Happy New Year to all readers of this blog! May 2016 be a creative year full of health, love, travel and special moments to cherish!
For most of us, it’s time to get back to school and our busy routines. Admittedly, the first few days after a holiday break aren’t always easy for students or teachers. In order to make this transition smoother, I’ve decided to create a lesson plan based on Matt Cutts’ inspiring TED Talk about setting and achieving goals. This way I plan to familiarize my students with the concept of New Year’s Resolutions whilst helping them adjust before plunging back into our coursebooks.
Please click here to download the Student Activity Worksheet and the Teacher’s notes and answer key
What are your New Year’s Resolutions? I’ve decided to take Matt Cutt’s advice and start posting an image of a happy moment to my Instagram account for the next 30 days. This way I’ll keep reminding myself that ‘Every day may not be good but there’s something good in every day’.’ 🙂 🙂
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Every year Earth Day is celebrated on 22nd April worldwide. Our planet is changing rapidly so it’s vital that we help raise students’ awareness of the damaging effects of modern lifestyles on the environment before it’s too late!
In today’s post, I’d like to share the way my students and I celebrated Earth Day this year. They’re low- level students preparing for the IELTS exam so this was a great opportunity for them to expand their vocabulary, think and learn about environmental issues hands- on. Technology made this much more fun and motivating since we decided to make a video using the ever amazing Animoto!
The students’ first task was to take two pictures of nature each, with their mobile phones. Our school ’s beautiful surroundings provided the perfect location for this!
Next, we set off to plan the video’s structure and write the script! I wrote the following words on the board to help them brainstorm relevant ideas and slogans.
We also googled some supplementary images and chose ‘Paradise’ by Coldplay as the soundtrack of our video!
Surprisingly, on that same day a couple of dolphins made their appearance in Thermaikos Gulf, in the city of Thessaloniki. This isn’t a common sight but luckily one of the students managed to catch it on video! Animoto not only allows users to combine text, images and music but also short videos so we have included part of it as well!
Our main aim was to show some of the beauties of mother Earth, to pinpoint the destructive impact of human activity and share some easy things we can do on an individual or group level to make a difference!
This is the final result 🙂
Click here to download the handout I prepared for my class with useful vocabulary and phrases.
At this point, I’d also like to share another worksheet with 10 Idioms about Nature accompanied by activities and answer key. The definitions have been taken from Cambridge Online Dictionary.
National Geographic has published some lovely images that have been submitted by NG readers. Students can describe or write catchy captions for these stunning photos. You may also choose to show them only a small part of the picture first. Let them use their imagination and guess what it is! Have a look here!
Finally, this a great list of 12 interesting TED talks on climate change that you can watch with your students and reflect on!
Hope you’ve enjoyed this post! Remember that our well- being depends on how we take care of our planet. Awareness is the first step to really making a change! So let’s start by informing our students and celebrating Earth Day, every day 🙂
This time I’d like to share with you a lesson plan that I recently created and used with my new group of young adults. In an attempt to familiarize them with the British culture and take a break from the book, I chose this fantastic short video which shows London at its best and catches viewers’ attention with its unique plot! Please download the full lesson plan (plus the student’s worksheet) from the box. widget on the right side of the blog.
The Queen Sequence Opening =TEACHER’S NOTES
Target Group: teens, young adults
Level: Pre- intermediate and above
Time: a 60- minute- session
STEP 1: Distribute the worksheets to your students and tell them they’re about to watch a short clip from the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London in 2012. Ask them to go through questions 1- 7.
STEP 2: Play the video once.
STEP 3: Pause the video at 00:44- Ask students to predict who will come out of the black cab. A: James Bond- Daniel Craig
STEP 4: Pause at 01:20- Who is James Bond going to meet? A: Her Majesty, the Queen.
STEP 5: Pause again at 04: 10- Can you guess what’s going to happen next? A: The Queen and James Bond will jump off the helicopter and land in the stadium using parachutes.
STEP 6: Check students’ answers to the following questions- You can replay certain parts of the clip to crosscheck the answers.
Q1: Which country’s flag is on the children’s baseball caps? A: Brazil’s.
Q2: What time is it? A: It’s half past eight.
Q3: How many pet dogs does the Queen have? A: Two
Q4: Which famous man’s statue appears in the clip? A: Winston Churchill’s.
Q5: Name as many sights as you can remember seeing in the video.
A: The Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, The London Eye, Tower Bridge, the Canary Wharf (Tower 42) , Buckingham Palace and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Q6: Describe the Queen’s entrance into the stadium with 3 adjectives! Possible answers: Impressive, amazing, spectacular, fantastic, great e.t.c.
Q7: Circle the things you can spot in the video- Correct answers: gold string, police officers, William’s picture, balloons, the British flag.
Suggested Follow- up activities:
1. Writing task: Describe what happens in this short clip as if you were broadcasting the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Use the Simple Present tense.
*Note: Students can do this activity in class either individually or in pairs. Let them watch the video as many times as they need. Alternatively you can assign this for homework.
2. Ask students to surf the Internet and find:
– Five interesting facts about the Queen’s life.
– Who Winston Churchill was and one of his famous quotes that you can later discuss in class. (e.g. ‘No one should waste a day’, ‘A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.’, ‘Where my reason, imagination or interest were not engaged, I would not or I could not learn.’)
– Which actors have played 007? (A: Pierce Brosnan, Roger Moore, Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby, Daniel Craig)
3. Correct and return students’ descriptions of the clip. Ask them to record themselves whilst broadcasting the sequence. A great, simple online voice recorder they can use is Vocaroo. If they work on iPads/ iphones, the Voice Record Pro App is ideal since it allows you to record at unlimited length and offers many exporting options (Dropbox, Google Drive, Box Cloud, email e.t.c. For Android devices, I’d suggest trying Smart Voice Recorder which has similar features.
I hope you enjoy my ideas and if you have some more, please feel free to share them in the comments!