Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

Reported Whatsapps

Image result for whatsapp

Image credit: www.whatsapp.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a new lesson plan for B2+ learners in which students practice reported speech by interpreting emojis and text messages from the popular messaging app Whatsapp. Everything you need is in the powerpoint below:

reported-whatsapps

Students start by reporting the meaning behind various emojis then build up to reporting a section of a text message conversation and then move on to translating and reporting their own text conversations from their phone. It provides great practice of the grammar point as well as opportunities for the emergence of real, useful language in an everyday setting.

Posted in Conversation Classes

Plan a Magical Christmas

Image result for christmas markets berlin

Image credit: Party Earth

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is another Christmas themed lesson plan for intermediate (B1+) teenagers and adults. Students will be required to use smartphones, tablets or laptops as part of the activity. Download the lesson plan below:

plan-a-magical-christmas

Warmer

Tell your partner about your most memorable Christmas ever.

Report back in open class.

Planning the perfect Christmas

Put students in pairs or groups of 3. Write a range of amounts of money on small pieces of paper, for example: €100, €1000, €10,000, €100,000. Put the pieces of paper in a hat, each team picks a piece of paper.

The amount of money that they have picked is their budget for the magical Christmas they are going to plan. They should plan a week of activities, from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve. Students can use the internet to research what they are going to do with their money: book flights to or a hotel in an exotic destination, book tables in fancy restaurants, organise interesting activities etc. The only rule is that they can’t go over budget AND they must speak in English the whole time, project the language for making and responding to suggestions below onto the board.

To be nice to the group that drew the €100 you could let them come up with a money making scheme such as baking and selling cookies in order to get more money. Encourage them to use their imagination, be creative and also, decide what the most important thing about Christmas is to them. Students have 20-30 minutes to plan.

Language

Making suggestions Accepting suggestions Rejecting suggestions
How/what about …ing…?

Why don’t we…?

We could….

Shall we…?

I reckon/think we should/ought to….

What do you think about …ing?

Let’s…

That’s a great idea!

Good idea!

I was thinking the same thing.

You took the words right out my mouth.

That’s a terrible idea.

Are you joking?

Don’t be silly.

I’m not sure about that.

It’ll be too cold/expensive etc.

Presentations

After 20-30 minutes students present their plans to the rest of the class and explain their reasons:

“We’ve decided to spend Christmas in Germany because we want to visit the famous Christmas markets”

After all the presentations, students vote on the plan that they like best.

Posted in Games, Writing Classes

Circle Stories

Image credit: www.thekettle.ca

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a lesson plan designed for lower-level (A2-B1) teenagers. It is designed to help students write short stories using different narrative tenses, sequences and discourse markers.

Preparation

All you need is plenty of paper and a pen for each student.

Procedure

Sit students in a circle and give them each a pen and piece of paper. Tell them that they are going to write stories together; if you have 8 student, at the end of the class they will have written 8 stories.

Write on the board:

Once, there was a man/woman called ……. who….

Tell students to copy the sentence onto their piece of paper, decide if the character is a man or a woman and give them a name.

Students then pass the piece of paper to the left; they must then complete the first sentence, for example:

Once, there was a man called Jimmy who lived under a bridge.

Students then pass the paper again, and copy down and complete the following:

One day ….. was …..ing….

For example:

One day Jimmy was walking down the street

Students pass again and complete the following:

when…+ past simple

One day Jimmy was walking down the street when he saw a police car driving towards him.

Continue the process but now start to introduce different words to begin the sentences, the whole writing process will look like this:

 

  1. Once there was a man/woman called …who…
  2. Complete sentence 1.
  3. One day …. was….ing
  4. Complete sentence 3: when…..
  5. Suddenly….
  6. Fortunately….
  7. Unfortunately….
  8. And in the end….
  9. And the moral of the story is….

While students are writing try to monitor and help them with vocab and narrative tenses. When they have all finished have them read out their stories one by one and then vote on their favourite one.

Follow up

Students write another story using the same basic structure for homework.

Posted in Conversation Classes, Games, Writing Classes

Tall Tales

Image credit: breweryarts.org

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is an activity that can be used with all levels in which students have to invent tall tales and try to convince their classmates that they’re true. It is similar to two truths and a lie but the stories have to be at least 5 sentences long and must contain a range of narrative tenses as well as language of cohesion appropriate to the level. Credit to my colleague Peter Rassa for the idea. Download my stories below:

Tall Tales

Preparation

Write three short stories (5 sentences long) about your life or the lives of your family members, one of the stories must be true, the others should be made up but believable. For example:

  1. My Dad used to work as a doctor in the emergency department of a hospital. One day he was working the night shift when suddenly the police came into the hospital and told the staff that someone very important was about to come in. The police secured the hospital and then Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband, arrived. He had broken his arm when he fell off his horse playing polo. My Dad did an x-ray on his arm and helped to cure him. Two weeks later he received a thank you card and an autographed photo from the prince.
  2. My Granddad was a war hero. In the second world war he was a paratrooper, this meant that he had to jump out of a plane and parachute into enemy territory. In 1944 when the allies landed on the beach in northern France my Granddad parachuted in behind enemy lines and sabotaged Nazi fortifications. He was almost captured several times. He was shot in a big battle in the winter of 1944 and got sent home to recover. He was given a medal of honour after the war.
  3.  When I was at university I used to work as a waiter at the weekends and in the evening to earn extra money. One weekend I was sent to work on a big battleship. We didn’t know what the event was but we had to wear special white suits. We were given silver trays with glasses of champagne. We had to stand on the deck of the ship and serve drinks to the guests. Suddenly everyone stood up and Princess Anne, the queen’s sister walked in. She stopped to speak to some of the workers, I spoke to her and offered her a glass of champagne, when she took it I almost dropped the tray! It was almost a complete disaster!

Procedure

Split the class into groups of 3, it works best if you have 3 or more groups. Project or print out your three stories, tell students that one of them is true and two are false. Give them a few minutes to read the stories and decide which one is true. Students then guess, award points for correct guesses.

Then tell students that they must write 3 short stories, 1 true and 2 false. Give them 10 minutes to do so. Monitor and help them while they do this, make sure the groups are well separated so that they don’t overhear each other, maybe play some music to mask the sound or consider sending one group to another room.

Students then read their stories out, the other students must guess which story is true. Award points for correct guesses and points to any team whose story convinces another team that it is true. The winning team is the one with the most points at the end.

Posted in Games

Game: Alphabet Quiz

Image credit: www.20minutos.es

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a trivia game designed for teenage pre-intermediate (B1) students that could also be used with adults. I have also created a slightly easier set of questions for kids,and a harder version for adults. Credit to my colleague Peter Rassa for the idea. The game is similar to the gameshow “Pasaparabla” on Spanish television. You will need the lesson plan with the question sheet:

Alphabet Quiz

Alphabet Quiz Kids version

Az quiz hard version

Procedure

Write the alphabet on the board, if you’re feeling really creative you can do it in a circle as shown in the picture above. Quickly recap the letters that often cause your students problems. It varies from place to place but in Spain they struggle with J, G, E, I, Q, W, and Y.

Quickly recap the letters that often cause your students problems. It varies from place to place but in Spain they struggle with J, G, E, I, Q, W, and Y.

Write all your students’ names on the board in a list.

Choose a player to go first, explain to them that you are going to ask them a question, the answer to the question begins with the letter A. They have two options: they can attempt to answer the question or they can say “pass”. If they choose to answer and they get it right, they get 1 point but if they get it wrong they lose 1 point. If they choose to pass, then it is the next student’s turn but the next student is asked the “B” question. You continue like this through the list of questions, every time a question is answered correctly you cross that letter out from the list on the board. When you reach the end of the list (the “Z” question) you then return to the top of the list and work your way through any questions which were not answered the first time around.

NOTE: It is important that students don’t shout out the answers to the questions if it’s not their turn as that question could be revisited later.

The winner is the student with the most points when all the questions have been answered or at the end of a set time limit.

Credit to: http://www.sporcle.com/user/QuizzleMyShizzle/games for most of the quiz questions.

Questions:

  1. What’s the largest reptile in North America? Alligator
  2. What’s the biggest animal in the world? Blue Whale
  3. What’s the capital of Venezuela? Caracas
  4. What’s the name of the headmaster of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter books? Dumbledore
  5. North, South, _______, West, what’s missing? East
  6. Who was the lead singer of the band Queen? Freddie Mercury
  7. What metal does the symbol Au represent on the periodic table? Gold
  8. Which characters in Greek mythology did 12 impossible tasks? Hercules
  9. Tony Stark is the alta-ego of which superhero? Ironman
  10. Which Italian football club based in Turin wears black and white stripes? Juventus
  11. What’s the tallest mountain in Africa? Kilimanjaro
  12. Which singer’s real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta? Lady Gaga
  13. Oktober fest is a beer festival which happens in which European city? Munich
  14. Which tennis player won 9 French open titles between 2005 and 2014? Rafa Nadal
  15. What sea creature with 8 legs is eaten in parts of Spain and Portugal? Octopus
  16. Who is the president of Russia? Vladimir Putin
  17. What is the capital of Ecuador? Quito
  18. Which famous singer from the Caribbean has the surname Fenty? Rihanna
  19. Which actress plays Bella Swan in the Twilight series? Kristen Stewart
  20. What historical region of Romania is considered the home of Dracula? Transylvania
  21. 1930, what country hosted and won the first football world cup? Uruguay
  22. What’s the smallest country in the world? Vatican city
  23. What is the name of the cowboy in the Toy Story films? Woody
  24. Cyclops, Iceman and Wolverine are member of which superhero group? X-men
  25. What’s the name of New Yorks most famous baseball team? Yankees
  26. What is the name of the scientific study of animals? Zoology

 

Kids’ Version

  1. What’s the largest reptile in North America? Alligator
  2. What’s the biggest animal in the world? Blue Whale
  3. What’s the biggest country in North America? Canada
  4. What’s the name of the headmaster of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter books? Dumbledore
  5. North, South, _______, West, what’s missing? East
  6. Which famous pink bird lives in Africa and South America? Flamingo
  7. What type of medal does the winner get at the Olympic games? Gold
  8. What’s the name of the famous Greek hero from the Disney film? Hercules
  9. Tony Stark is the alta-ego of which superhero? Ironman
  10. Which Italian football club based in Turin wears black and white stripes? Juventus
  11. What’s the tallest mountain in Africa? Kilimanjaro
  12. Which singer’s real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta? Lady Gaga
  13. Alex the lion, Marty the zebra and Melman the giraffe are characters in which film? Madagascar.
  14. Which tennis player won 9 French open titles between 2005 and 2014? Rafa Nadal
  15. What sea creature with 8 legs is eaten in parts of Spain and Portugal? Octopus
  16. What is Spiderman’s real name? Peter Parker
  17. Who lives in Buckingham Palace? Queen Elizabeth the 2nd
  18. Which famous singer from the Caribbean has the surname Fenty? Rihanna
  19. Who sang the songs “I Kissed a Girl” and “Roar”? Katy Perry
  20. What historical region of Romania is considered the home of Dracula? Transylvania
  21. 1930, what country hosted and won the first football world cup? Uruguay
  22. What’s the smallest country in the world? Vatican city
  23. What is the name of the cowboy in the Toy Story films? Woody
  24. Cyclops, Iceman and Wolverine are member of which superhero group? X-men
  25. What’s the name of New Yorks most famous baseball team? Yankees
  26. Which princess does Link rescue in the Nintendo computer games? Zelda