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Activity, Lesson idea

Social media gifts

I hope everyone enjoyed their Xmas break and their gifts – the physical, psychological and social. And that everyone is having a good first week back (if you are back, if not lucky you!).

This time some two years or more ago I would have been in much more of a panic due to having to come up with some interesting lessons. Now with the gift of social media I am able to rely on teachers around the world sharing great ideas.

#flashmobELT

The first resource I leant on was the #flashmobELT. I used the Tag It activity posted by Anna Loseva/ ‏@AnnLoseva. The way I used it was to write on the board 3 tags that described three events of my Xmas holiday:

wooden
cycle
Echo

The students were asked to question me to find out the meanings of the tags.
(scroll to end for the meanings).

The students then did this in pairs themselves, with me highlighting the need to probe for any details, once finished they told me what they had discovered about their partner’s Xmas break.

The engagement in the activity was very noticeable, I also rounded up some typical language errors that stood out.

This is a very simple setup that can work with a number of language points. Although the activity itself is not new, the way it was framed by Anna as tags gives it a contemporary feel which my students easily recognized. Recommended!

An Idea a day – Brrr

The next resource I used was provided by ellensclass/ ‏@ellensclass on her Idea a day site. The blog post was on the arctic temperatures over in the USA, I used the  video and the NPR news text.

To set up the video I asked my students to rearrange the mixed up title of the video that I had boarded. I then told them to offer suggestions as to what advice the video would give. I asked them if they had heard of the low temperatures hitting the USA.

Then I simply played the video one time. I did a quick comprehension check by asking them to list the activities in order and what the guy said at the end of the video.

Next I asked them to imagine making a quick survey to poll people based on the activities e.g. see this photo of the board:
brrr
The aim of this was to review and practice some language for approximating data – so I did the poll with the class and asked then to rephrase the results e.g. Nearly everyone in the survey has listened to the snow, Hardly anyone said that they would go swimming outside in the winter etc.

I then used the NPR text in a match the title to text race, where I dictated the 7 titles to the students (explaining that they referred to 7 events that happened in the chilly conditions in the US) and then in teams they had to run over to a table containing the texts to find a match. The team who finished first with correct matches wins.

Pre-social media

I did use a course book resource when looking at telephone language in another part of the lesson. And as mentioned all the activities are not new but in my pre-social media days finding appropriate and interesting content such as the video and the text would have been much more difficult.

So thanks very much to all the folks in my social media who freely share and inspire daily.

And thanks for reading.

Oh yeah nearly forgot my tags:

wooden – It was the first real Xmas with our 20-month old son so the wooden referred to the wooden/cardboard tree we bought rather than a real Xmas tree. Great fun was had by our son in playing with it

cycle – I am not too keen on NYE parties partly because of the transport issues and partly because they are usually disappointing. This year however as my wife stayed home with our baby and also as my friend only lives 15/20 minutes aways by bike I ventured out. And had a surprisingly good NYE party, nice!

Echo – This was the name of an art exhibition, of someone my wife knows, that we went to see – video installations, not bad.

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About eflnotes

ELT teacher based in Paris, France

Discussion

6 thoughts on “Social media gifts

  1. Hi and thank you for the mention. It’s getting more and more exciting to see #flashmobELT turning into something useful. Thanks for taking part and posting about it! Just what we had in mind, perfect.
    I like the “tag” contemporary allure and quite possibly abuse the word with my students in different types of activities.

    I’m also honoured to become a tag on your blog myself.=)

    Posted by annloseva | January 8, 2014, 18:17
  2. Thanks for the mention. Great ideas! I’d love to be in your class. And congrats on the baby, too :)

    Posted by Ellen | January 9, 2014, 00:09
  3. hi ellen

    no worries, am always amazed and delighted by the things you post every day :)

    ta
    mura

    Posted by eflnotes | January 9, 2014, 02:25
  4. Hi Mura,

    Great example of how being part of a connected community enriches all of our classrooms. It would be great if you added an activity to #flashmobELT. If there was some kind of low tech, non-context dependent collocation/corpus oriented activity that you knew of….

    (no pressure and not too specific a request, huh?)

    Kevin

    Posted by kevchanwow | January 9, 2014, 08:34

Penny for your thoughts

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