Archive for the ‘kids’ lessons’ Category

In a previous post concerning using the story of the Titanic to teach past continuous, I mentioned an activity at the end that used cards and pictures of little stickmen doing various activities and actions and things.

The idea was to provide visual input for students to develop sentences and mini-stories and in so doing so practice the past continuous / past simple distinction: by giving them one hand pictures showing actions which can clearly be done over a period of time, and on the other hand actions or events that clearly happen in an instantaneous fashion, students will practice and to some degree begin to internalize the distinction.

And since, in some other classes, I’ve been having to work at this distinction with various groups of various ages, I’ve made some pictures for this very purpose.  I thought I would be a good idea to share so, here goes:



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It’s that time of year again.  If you teach in a school, or if you do extracurricular private classes with school-age kids you know what I’m talking about–the month of December (here in Spain, ehem, Catalunya, at least) finds us in the midst of a lull, between the trimestral or semestral or whatever exams and the start of Christmas vacations.   And with no real “meat” on the syllabus to feed to our hungry learners, what better way to while away the time than with a variety of holiday themed activities.  Yeah!  Wahoo!

Now, if you’ve googled xmas activities for TEFL or ESL or what-have-you, you’ve no doubt come across the TEFLtastic page of X-mas goodies, which pretty much has the market cornered on holiday ideas.  Really, dude is mad thorough over there.

Nonetheless, I see my opening here, so I’m goin’ in:  Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis”, for a variety of different language points.  Give ’em the video with the sound off first and have them tell you about it scene by scene, if you like.  Then hit ’em up with the worksheet of your choice.   (Note that the “definitions” worksheet could easily be incorporated wholesale into one of the others, with just a little cutting, pasting and boldfacing.) (more…)

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Now that I’ve fully surrendered my soul to the whims of the hoary Mammon of digital technology, I sometimes wonder what exactly I did to prepare classes before I got my computer.

But then I realize that the real change in habits wasn’t a result of buying the computer at all, really. It was the printer that really changed the game. Before buying the printer, I could use the ol’ laptop to search and research and look up all sorts of stuff, but the final step, getting it to the piece of paper to give to my students, required either A) a trip to the nearest locutorio/cybercafe joint (kind of a pain in the ass, actually) or B) meticulously copying out the necessary text by hand.

This series of worksheets and videos is a case in point: on one hand, you have a couple of Youtube videos downloaded and saved on the pen-drive, or to DVD or whatever. Pretty high-tech. Then on the other hand, you have some handmade worksheets written in felt-tip marker on graph paper. Not so high-tech.

Anyhow…this was originally created for some students who were using the Happy Earth 2 book, which has a little story on the Titanic and a brief exercise with past continuous.

Please note that I have never seen the film Titanic. Never have, never will. Personally, I was surprised that some of my kids, who are pretty young were familiar with the film or have seen it. I suppose it was one of the highest grossing films of all time, after all, but still.

After the aforementioned lesson from the book, I felt my kids were ready to do a little more with that ever-so-useful verb tense, hence the following (which, in fact, I will be using today): (more…)

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