Lesson Ideas

Text-driven approach and K-pop

Came across this post on my Google Drive. I think I wrote it with someone like NALDIC in mind, but not sure they responded/I sent it. It’s not the best, but if you’re interested in Brian Tomlinson’s work it might be of interest.

A text-driven approach: making reading more meaningful

There is far more to reading than just comprehension. When I first started teaching over a decade ago I felt that many global English language coursebooks tended to prioritise comprehension in reading sections. Resources these days seem to include more meaning-building tasks, such as those I outlined in this blog post, and those mentioned by Rachael Roberts. I find tasks that develop meaning-building skills are more engaging for my learners, as they are often more personalised, more challenging and give learners more chance to process a text.

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Twinkl in Action: Facts as a foundation

Year 9 Geography. The assessment task involves looking at the impact of tourism in Kenya. Some of my EAL learners are quite new to English, and their prior knowledge of Kenya is limited. They’re gonna need some support. I get two EAL lessons a week with these kids, and mainly use the time to help them access their learning in other subjects.

Before we get into the tourism side of things, we need to lay some foundations. We also need a fun activity – learning can be fun, right?

… Twinkl to the rescue!

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Lesson idea: Apollo 11

I wrote this lesson last year for the anniversary of the first moon landing. Decided to post it now for a few reasons:

  • It might still be useful to someone.
  • It’s an interesting topic.
  • I found it quite a useful diagnostic – which students could work well on these independent tasks, who was able to use what they’d explored as supporting evidence for the task… That type of stuff.
  • I thought about this lesson recently. It was a pretty good example of my preferred teaching approach. How would I sum that up? I don’t know, although I can confidently say it’s not very CELTA.

Procedure

Cut up each task and stick them around the room. If you can’t be bothered and you have more tech available, have it as a doc to work through on Google Classroom (at links instead of QRs maybe).

Students work through the activities (devices needed), taking notes where relevant, building to the final task. It’s best to do the activities in order.

The final task involves writing a speech. You could change this – I only used that as it connected with some ‘YL Speaking Challenge’ at my school.

Here’s the doc. Fully editable – check for spelling mistakes:

Cheers, feedback welcome as always.

Image by WikiImages from Pixabay 

Lesson idea: Video games

Just a quick idea for a bit of video game chat. We did a 5-week module on the topic, this was my context builder. Took about an hour as the teens got into it.

Step 0: Lead-in questions if you want, like…

  • How often do you play video games?
  • Do you have a favourite game?
  • Do you think it’s harmful for teens to play too many video games?
  • Etc

Alternatively, maybe do a picture dictation of a video game image below to get students talking, then elicit lesson topic.

Step 1: Hand out loads of screen shots of video games or put them around the room. I chose these eight:

(Chuckie Egg, Space Invaders, Zelda, Frogger, Mortal Kombat, Worms, House of the Dead, Sensible Soccer)

Students look at images and discuss:

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Lesson idea: Introducing light and shadow

Here’s a video-based intro for the topic of light and shadow (YLs). You may have seen this activity type on ELT Planning before:

Introducing recipes

Introducing viral videos

This is just the starter activity (feel free to adapt). It can be a springboard to further discussion, inquiry, etc.

Hope it’s useful 🙂

Feature image: Mocomi video screenshot

Free lessons on Onestopenglish

Onestopenglish is still free at the moment. This is a great opportunity to make the most of their awesome resources. There’s so much available on the site: lesson plans, articles related to methodology, resources created by the Onestopenglish community… they’ve also been teaming up with institutions like NILE recently to provide tips for teachers.

I’ve written a few resources for site over the past year which I hope you will find interesting and useful. Most of them are for the Everyday Life series. They’re print-and-go adult General English resources, complete with teacher notes and student worksheets. These are often task-led and typically suit 1 – 1.5 hour lessons.

Everyday Life Lesson Topics:

Exercise

Minor illnesses

Typical dishes

Fake news

Superstitions

Star signs

Getting to work

Describing your neighbourhood

Article /resource for the Online Education series:

Parents as Temporary Teachers

Lesson Share Winning Resource:

Instant Coffee, a Black Mirror inspired short story with resources (for approximately three hours of class time)

Feedback on any of these resources is most welcome! I hope they come in handy for your own lessons.

Varjak Paw Kahoot! (EAL)

Here are a couple of game-based resources you could use for EAL learners reading Varjak Paw. Our Year 4 students have really enjoyed the book (I did too, although I didn’t like the ending!).

Anyhow, here’s a Kahoot! to play at the end of the book:

Varjak Paw Kahoot!

Before reading, I found it useful to prime learners for some cat-specific vocab that might pop up!

Cat related words (one of my more random Wordwalls)

I anagrammed that one too, see here.

Also, here’s a hangman of terms from earlier in the book, things like Contessa, humiliation, fireplace, insect, guard, etc. I found that guessing these prompted some discussion, so you could use the activity to teach phrases for probably (It could be… Maybe it’s… It’s definitely….!).

Keywords: World War Two events

Just a quick review resource for EAL learners. Our Year 9s were studying key events in WW2, including:

  • Dunkirk
  • Evacuations
  • The Blitz
  • Rationing

Here are a couple of Wordwalls to help with reviewing the events / keywords related to them.

World War Two events key facts

WW2 events anagrams

You might find them useful. Wordwall activities don’t seem to show up in Google searches so sharing some useful ones here might be best.

23 Ways to Use a Text in Your ESL Classes

Reading. One of the big four, along with elephants, lions and rhinos. Or is it listening, speaking and writing? Who knows. Either way, my question for you is: when was the last time your students were actively learning a new skill through reading, instead of just answering comprehension questions? There is so much that English language students can learn through a text, and we have a whole bag of ideas for you to use in your next class. Through these methods, you’ll learn how to squeeze a text for all its worth. As you’ll see, these tips don’t just help students become better readers. They’ll also help students develop better critical thinking skills, better vocabulary skills and better writing skills.

1. Make a prediction. This is a great skill for learners to use. Super simple – give students the title of a text and see if they can make some guesses about what the text will be about. You can also develop this as you go along. If you’re reading a story, make more predictions after reading each paragraph or chapter. How do they think the story will end? Students will learn how to pre-empt information and adjust their predictions as they go along.

2. Recognise text type or genre. One thing I like to do before a reading exercise is ask students what kind of text we seem to be looking at, and what kind of information therefore might be included. For example, they might identify that we’re going to read a personal email, and therefore it might include information about what this person and their family have been doing recently, some questions and maybe an invitation. This process enables students to improve their speed reading and prediction skills. What was that about speed reading?

3. Speed read. Adult students will often feel like they have to understand Every. Single. Word. In. The. Text. before they can breathe out. Speed reading can help students get to grips with a text in a matter of seconds. This works particularly well with essays and news articles. Ask students to read only the first and last sentence of each paragraph. They’ll see that the first sentence of a paragraph is often the ‘topic sentence’, which summaries the main point of the paragraph. Not only does this help them prepare for exam situations where they have to understand the outline of a text fast, it also helps them learn how to structure their own writing. (more…)

Hirameki with young learners (via Emily Bryson)

A very quick post to say thanks to Emily Bryson! She recently shared this interesting post on using the Japanese art of Hirameki as way to teach life skills and encourage creativity.

This worked a treat with my 6-year-olds! We are currently doing a module on animals and have just covered animal body parts. Emily’s activity was a great way to review/use this language. The learners turned their colourful splodges into animals and then labelled the various body parts. Simple, engaging, effective… and they were speaking in full sentences: ‘I think it looks like…’, ‘What can you see?’ Great to hear!

I can’t really share the learners’ own drawings on my blog, so the feature image is my own example (using one of Emily’s images).

Hey, that’s the great thing about reading other blogs! So much inspiration. Cheers Emily. Buying your book as a thank you, hopefully more inspiration in there!