terça-feira, 30 de agosto de 2011

Are you hungry?

This activity couldn't be any easier and it's great if you have to teach your students feelings such as hungry, thirsty, sad, angry, etc. All you need is a pen and paper. Write on stripes of paper what you need your students to learn and then ask them to choose one of those stripes of paper without looking at them. The other student(s) should choose another one in the same way. So your student(s) have to guess what the other one(s) is(are) "feeling" by simply asking questions, such as: "Are you sad?", or "Are you thirsty?" until they guess what is written. Notice that the structure of short answers is also practiced here with the students answering "Yes,I am" or "No, I'm not". The student who guesses with the fewer number of questions wins the game! So easy! Simply great!

sábado, 27 de agosto de 2011

Yesterday I went to the market and I bought...

A sudden idea! After presenting food and fruit vocabulary a good alternative is to play that old game I'm sure we all have played at least once with our friends. In this game someone had to start by saying "Yesterday I went to the market and I bought an apple". The following had to continue: "Yesterday I went to the market and I bought an apple and two oranges...", then the next person would have to repeat those two things and add one of his/her own. Let's give our students the chance to memorize the presented vocabulary with great fun! Have a wonderful week, colleague!

quarta-feira, 24 de agosto de 2011

A student taught me this one!

We also learn from our students! A couple of weeks ago, one of them, who studied in England a few months ago, taught me a game that a teacher used to play in class. I didn't know it and I got really interested in using this activity with my students, as well. He told me that the instructor used to ask for a volunteer who should come to the front of the room and should NOT look at the board. Instead, he should be facing the group, with his/her back to the board. After that, the teacher would write any word on the board and the volunteer had to guess what was written there only by asking the class some questions. I really think that might work! See you soon, colleague!

sexta-feira, 19 de agosto de 2011

She's 13!

Do you know you can prepare your own "flashcards"? Yes, we can! I prepared these ones last week because I had to teach my teen students how to ask someone's age and also how to answer the question. In order to practice and reinforce the content, I printed some Google images of other teens and also their ages so that my students could ask each other "How old is he/she?" and answer the question, as well. When working with teens or children it's always a good idea to use pictures of people in the same age they are so that they can get to identify themselves with those who are shown in the pictures. This way, be sure they're gonna get really interested and your class will flow easily! Have a great weekend,colleague!!

quarta-feira, 10 de agosto de 2011

Another visit to a R$1,99 store!

See what I've found at a R$1,99 store!

1) A bowling game - it can be used just as it is but with one difference: the student who loses has to answer a question from the teacher or from his opponent;

2) Two cheering hands - they can be used when teaching kids. Explain the students you're going to start a competition in which the one who raises his or her "cheering hand" first gets the right to answer the question the teacher is going to ask. Remember kids and teens love having something new in class, even if it's just a detail.

3) A simple and (veeery cheap) game - this one can be also used as the bowling game. We play it according to the instructions but the one who loses has to answer questions which can be previously prepared by the teacher or asked by his or her opponent during the activity.

There's no excuse for not participating! When a general review or a comprehension check is done through a game every student participates! They have lots of fun and don't even feel they're actually practicing the language. Great!

terça-feira, 9 de agosto de 2011


I don't know a better way of teaching family vocabulary than working on family trees. Tomorrow I have to teach two of my teen students and for that I've just prepared an "imaginary" family tree. I explain. I simply got some pictures out of magazines and made up some names for each person. So right before class, I'm going to put all the pictures on the board, because I really think this way it's not only an easier way to present the new vocabulary, but also to practice the structures which are necessary for their complete understanding of the content. Questions with "who" can be asked right after the vocabulary explanation so that the teacher can check on their comprehension once again. As a wrap up a great idea is to ask them to create their family tree using only names and drawings if they feel like to. Don't forget to use their work as another way of practicing the content by asking each other questions about their families. Simply great! Have a nice day, colleague!

sábado, 6 de agosto de 2011

Ups and Downs!

I start every class with a general review because I think it's really important for the students to remind the old content and also get ready for the new one. With kids and teens I usually make use of a game for that purpose and this time I wanted to find something different! So I remembered an old board game we used to have at home with some ladders which was really nice and guaranteed us great moments of fun! So why not use it in class? Once the board has some numbers on it (mine has got 47, for example), all I needed to do was to prepare the same number of questions so that the student had to answer them according to the number they stopped on. Simple as that! Imagine "student A" stopped on number 23, then the teacher should ask that student question 23. The rest is the same. If a student stops on the top of a ladder he has to go down and if he stops under the ladder he's allowed to climb it. Really nice! Have a great weekend, colleague!

segunda-feira, 1 de agosto de 2011

An old book, a new idea!

As we're staring a new semester today I thought about using something old...for something new! I explain. A few years ago I bought the book "English Upgrade" (Macmillan) in order to try using it in class but I must confess I didn't like it very much...just didn't feel it works well on all abilities. On the other hand, it brings some great board games at the end of every unit so I thought about using them in my lessons. If you have old books or some material you're not using, a good idea is to take a different look at them and use the nice things they contain! Have a great day, colleague! Have a wonderful start!