 
4. Can’t take it: when someone is really upset with someone/ or something  and they cannot mentally or physically take it any longer. 
EXAMPLE:

 4. Can’t wait: to be very excited about something and eager to do or experience it
EXAMPLE: 



Activities: complete the gaps with the phrases:

1. He’s been out the whole day, and I can’t reach her on the phone.

I can’t ……………

2. Tonight we are going to Shakira’s concert
I can’t ……………

3. It’s already 9 o’clock. I must get up and go to work.
I can’t …………..

4. This places is so crowed and the music is too loud. 
I can’t …………..

5. This show is so boring. Shall we go for a drink in the pub.
I can’t …………

The cost of War

The cost of War
Description:This lesson plan is organised around the theme of war through the use of a project that outlines the consequences of war. It also includes  a short text on the cost of war, pictures and quotes.
Level:Intermediate-Upper-Intermediate
Learners: Teenagers, Adults
Theme: War
Language: Talking about events in the past, describing pictures
Skills: Speaking, reading, observing pictures, talking about historical facts. 
Materials: text, websites, visual prompts (photographs), quotes. 

Step 1: Ask students to look at the pictures presented on the whiteboard. Elicit students’ thoughts and ideas around the pictures. For higher levels students it’s important to ‘stretch’ Ss in order to make the most of their abilities. Write down on the whiteboard any interesting words or phrases that can students learn.

Possible questions to ask: 
-where are these people?
-what are they doing?
-how do they feel like?






Step 2: Give out a handout with two pictures. Ask students ‘what can you see in picture A and what in picture B’?. Divide learners in pairs or in groups of 3 and ask them  to discuss  and write down 5-6 differences about the children’s lives in the pictures. Tell students they have 5mins
 Picture A:

  Picture B:

Step 3: Elicit students’ answers. Write down on the whiteboard any interesting words or phrases that can students learn.

Step 4: Vocabulary activity: Students work in pairs and match the definition of the words in bold. Monitor and help students if needed by giving them more examples. Elicit the answers and help students with the pronunciation of the words.  
  

A. Vocabulary: Match 1-7 with A-G

1. Her voice reverberatedaround the hall.

2. The violence was the result of political and ethnic conflicts.

3. A camp for refugees fleeing from the war

4. Two soldiers and one civilian were killed in the explosion.

5. The food supplies are inadequate to meet the needs of the hungry.

6. An example ofhostility is a bomb exploding in a crowded marketplace.

7. The bomb devastated much of the old part of the city.


A. to completely destroy a place or an area.

B. acts of fighting in a war

C. (of a sound) to be repeated several times as it is reflected off different surfaces

D. not enough; not good enough.

E. a situation in which people, groups or countries are involved in a serious disagreement or argument.

F. to leave a person or place very quickly, especially because you  are afraid of possible danger.

G. a person who is not a member of the armed forces or the police.
Step 5: Tell students that they are going to read about the findings of a project. Don’t tell them what’s the project about. Give them few minute to quickly scan it and complete this sentence:
‘This project is about……..’  

The cost of war
The wars begun in 2001 have been painful for millions of people in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, and the United States, and economically costly as well. The human costs of these conflictswill reverberate for years to come in each of those four countries. There is no turning the page on the wars with the end of hostilities, and there is even more need as a result to understand what those wars’ consequences are and will be.
Some of the project’s findings:
  • armed forces on all sides, contractors, journalists, humanitarian workers and civilians — shows that over 350,000 people have died due to direct war violence, and many more indirectly.
  • 220,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting and more will die in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan as the violence continues.
  • Millions of people have been displaced and are living in inadequate conditions. The number of war refugees and displaced persons — 6.7 million — is equivalent to all of the people fleeing their homes.
  • Iraq’s health and education systems remain war-devastated.
  • Women in both countries are essentially closed out of political power and high rates of female unemployment.
Step four: Ask students the following questions:
-Which are the wars in the text?
-Who are fighting in it?
Step 5: Ask learners to read the text again and try to memorize the four consequences of the wars. Allow students to write 2-3 words in a blank page to help them remember the text. Students take turns and briefly explain the consequences in pairs.
Step 6: Ask students to look at the pictures presented on the whiteboard. Elicit students’ thoughts and ideas around the pictures.  
The idea here is to ask learners look on the web and gather some information about the consequences of a particular war. The war we are going to focus on is the ‘Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974’ since I’m teaching in Cyprus and students are well-familiar with this war.(Here you can add your own pictures depending on the war you are planning to focus on for this lesson)

Step 6: Divide students into groups and ask them to write down the consequences of this war by searching online. Allow students to visit various websites to gather information. Teachers should have a list of websites in case students are struggling to find any.
Step 7: Discussion:  Ask each pair to present a finding, monitor students and encourage them to discuss in order to exploit speaking activities. 


In the discussion encourage learners to use the vocabulary learned like (conflicts, civilians, inadequate conditions, war-devastated and so on). Game: write down the words in the whiteboard and give them a point when they use the word to describe a consequence.  

Step 8: End the lesson with the following quotes. Allow students to express their final thoughts.