Friday, August 31, 2012

Activity 13- Past Continuous Dictation

How about turning a very traditional classroom practice into something more creative and engaging? Students will definitely have fun working on this different "dictation" that is totally created by them!

Level: Beginning/Intermediate
Grammar topic: Past Continuous
Language skill: writing
Device needed:  a digital camera (cellphone, tablet)

Number of devices needed: one per student

The objective of this activity is to have students practice the Past Continuous is a semi-controlled way. First, assign the task to be done at home: they should use a digital camera to record themselves performing any action. The video should last around 10 seconds and they should interrupt what they were doing to answer the telephone. Then, ask them to email their video to you. On the following class, tell them that they are going to watch all the videos and that each video corresponds to one sentence of the dictation. Write a sentence on the board so they have a model to follow (Ex: " John was dancing when the telephone rang" ). Show them the videos and have them write the sentences.
Here are some videos that my own students have produced for this activity:

Tip: turn it into a more challenging task by not establishing that their action should be interrupted by the telephone ringing, let them decide what is going to interrupt it!

Source: Vinicius Lemos

Friday, August 17, 2012

Activity 12- What`s the Occasion?

This activity can be used to practice vocabulary related to clothing and the present continuous as well!

Level: beginning/intermediate
Vocabulary: clothingGrammar topic: Present Continuous
Language skill: speaking
Device needed: any device with a built-in digital camera
Number of devices needed: one per student
Internet connection: offline


This is a class project that requires in-class and outside-class work.

Part 1: 
On the first day, give each student a slip with a particular situation written in it (EX: GOING TO SCHOOL/CHURCH/WORK/THE BEACH/THE CHURCH/THE MALL/THE GYM/A WEDDING/A JOB INTERVIEW/ A ROMANTIC DINNER/ A FAMILY PICNIC/A NIGHTCLUB/ETC...). Remind them that they should not reveal which situation they were given. Then, explain that they should go home, pick up in their closet the outfit they would wear for that occasion and take pictures of all items (clothes/shoes/accessories) and a picture of themselves wearing the outfit for that occasion.

Part 2:
On the second day, ask students to sit in small groups. Explain that they should show the pictures they have taken (and orally say the name of all clothing items) and other group members should guess where their classmates are going dressed like that. As a follow-up, ask students to show the picture in which they are wearing their outfit and have other classmates describe using the Present Continuous (ex: you are wearing a pink dress, high heels, a watch and a necklace). You can also have them vote on the student who was best dressed for the assigned occasion.

Alternative suggestion: In part 1, ask students to send you via e-mail their picture wearing the outfit. Then, in part 2, you can show the pictures of all students in a slide presentation and elicit from them the sentences in the Present Continuous (follow-up part).

Source: Vinicius Lemos

Monday, August 6, 2012

Activity 11- What are they doing?



How about practicing the Present Continuous in a different fun way?

Level: Beginning
Grammar topic: Present Continuous
Language skill: speaking
Device needed: iPad
Number of devices needed: one per student
App: Photo Crop
Price: free
Internet connection: online (offline if built-in camera is used instead)

Explain that in this activity students are going to practice the Present Continuous by asking questions. Write the model questions on the board:
Is he ____________________-ing?
Is she ___________________- ing?
Are they _________________-ing?

Students, then, should go to Google Images and save an image of someone doing an activity (ex: running, dancing, swimming, sleeping, etc). Then , using Photo Crop (app), they should cut up the image so that only part of it can be seen. Students should then sit in small groups. One student shows the cropped image and the others ask the yes/no questions until they guess it correctly. Students then take turns to guess the other cropped pictures. 

-Model it before students actually work on the activity.
-If there is no internet connection, students can use their cameras and take pictures of each other performing different actions.

Source: Vinicius Lemos