16th May 2019
This is for Saturday morning’s class, 10.10 – 12.10. Seventeen students, a little noisy and raucous but a breeze compared to Levels 1 & 2.
Today, there is a a lot of work already set for the students, including a major spelling contest, and a story-writing project. Additionally, I always over-plan the lessons, meaning that they will always be work that I can use in subsequent lessons. Such is the case today.
We can start with descriptions of people:
Warm up: Student description
In a previous lesson, the class learnt about basic adjectives to describe appearance. I will therefore choose a student and describe the physical characteristics, e.g. this student has long straight hair, is not very tall, and wears black glasses. I will choose some students and give them a student to describe, while promoting the value ‘be polite‘.
To continue the theme of Art and creativity, I will show some artists. The class already met Frida Kahlo but I thinks it’s time they met Dali !
Dali normally get a reaction (especially when we have fun elongating his name as long as possible). It’s also a chance to learn a few new words:
creative / genius / unusual / strange / surreal
The last word maybe a little advanced, but it’s a good way to introduce new words; inside the word is ‘real’ so surreal has something to do with reality … but what ? Here’s a clue:
This is a mixture of reality and fantasy. The students can say which is which … and why does Dali give the elephants tuba faces … is there a reason or is it just crazy ?
I will then expect the student to form basic sentences using these new words, and not forgetting new vocabulary from previous lessons.
Next up, is a scene from the popular Children’s classic, ‘Alice in Wonderland’.
Again, a mix of reality and fantasy. How would the students describe this ? It could be turned into a game … students put into small groups and given boards and markers. Points for the best vocabulary. What is happening ? Also, how to tell a story – an introduction and then mentioning items point by point, linking with appropriate discourse markers. YES ! I’m going to make the students study hard today.
Always good to give a model answer, tell the students what I expect to hear, or WILF as I’ve heard it termed in some schools (What I‘m Looking For).
Now, to continue the theme and introduce some listening and reading skills, a video. This is the singer-songwriter Don McLean with ‘Vincent’, about the artist Vincent Van Gogh:
This version also has the lyrics, as well as various paintings by the artist such as:
Then, with time against us, and a lot to get through, we’ll turn to the book work. They will watch a video which also shows sculpture, mosaic and photographs. The book also mentions Van Gogh, and a sculpture based on the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party from ‘Alice’.
A useful lesson will be the subjectivity of art – it is a chance for the student to think and to give their views, and to try to develop the English skills to express their thoughts. Clearly, this is a perfect opportunity to introduce some fixed expressions to express opinions:
In my opinion …
I feel that …
For me …
And even an idiom – it’s not my cup of tea !
Finally, to wrap up after the spelling tests and writing projects, a little bit of fun. Who better than Dali (or at least a great actor playing Dali) ?