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ESL Teacher Blog
The teacher's point of view: thoughts, observations and ideas about ESL teaching.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

ESL Teacher Blog: Turn Your Holiday Cards Into A Great Teaching Resource

The holiday season is over and there’s always a question of what to do with those beautiful cards signed by friends, family, colleagues and students. After we’ve read and enjoyed them, why not to use them for creating a great visual for pre-holiday activities next year?
I suggest cutting out holiday-related images and glueing them onto a bristol board or some holiday stationery. Combined with vocabulary/grammar tasks, these pictures will help retain words and structures better by leaving a lasting visual memory.

Possible tasks/questions to accompany the cut-out pictures:

1. Look at the holiday images. What can you see/hear/smell/touch/taste when looking at these pictures? (snowman, Santa Claus, horse-drawn sleigh, swoosh of the skis, crunchy snow, freshly baked cookies, poinsettia, etc.)

2. How many nouns, adjectives and verbs can you name by looking at the pictures?

3. What are the most dominant colors on your images?

4. Review passive voice. Write down sentences with blanked verbs:

The presents ________ (wrap). (are wrapped)
The snowman ________ (build) by children. (is being built)

5. Review Present Progressive. Write down sentences with blanked verbs or ask to create wh-questions in this tense. Show some examples:

What is Santa Claus holding?
Who is setting the table?

6. Review prepositions:

The pinecones are in the bowl.

The presents are under the tree.

7. Try a listening comprehension activity: student A describes his/her picture to student B. Student B recreates (draws) the picture by listening to his partner: “There is a snowman in the centre. His eyes are two lumps of coal and his nose is a long carrot”. Students then compare the drawn picture to the original one.

With preparations done today, these materials could be a godsend during the hectic weeks of the next holiday season!
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 10:58 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

Friday, January 02, 2009

ESL Teacher Blog: Come-Back-After-Holidays Icebreaker

This yes/no question icebreaker will let students exchange their holiday experiences and memories as well as put them into the working mood in no time.

1. Write the 3 following questions on the board and ask each student to write brief answers in their notebooks.

• Where did you go? (name a place, e.g.: resort, theatre, museum, skating rink, friend’s house, etc.)
• What did you do? (name an activity, e.g.: cooking, shopping, studying English, watching TV, resting, etc.)
• Who(m) did you see/visit? (name a person, e.g.:relatives, friends, neighbors, a well-known person, etc.)

2. Put the students in pairs. Tell them NOT to show their answers to each other.

3. Students ask each other yes/no questions trying to guess their partner’s answers. (The questions may only be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’.)

A sample dialogue may develop as the following:

Did you do this activity indoors? No.
Did you do it outdoors? Yes.
Is it a sport? Yes.
Is it a winter sport? Yes.
Is it hockey? No.
Is it skating? Yes.

4. Students report to the class about their partner’s experiences/whereabouts during the holidays.
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 9:43 PM   3 Comments  Add Comment


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