25 April, 2012

Digital 10 Questions

Here is a simple activity you can do with any level or age of students from about 8+ to allow them to use their mobile phones or tablets in class.  Before you do this for the first time with your students, click here for tips on classroom management and preparation before using student phones in class.   This activity can be kept as a short warmer/filler, or extended into a full lesson by introducing grammar and vocabulary.

  • To review question forms
  • To practise speaking
  • To prepare a short spoken presentation
  • To encourage critical thinking
  • To prepare for exam speaking activities 
  • Write a paragraph about the activity
  • To give students an opportunity to do an authentic activity (using mobile phones) in L2.
  1. Take a close up picture of an object with your own mobile phone and prepare a short (verbal) description of information about the object.
  2. In the class before you intend to do the activity, divide the students into two teams and show the photo to the students.  Tell them they have 10 questions to guess what it is.  (Write up question stems on board depending on age/level).
  3. After guessing what the object is, encourage critical thinking by asking students follow up questions depending on what the object is (e.g.where is it?, why did you take the photo?, what/who is to the left/right/above, etc. of the object?, and any other relevant questions (relating to your description).  In pairs or small groups, students write down their thoughts.  Depending on level, you could introduce grammatical structures here.
  4. Tell students that they should take a mystery photo with their mobile phones and prepare a short presentation about the photo for the following class.
 Class Activity
  1. Organise students into small groups of 2, 3 or 4.  Appoint a leader to run the activity.
  2. One student in each group shows their photo to the rest of the group.  They have 10 questions to guess then the student gives his/her presentation about the photo.  (Could record their presentations on their mobile phones then bluetooth to the teacher.)
  3. Repeat until all students have given their presentation.  
  4. Students vote on the most difficult to guess, interesting, etc. in their group.  (Could review compratives and superlatives here).  You could repeat the activity with students changing groups.
  5. Students write a short paragraph about which photo they found the most interesting, etc.

20 April, 2012

T3 - Unit 5B - The Weather in Spain - Voki

Watch the video and answer the questions.

15 April, 2012

T3 - Unit 6 - Introduction to "be going to"

Read the text and answer the questions.

(a) What is Hippie Dude going to do?
(b) Do we use be going to to talk about the present or the future?

Hi.  Im Hippie Dude and I love English!  Tomorrow

04 April, 2012

Digital Storytelling - Fotobabble or Blabberize

Here's a little activity I did with my 8 year olds.  www.fotobabble.com and www.blabberize.com are very similar sites except you can add a "mouth" to Blabberize which makes it more fun for students.  You can also upload sound files, which isn't possible with Fotobabble.  I used Blabberize for this activity.  www.fotobabble.com  is simpler and quicker and, if you have an iPhone, there is an app so you can do everything on your phone.  An app for Android is coming soon according to the website so keep an eye out.

In this activity, my young learners talked about themselves, but language and topic can be adapted for ALL ages and levels.

Description:  Students create a poster, then upload it to a website and talk about it.
Time:  60-90 minutes
Age:  Any
Level: Any

  • strips of coloured paper 
  • small squares of white paper to draw a picture (optional)
  • A4 sheets of coloured paper - one for each student
  • scissors, crayons, glue
  • smartphone or camera, microphone and class computer or netbooks
  • www.blabberize.com or www.fotobabble.com
  1. Review language you want to practise. 
  2. Put strips of coloured paper in a pile on a chair or table. Handout sheets of coloured paper and optional white paper
  3. Students write one sentence on each strip of paper, draw and colour the picture (optional) and stick on paper.
  4. Take photo of finished poster and upload to your class computer, netbooks or iPhone (if you're using Fotobabble).
  1. Students read and record the content of their poster (you can vary this according to level)
  2. Go to www.blabberize.com and upload the image.  (It is optional to place a "mouth", if students have netbooks, it's a fun idea, if you are doing it in a hurry just skip this part) or use www.Fotobabble.com
  3. Students record their narration.
  4. Show completed Blabberizes/Fotobabbles to class
Follow Up Ideas
  • Students "Review" each other's Blabberizes/Fotobabbles
  • Compare and contrast speaking activities (depending on topic/language)
  • Discussion activities (depending on topic/language)
  • Writing essay, report, etc. 
  • Use for language revision/recycling
  • Pronunciation issues
Classroom Management Tips
If you've got 12 younger or teenage students it will be difficult to keep them quiet while one student is recording.  If you can get your hands on a microphone extension, send the recording student outside (or the netbook/iPhone).  If you haven't got any of those, play FREEZE (with or without freeze cards).  Give a student a freeze card (a card with "freeze" written on it:)).  Just before someone starts recording, The freeze card holder counts down from 5 then shouts freeze holding up the card.  All the students have to stop talking (but allow them to continue with their posters if they haven't finished yet).  Remarkably, it works!