Archive for May, 2010

The doodle-story CONTEST

Posted in ESL, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2010 by EslImaginarium

Can you tell what it is yet?(said in your best Rolf Harris impression.)

I’m looking for more ideas for doodles with accompanying stories.

Prize – Some quirky Japanese origami paper all the way from Japan.

Click here for an example then inspire me with your own creativity:  Please be kind as this is my first attempt at sketch cast.

1. Watch Russell Stannard’s short training video to learn how ‘sketch cast’ works.
2. Sign up to ‘sketch cast’ and try it out.
3. Try to think of a story to accompany your sketch.
4. Subscribe to my blog
5. Send me a link of your masterpiece with your e.mail/blog address.
6. I will choose a winner and send some wonderful Origami from Japan.

I look forward to receiving your entries.

Closing date is 14th June so let’s get creative.

Here is the first entry by:

Susan Gowans (esl4word.wordpress.com): Click here.

Lesson Activity-”What is it?’

I usually teach ‘What is it?’ lessons by only drawing a small piece of a picture and then asking the students to guess what the picture is.  I continue to draw and stop at intervals until the students guess correctly or until the picture is fully complete.  The students are always captivated by this activity and will try their best to guess the correct answer.  Don’t worry if you are not the next Picasso as the students love to see hilariously bad drawings and it all adds to the fun of the activity

Here is a youtube clip which you could use for this activity.

[Play it with the sound down and stop the clip after a few seconds before asking the students: "What is it."]

You could also play this with the volume up and ask students to listen to the description of how to draw the monkey.  Students draw something and then think about how they would describe ‘how to’ draw it to a friend .

Students are very talented artists(especially Japanese students) so they get really excited when I ask them to take the teaching position and do the drawing.

If you add a story to the drawing then it makes it even more interesting.(Click here)

At the end of the drawing ask the students to try to remember the story and write it down.  Ask the students to draw the picture beside the story.

Now for some last words from the legend that is ‘Rolf Harris

Quiz time- Questions about the clip:

Show the clip a few times and ask the students to concentrate on the dialogue and what is happening.

1. What is the name of the chocolate bar that Rolf is advertising? Whispa’.

2. What are they giving the people a chance to do? Get their message put up on billboards.

3. What did they send Rolf? A list of messages.

4. What did the chosen message make Rolf do?  It made him smile.

5. Which colours of paint does ‘Rolf’ paint with first?  Yellow and red.

6. What does the message on the street pole say?(0.37) ‘Beware smart’

7. How many people are taking photos with their mobile phones? 4 people.

8. What telephone number is on the crane? 0800 52 1595.

9. Did you see the girl wearing the bicycle helmet?  What was she doing? Talking on her mobile phone.

10. What does the message say?  To the one I love.  Jakie,  Marry me?   Love Phil.

11.  What did the pretend?  That he is taking her shopping.

12. Why did the winner enter the competition? Because he loves her and wants to marry her.

13. How many billboards will share your messages? Over 1000.

Describe Rolf- Using the clip describe what Rolf looks like and talk about his personality

Lets be creative:

Students have to design their own billboard message and explain their thoughts behind it.

Have a competition to decide the best billboard to display in the school.

‘Morph’ & ‘Pingu’ – The power of gestures

Posted in ESL, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2010 by EslImaginarium

I loved watching the characters, ‘Morph’ and ‘Pingu’ when I was a child and even though I did not understand the ‘gobledygook’ language they spoke I was able to understand and find entertainment in their adventures.  The key to their success was their over emphasised gestures and humorous stories.  You can use the following lesson as an example of how important gestures are.

1. Morph

Morph – Bed Time

Students watch the following clip a few times before they are asked questions about it.

Questions about the clip

  1. What does ‘Morph’ want to do?     He wants to go to sleep.
  2. What does ‘Chas’(cream-coloured)want to do?    He wants to listen to music.
  3. What does the sign say on ‘Morph’s’ wooden pencil box?     ‘Please do not disturb’
  4. Why is ‘Morph’ not happy?     Because Chas is playing the music too loud.
  5. What is ‘Morph’s’ solution to the problem?     To put earphones on ‘Chas’.
  6. Why is ‘Morph’ still not happy?     Because ‘Chas’ continues to sing very loud.

Talk about a time when you could not get to sleep because you were distracted.  What did you do to try to get to sleep?  drink milk, count sheep etc.

Imagine that Morph and Chas could now speak English.  In pairs the students write down what you think that they are saying to each other in the clip. With the sound turned off  the students talk over the clip with their dialogue.  The class decides which pair had the best dialogue.

2. Pingu


Pingu – ‘Bouncing’

Students watch the following clip a few times before they are asked questions about it.

Stop the clip at 1.58 and ask the students ‘What do you think ‘Pingu’ and his father are going to make?’

Write up the suggestions and watch the clip to see if the students were correct.

wordle:

Students have to put in order the objects ‘Pingu’ jumped on.  They write a number next to the word.

Writing & discussion:

Write down what happens in the clip.

Why was ‘Pingu’s’ mother upset?

What did she do to punish ‘Pingu’?

Can you remember something naughty you did when you were a child?  How were you punished?

What do you think is the correct way to punish children when they do something wrong?

Write down some notes and form an anecdote about your childhood memory.

Talk to other students about your childhood experience.

Let’s perform:

Students form groups of 3.  Tell the students that ‘Pingu’s family can now speak English.  The students have to each choose a character from ‘pingu’ and write a dialogue for the clip they have just seen.  Students perform their dialogue with the sound turned off and the class decides who has the most original dialogue.

The power of gestures:


In groups the students write their own ‘Morph’ or ‘Pingu’ story.

They have to think about the gestures for their story.

The students perform their story using only gestures to tell the story.

The other students watch and  discuss what they thought about each performance.

I feel better baby

Posted in ESL, Uncategorized, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2010 by EslImaginarium

Manufactured pop Vs talented musicians?

Let the students listen to the following two tracks without showing them the videos.

Students have to write down what words/sentences they here.

Let the students listen a second time. Students  have to close their eyes and visualise what they think the video would be to accompany the song.

Students write down their ideas and discuss them with the other students.

Students decide which song they prefer and are separated into groups depending on the track they prefer.

Students now watch the music videos and compare the video with what they thought the video would look like.

1. Baby -Justin Bieber

2. Hot Chip- I feel better

Use this video as a “What happens next” activity.

Stop the video at 1.40 and ask students what they think will happen next.

Give some examples of what could happen and get students to guess what will happen.

1. The alien has a breakdancing  competition with the boy band.

2. The alien shoots the boy band with lasers.

3. The boy band shoots the alien with lasers.

Time to debate:

Do you wish the ‘hot chip’ alien made an appearance  in the Bieber video?


After watching both videos the students have to again decide which they prefer and see if their preferences have changed after watching the video.

If they have changed their minds than ask them to give a reason why.

The students form groups depending on which video they prefered.

Each group has to put forward an argument to why they prefer their chosen song.

The groups battle it out with each group having a set time limit to state their cause.

The Bieber phenomena.  WHY?

Show students the following clip and ask if they think it is funny.

Do they want to see more videos of Justin Bieber being humiliated?


Students use computers to research the Bieber phenomena.

Here is a recent quote form ‘onlinesocialmedia.net’

“For quite some time now, teen singing sensation Justin Bieber has enjoyed his permanent spot on Twitter’s Trending Topics list. However, as of very recently, Bieber appears to have been knocked off and his fans are wondering what’s happened.”

Why do they think he is so popular?

Do you think he deserves this popularity?

Is there going to be a Bieber backlash?

It’s time to ‘tweet’


Students join the twitter debate and write their own tweet(140 words max.) about their thoughts on the Bieber phenomena.

Too much Bieber – let’s ‘feel better’ with  some more “Hot chip”

Here is another version of the hot chip song featuring the very talented “Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy”

Students decide which version they prefer.

Students write down some ideas for a music video for this version.

Make a ‘wordle‘ of all the sentences from the song

Students look at the ‘wordle‘ and put the sentences in the correct order.

Some last words

I ‘feel better’ when I don’t listen to Justin Bieber.

Students write a tweet (140 words max.)and discuss what makes them ‘feel better’.


Working this F*$#!ing job

Posted in ESL, Music, Uncategorized, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2010 by EslImaginarium

*Warning NSFC-Controversy in the classroom*


Show this clip at the students discretion only.  Advise the students that the following clip is a little controversial and that if they are of a sensitive disposition then maybe it’s best that they do not watch the clip. This clip contains risky language and some scenes of violence.  You could easily edit it so that the words are deleted from the video.

Watch the music video:

Drive by truckers – Working this job

Controversy issues:


Start a discussion about censorship in videos.  Ask the following questions.

1. Why do you think they use the “f-Word” ?

2. What do you think about the use of violence in this clip?

3. What impact did the violence and language have on you?

4. Is it really necessary to include the violence and f-word?

5.  Does it relate to the song and video?   Why?

6.  Is this clip being controversial just to provoke people, which will in turn generate more sales through the media exposure?

Lights, Camera, Action

Students choose from 3 scenes in the clip.  They write a dialogue for the scene and then act it out.

(0.43) Scene outside ‘burger world’.  Dialogue between the  boss of ‘burger world’ and the protagonist.

(2.05) Scene with the man robbing the store. Dialogue between the store clerk and the protagonist.

(3.25) Scene with the police confrontation.  Dialogue between the policeman and the protagonist.

Lyrics – What lyrics do you hear?

Students listen to the clip a few times and write down as many lyrics as they can.

The students compare the lyrics they have written with the other students.

Story time


The students use the lyrics to help them write a story about the clip.

Ask some questions for them to think about.

Why did the man do this?

What were his responsibilities?

“What makes it all worthwhile?”

“Can a family live on fast food wages?”

Game-  In groups students try to write down as many jobs as they can in a set time limit (5mins).

Each group reads out the jobs they have written and if the other groups have the same word then they score it out.  The groups only get points if they have a different word from the other groups.  Subtract points for wrong spelling.

Word magnet-(My first attempt)

Please click here to watch Russell Stannard’s training video about word magnets.

If students have computers in your class room then this application is really good.  If they don’t then use sheets of paper.

Students have to write down as many job words as they can and then separate them into what they consider to be worthwhile jobs and  not worthwhile.

Let’s debate about jobs-


When they have divided the jobs into categories the students have a debate about their opinions and why they consider some jobs more worthwhile than others.

Call out a job and have the students who think it is worthwhile go to one side of the classroom and the other students go to the other side.  Both sides think about what they can say to support their arguments in a debate.  Each side is given a time limit to present their ideas.

Some final words

Students have to think about and then discuss what they think is important in life and what responsibilities they have.

The numbers don’t lie

Posted in ESL, Music, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2010 by EslImaginarium

‘The numbers don’t lie’ – Daily routines

Music video: “The Mynabirds-The Number’s don’t lie”

This is a lesson about routines and how to make them more bearable.

1.  Elicit from students the activities they do on a daily basis and think about how many times they have done these activities so far in their lifetime.

2. Students watch the following music video and write down the daily routines they see.

3.Student’s look at the following wordle and put in order the routines that happen during a day.


4. Show the students the music video again.  This time ask them do think how the man feels about his daily routine.

5. Ask some questions.

Where does the man go everyday and what does he do?

Does he have a happy life and why?

6. Show the students the following picture:

7. Ask students how similar it is to their own lives.

8. Student’s create their own daily routine cycle.

9. Show the video for a last time and ask them to think about how the man makes his life more bearable.

10. Ask the students how they make their lives more exciting and what do they do to bring colour into their lives.

11. Ask students if they had any experiences with imaginary friends when they were children.

12. Look at the cartoon and think about what they can do differently in their routines to make life more interesting.

13. Student’s suggest how they can change their routine and write what their perfect routine would be.

14. Student’s look at the following daily routine of Tiger Woods:

( If they are adults you can make a joke that this routine fails to mention his most strenuous exercise     which is keeping up with his many affairs.)

15. The Students discuss Tiger Woods routine.

16.  Using this routine as an example the students choose a celebrity and write what they think their     daily routine would be.  They could present their routine with the picture of the celebrity to other class members.  The Pictures and routines could be made into a class poster

Try to fill the spaces in between

Posted in ESL, Music, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2010 by EslImaginarium

*Warning NSFC-Controversy in the classroom*

Show this clip at the students discretion only.  Advise the students that the following video is a little controversial and that if they are of a sensitive disposition then maybe it’s best that they do not watch the clip.

Visual dictation

Explain to the students that there are two rooms in this video.  They have to describe the rooms.

  1. Students make pairs
  2. Student A will watch the video several times and describe what is happening to student B.
  3. Student B will listen to student A and sketch the 2 rooms.
  4. Student B describes their sketch to student A.
  5. Both students watch the video and compare the sketch.

Wordle activity

Student A tries to guess the order of each word as seen in the music video.

Students watch the video and check if they have the correct order.

Discussion - Students discuss how provocative they thought the video was and how it made them feel.

Crime Scene Investigation


Explain to the students that they are investigators at the scene of the crime.  They have to write about the ‘space in between’ and using the evidence in the video/wordle they have to decide what happened before the scene of the crime.

Students present their stories to the class.

The class vote on the best investigator.

Fotobabble: Take a picture of each students sketch and upload it onto fotobabble.  The students have to use their story to talk about what happened over their photo.

Update- Here is a recent interview with the movies director(Rupert Sanders) about the video:

Pitchfork: Did you talk with him about the meaning of the song and why he wanted those visuals specifically?

RS: Yeah, for him it was very much about the neglect that has led a relationship to this– the demise of love and passion. He was very specific in how the room caught fire and that they had killed each other, and how the people around them didn’t really care.

Pitchfork: When I first watched it, I thought the other people were somehow in on the killings.

RS: It’s hard because you want to be elusive about what’s going on but not so confusing that there was no train of thought. If you look closely, there’s a knife next to Trent and Mariqueen’s holding a spike of a champagne glass. You don’t really know why the other girl is laughing on the phone rather than calling 911. There’s something a little more disconcerting and creepy when the audience can play more of a part in figuring things out.


It’s never “too little too late” for an esl date

Posted in ESL, Music, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2010 by EslImaginarium

An esl Discussion of places and romantic dates

Music video; “Russia” – Ramona Falls

This song is perfect for talking about the perfect date and discussing places.

1. Elicit places where the students would go on a romantic date.

2. Elicit gifts they would take to their date.

Give students a copy of the  wordle and ask them to separate the words into the following categories:

1.  Where would you go on a romantic date?

2. What gifts would you buy?

Watch the music video

Students watch the movie and put the places and gifts in the order that they see them by writing a number next to the word on the wordle.

Ask Questions about the clip:

What does the female have on her jacket?     A red rose.

What colour is the females t-shirt?     Red and white.

What colour is the origami crane?     orange.

What does the female do to the origami crane?     She burns it.

What animal is at the fairground?     A frog.

What does the dog do to the female?     The toilet.

What does the female throw at the man?     A book.

What 4 activities does the man do to try to catch the female?

Running, swimming, cycling, riding a horse, riding a motorbike.

What is attached to the rope that the man attached around the females neck?     A piano.

How does the female escape from the church?     By helium balloons.

Make anecdotes:

Students write notes about the best and worst date they have had.

They practice talking about these dates to the other students.

Students discuss what would be the perfect date and about  the  meaning of the phrase; “too little too late”. ex. Have you ever been too little too late with a school project or exam.

Talking about places – fotobabble(First attempt)

Once again I headed to the website of the wonderful tech guru; Russell Stannard to find out how to use fotobabble.  It’s a very easy application to upload a photo and record your thoughts.  I think this would work wonderfully as a task for students, either as homework or a project in class time.

Click below to watch my first attempt at  ‘fotobabble’.

fireworks

Using the places in the video, students have to talk about their experiences at one of these places and record it on fotobabble.  Ask the students to choose a photo they have taken or have found on the internet

Here is a slideshow of the places featured in the vid:

Let’s write a story

Posted in ESL, Music, Uncategorized, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2010 by EslImaginarium

Students watch “Let’s write a book-Field Music” and try to find the words.

1. Make a wordle using the vocabulary you see in the music video

Watch the music video:

Give the students each a copy of the ‘wordle’.  Drill the words in the ‘wordle’ and check for understanding. Ask the students to circle the words they see  in the video.  Watch the video three times as the images are very fast.  Students count how many words they found.

Add some words to the wordle which are not in the video to make the task more difficult.

To make this activity more competitive put the students into groups.

Ask students what other things they saw which were not in the wordle.  e.x. periscope, rhino etc.

Voice Thread- My first attempt;

I learned how to use this application by watching this helpful step by step guide by Russell Stannard.

I circled all the objects in the movie to show the students where the words are.

Check it out by clicking here.

If students know how to use ‘voice thread‘ then they could add their own comments to the video.

[This is my very first attempt. If I did this again I would choose a brighter colour to highlight the images.]

Let’s write a story

Explain to the students that the song title was called “let’s write a book”.  Tell them that they are not going to write a book but they are going to write a story using as many words from the ‘wordle’ as they can.

How to fool a baboon

Posted in ESL, you tube with tags , , , , , , on May 11, 2010 by EslImaginarium

This activity combines an excellent game with a great video and covers all the important skills needed for language learning(reading, listening, writing and speaking).  This never fails and the students love the competitive nature of the game.

Explain to the students that today they are going to learn how to fool a baboon into showing where the water is.

Make a wordle

First of all I made a ‘wordle‘ of the sentences after watching the video.

Read & Report game(the rules)

1. Affix several copies of the wordle around the room

2. Break the students into groups of 2 or 4. Half the students are the writers and other half are the runners.  The runners have to race to the sentences, remember one sentence and relay it back to the writers.

3. Students can rotate roles each time a sentence is finished to ensure that all the students are given the opportunity to participate in all the areas of learning.

4. Once all the sentences are obtained, the students must put the sentences into the correct order.

Watch the “you tube”clip

Students check if they have got the correct order of sentences by watching the clip.

How to train your dragon(esl- Movie conversation)

Posted in ESL, Movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2010 by EslImaginarium

How to :   Offering practical advice and detailed instruction on an activity.

ESL- Let’s talk about movies

1. Discussion of themes: What are the themes in how to train your dragon?

Main themes:  father/son relationships, being different, ignorance, achievement, adolescence, trying to prove yourself.

Students choose one of the themes as a basis for writing practice and then they use what they have written to talk about the theme and form an anecdote.

Please click here to find a link to several questions about movies to illicit conversation.

Talk about the impact of 3D -

Students compare this animation to other recent animations.  They discuss how 3D can add to the experience of the movie.

Let’s watch Mark Kermode discussing his views on 3D in movies:

3D is a very topical subject at the moment and the students could have a debate on whether they think it is a good idea.  If they have seen Avatar then they could discuss if it added to the overall cinematic experience.  Is it really worth wearing uncomfortable classes for over 2 hrs and paying the extra money for the benefit?

Guess the movie game

Students give clues about a movie they have seen and the other students have to guess the movie.

Slowly give clues and see who can guess first.[WARNING - PLOT SPOILER]

1. (50 pts) Genre

What kind of movie is it?

It’s an ____animation_____.

2. (40 pts) setting

Where and when does it take place?

It takes place in ____Viking times_____.

3. (30 pts) Actor

Who is in it?

______Gerard Butler(voice)______ is in it.

4. (20 pts) plot

What’s it about?

It’s about a ___young Viking who  becomes the  friend of a dragon____.

5. (10 pts) climax

How does it end?

In the end, ___ the boy becomes a hero and the village realises that the dragons are not enemies____.


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