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Common Worlds (First Lesson Activity)

This Activity is designed to help break the ice at the beginning of a course and assess the level of your new students.

The idea is very simple. There are 3 different habitats (Land, Sea and Sky) and students are going to group themselves according to those habitats and devise a Habitat Charter together.

Preparation

Print and cut out the Habitat pictures
Print and cut out the Animal cards
Print the Habitat Charters
Procedure

Introduce the 3 Habitats by placing the 3 pictures in different areas of the room
Explain to the students that they are going to be grouped by Habitats
You may model the activity by creating your own charter for a 4th Habitat with a few aliens from Mars, Venus and Jupiter: The Space Habitat Charter
Students first need to find their habitats
Each student gets an animal card that they should keep secret
Students ask each other YES/NO questions to understand which animal they are and which habitat they should join
You may model this to help weaker students into using what they know
Can you …? questions
Do you have …? Have you got …? questions
Do you …? questions
Students then make a Habitat Charter in their little groups
Give them their Charter. Students decide on:
Their flag
Their favorite food
Their hobbies
A few rules for good coexistence
Students will remember these groups throughout the year. You may reference these groups whenever you have new projects for them
Possible Extension

Groups give presentations of their Habitat Charters
Groups vote for an ambassador to the other habitats
Groups make rules for visitors of other habitats
Groups negotitate trade agreements with other habitats (better for adults)

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Business Nightmares

Check out “Business Nightmares” from Tom’s 10-minute talk on ProEnglish!

Instructions

This activity is inspired by reality TV shows in which an expert comes to a business and gives feedback. Usually, there are big problems in the business and there is a lot of conflict between the show host and the business owner.
The situation: Students own a business (Card A). They have just been on the TV show, and the local newspaper wants to talk interview them about it (Card B). A tries to spin the story so that his/her business can survive!

Extension: Lawsuit

 In this extension, the business owner (A) tells the writer for the local newspaper (B) that he/she is going to sue! A tries to get money out of B based on what B wrote in the article.

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Angry Neighbors

Check out “Angry Neighbors” from Tom’s 10-minute talk on ProEnglish.

Instructions

Student(s) A and Student(s) B are neighbors.
 Student A (quiet neighbor) is trying to do something at home, but Student B (loud neighbor) is making a lot of noise.
 Student A takes a “Quiet Neighbor” card and Student B takes a “Loud Neighbor’ Card.
 Student A talks to Student B. They try to find a compromise so that both are happy!

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HOW CAN WE USE A CALL BELL IN THE CLASSROOM?

A call bell may be really useful in the classroom! Here are my ideas on using it.

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Degrees of comparison

EDITOR'S CHOICE

We need a sheet of paper and a pen to study Comparative degree.

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Guess who I am

You have to prepare some cards with the names of celebrities and famous people and put them inside a box. Students take out one and don’t tell anyone who they are according to the card. Then they have to guess everybody’s personality using basic questions (e.g. Where are you from? Where do you work? etc) or asking for some specific information. It’s gonna be fun, I promise 🙂

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Spelling ideas

How to use hand-made tiles with letters

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Home Schooling

NQTs (Newly Qualified Teachers) often face a tall order – which institution to send their CV (Curriculum Vitae) to? If they are lucky, a decent educational institution invites and takes them on by itself. If not, the choice for an English teacher rarely varies within some other framework but a state school with a heavy workload and a private language centre with a demanding headmaster. However, for a NQT there should be an alternative of starting their own business as a tutor of English. This article will mainly touch upon the upsides and downsides of such.

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Checking Homework – Using The Time Wisely

A few ideas on checking homework with teenage students.

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