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Archive for November, 2010


Very quick note to share a Christmas activity idea for teenagers and kids.

Make a huge advent calendar with you class.

Take a large piece of coloured paper (A3 or bigger) and some small pieces of white (or coloured) paper.

Also use tissue paper and glitter and anythign else you might want to decorate it (just be prepare for mess!)

Take 24 small pieces of paper and fold them in half. The students must decorate the front of the door with a number and then draw a Christmas picture on the inside.

Once all 24 are complete, stick them to the larger piece of paper and decorate with tissue and glitter and stickers.

Blue tack the doors shut, and each day, let the students open a new one to reveal the picture behind it.

I’ll be doing this next week, so they are ready for december 1st…. Will post pictures.

Pictures of two of my advent calendars…. one made my 7 year olds, and one made by 12 year olds:

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I take absolutely no credit for coming up with these ideas, but I used them in a lesson this week and it went really well…

I did a music themed lesson with teenagers (Pre-Intermediate/Intermediate, 11-13 years old) and did a variety of activities involving music.

1) Running Dictation

I split the class into teams and gave them each the same verse and chorus of a song (Michael Jackson – Thriller) and they had to remember the words and dictate them to their partner. I floated about checking spelling and cheating. The first group to finish was the winner. I then handed out the lyrics of the song and we watched the music video on YouTube. (I didn’t realise how scary the video actually is, so check the maturity and ages of your students before you watch it with them…..!)

2. Vocab Grab

This is one of my favourite games, and again I take no credit for it as I learnt this game from another teacher.

Make lots of little flash cards (the amount depends on what song you do). On each card, write one word from the song, along with some words that aren’t in the song. I make about 30 cards for one song.

Then stick all the cards to the board and have the students line up in two teams. Play the song. When the students hear a word from the song that is on a flashcard, they must grab it and run to the back of the line, so the next student can have their turn.

When the song has finished, hand out the lyrics to the song and the students must see if they took the correct words. For each correct word, they got one point, for every incorrect word, it’s minus one point.

I use Queen, Don’t Stop Me Now for this activity, as it’s a lively song and has some great words to stick on flashcards.

3. Song Bingo

I created a worksheet for this, but it is possible to just write the words on the board.

I give the students a worksheet with a 3×3 bingo grid on, and a list of about 30 words. They must pick 9 words and insert them into the table. All the words are from a song I have already chosen to play them.

Then play the song, the students must listen to the song and cross off any words that they hear in the song that they have in their bingo grid. When a student gets a row of 3, s/he shouts “Bingo” (or “House”… or anything you want for that matter!), and when a student gets all 9 words, s/he shouts “Bingo” and is the winner!

With thanks to Sue Holt who showed me the above ideas and from whom I shamelessly stole them.

My next music themed lesson starts with a reading activity of a biography of a famous singer (I have chosen Katy Perry). We then discuss what you have to put into a biography of a singer/band and list these on the board.

Then put the students into small groups of 3 or 4. They are now going to form a band and must produce a promotional poster for their band with all the information included in a biography (Dates of Birth, family, career history, scandals, singles and albums etc….). Give them about 30-40 minutes to produce a poster which will go on the wall.

Once they have done this, tell them that they are going to hold a press conference and they are going to be the journalists and the pop stars. They must prepare 10 questions to ask the other bands. They must write down the answers to the questions, as they are then going to write a biography for another band.

Hold the press conference (great speaking activity which lasts a good 20-30 minutes depending on the amount of groups) and collect errors to go over at the end of the class. The biography can either be done in class or as homework.



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