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 🙂
The holiday season is now over and we’re all back to our daily teaching routines for good! However, it’s always refreshing both for the students and us to find ways to take a break from the textbook!
Being a cinema lover myself and with the Oscars around the corner, I decided to create a lesson plan inspired by the glam and beauty of Hollywood so as to bring Film into my ELT class. Undeniably, You Tube was the handiest tool in order to achieve this.
Here is only a short intro of my outline. You can find and download the complete lesson plan for free in the right hand column of this blog (see flash_widget BOX).
Topic: ‘Hollywood Lovers’.
Level: Intermediate and above.
Time: Two 40’ sessions+ One 60’ minute session (for students’ presentations& comments).
Aim: To analyze movie trailers in depth, become familiar with different genres, write film reviews, and practise both critical and listening skills.
What you need: a computer, a projector and an Internet connection.
Movie Trailers used:
– ‘Troy’ (2004), http://bit.ly/S9Ht2p
– ‘Notting Hill’ (1999), http://bit.ly/Wb49NY
– ‘Snow white& the Huntsman’ (2012), http://bit.ly/uKivC8
– ‘Meet the Parents’ (2000), http://bit.ly/W2Yfkf
At the moment, You Tube is the top social video sharing site online. Here are some amazing facts and figures which caught my eye and I believe they are worthwhile mentioning:
- As of February 2011, there are 490 million unique users worldwide per month!
- More than 400 tweets per minute contain a YouTube link.
- You Tube mobile gets over 100 million views a day.
- You Tube is localized in 25 countries across 43 languages.
You Tube is a kind of window to the outside world and with its phenomenal popularity it can be used as a powerful, exciting educational tool. Students and especially teenagers absolutely love it! Even less tech-savvy teachers, who are more sceptical and reluctant to embrace educational technology, use it in their personal lives or are at least familiar with it. So why not give it a try in class too?
You Tube is free, rich in content, requires minimum IT skills from the part of the teacher and only basic IT school facilities. Below are some great tools you may also find useful while using You Tube:
- TubeChop allows you to easily chop the section you need from any YouTube video and share it.
- SafeShare.TV & ViewPure generate safe links and remove distracting and offensive elements around YouTube videos. SafesShare.TV also allows you to crop videos before sharing them.
- Listentoyoutube.com extracts the mp3 from any You Tube video of your choice. You only enter its URL and you instantly get your downloadable mp3!
- Teachertube.com is a channel designed to tend to teachers& learners digital needs featuring a big variety of educational videos.
- You Tube for schools
Do you use You Tube in your class? If so, in what ways? How do your students respond to it? Do you have any other ideas on how to introduce Film effectively in your ELT lessons?
I look forward to hearing your ideas!
All the best,