Young Learners, Level 5: Sounds of the rain forest.

5th June for 6th June 2020

Here’s a quick blog for a class I’m covering tomorrow. As a warm up and review, I’ll play this music as the students enter the class: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHWhebFt_r0

Long-term fate of tropical forests may not be as dire as believed ...
A tropical rain forest

Next up, a great video (under five minutes) about the rain forest, in English but with captions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMdD6TTDZ_g

The video has a lot of new words, so I will pause the clip and board new words. Following the video, I’ll ask these questions. Being a large class, the students can work in teams, maybe each team having the name of an animal (that should be fun for Team Monkey).

Which big cat has spots, which has stripes ? Why do they have patterns ?

What is the name of the line that goes around the middle of the Earth ?

Rain forests has two things … what ?

What fruit can you find ?

What animals live at the top of trees ?

Is Vietnam in the tropics ?

BONUS POINTS:

Why are rain forests important ?

Colombia creates the world's largest tropical rainforest national ...

They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen

They are home to lots of different wildlife

They produce water and rainfall for the planet

Moving on rapidly – Adverbs

Give me a sentence for these photos:

Pin by Jill Czarnowski on Big Cats | Jaguar animal, Animals ...

EXAMPLE:

The jaguar runs quickly // The jaguar with black spots, runs very quickly

House panel tackles bill vs late-night karaoke, loud sound systems
Karaoke
Lunch atop a Skyscraper - Wikipedia
Life in the slow lane: three amazing sloth records | Guinness ...
A sloth
Respect is the Watchword: 'Orange is the New Black,' Season Two ...
Reading in a library ssshhhhhhh …
One of Buster Keaton's most dangerous stunts | Imágenes bellas, Fotos
Buster Keaton doesn’t stand in a very safe place

How do I follow that !

The remainder of the lesson is given over to reading, the theme being a music recital, so I can lead in by asking who play an instrument (then explaining that my long nails on my left hand are for playing guitar, not for scaring students).

For the quiet book-work section, I’ll play the glorious Ludwig van: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tr0otuiQuU

Young Learners, Level 5: Cracking the Enigma.

16th November for 17th November 2019 E Up 5 U 8 L2 pp. 74 – 75

Image result for geeks nerds dorks

Geeks, nerds and dorks – these are words for people who really understand computers, or play computer games all day. Maybe most of their life is spent online.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ? DO YOU SPEND TOO MUCH TIME ON COMPUTERS ?

What are computers good for ? Why could they be bad ?

Here we could board the pros and cons, just to get the students talking.

Then an unscramble game: What are these websites and what are they for ?

espyk // nsgtarmia // oftsypi // uubotye

Vocabulary review:

I always play music in my class. If I like a song I will ………………… the volume

When I finish checking my emails, I ……………… from Google

If my manager thinks the song is too loud, I have to ……….. the volume

At the end of class, I always …………………. the computer.

Let’s compare – the past and now:

Image result for computers from 1950s
Image result for latest apple desktop computer
Image result for computer technicians 1950s
Image result for asian child using ipad

Can you crack a code ?

I will write an animal in code … can you tell me what the animal is ?

dbu

What animal is this ?

Look at the first letter – ‘d’. what is the next letter in the alphabet ? … e. The next letter after b is c, and after u comes v … so we have ecv – but that is not a word. Instead, go back a letter each time. Before d is c, before b is a and before u is t. Therefore, we have ‘cat‘.

In groups, students make their own coded animals. Using the same pattern (the letter before), put these animals into code:

goat // dog // elephant // Godzilla

But what happens if the code has no pattern … and it is changed every day ? That is exactly what happened during World War II, and the German Enigma machine.

Germany was winning the war in 1940 and 1941 … only the UK were fighting them

Image result for map of germany 1941

The Germans were sending secret messages in code. This video explains the Enigma machine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qcOCBfRRzg&list=PL97HViQblvdEM3zsauRxnIg1baFTNmsDM&index=29&t=0s

Image result for enigma machine

Some of the greatest scientists and mathematicians tried to break or crack the code. Remember … they only had one day because the code was changed at midnight. The scientists worked outside of London at Bletchley Park

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Many people worked there but the most famous person today is Alan Turing

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Can you crack a complex code ? I have made a random code which I will give to the groups. They have to break my code and read my message. The coded message is:

LWM QM IWV

If that is easy, then try this:

VE MAEWJQVK QV YURMM

To review recent vocabulary, I can ask the students if they have finished yet ?

Finally, before the book work, students can ask each other what they use computers, smartphones or tablets for. Personally, I upload photos, post them on Instagram and Facebook, listen to music on Spotify, chat on Skype and Viber as well as using Grabbike to book my ride home. Moreover, I write these blogs.

What do you think of these ?

Image result for first apple computer
Image result for pong game
Image result for 1960s mobile phone

And this song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQIYEPe6DWY

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And next week, our penultimate lesson, extensive reading – ‘Just a minute’

Image result for twin peaks just a minute damn fine coffee

Young Learners, Level 5: Because it’s there !

7th Nov for 1oth November 2019 E Up 5, U7, L 4 pp. 70 – 71

Image result for did Mallory really say because it's there

George Mallory was a British explorer who wanted to climb Mount Everest. This is such a dangerous activity, a journalist asked him why … to which, Mallory is said to have responded, “Because it’s there.”

Warm up: Runaround.

Class in three teams, named Polo, Cook and Buzz

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General knowledge questions about the world:

A – Mount Everest is the tallest mountain … where is it ?

1 – Tibet and Nepal // 2 – France and Germany // 3 – Kenya and Tanzania

B – The longest river is … ?

1 – Yellow in China // 2 – Amazon in South America // 3 – Nile in Africa

C – The largest city – most people living there – is … ?

1 – Delhi, India // 2 – Tokyo, Japan // 3 – Shanghai, China

D – Tallest building in the world ?

1 – Landmark 81, HCMC // 2 – Burj Khalifa // 3 – Taipai 101, Taiwan

E – Marco Polo was Italian but he travelled to … ?

1 – China // 2- South Africa // 3 – Canada

F – The first man on the Moon was … ?

1 – Buzz Aldrin // 2 – Neil Armstrong // 3 – Thay Paul

G – Captain Cook discovered … ?

1- Vietnam // 2 – Egypt // 3 – Australia

H – Which Greek hero fought skeletons ?

1 – Jack // 2 – John // 3 – Jason

British Culture

This class likes exciting stories, so I think they will enjoy this:

Image result for 5th nov fireworks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4FGmYNCGW4

The story happened in 1605 when the king was James I. A group of men wanted a new king so they planned to kill James.

Image result for James I

One of those men was Guy Fawkes. He knew a lot about bombs and gunpowder. the plan was to put 36 barrels of gunpowder under the building where the powerful people would be waiting for the King. Maybe you know Guy Fawkes … ?

Image result for guy fawkes

Guy Fawkes was waiting at night, under the building …

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However, guards and soldiers discovered him.

Image result for guy fawkes arrested

The King was so grateful, he told people to make huge bonfires all over the country. We still do this today, and have fireworks as well as making a dummy we call ‘Guy’, from old clothes and old material. We put a mask on him to look like Guy Fawkes. Children take this ‘Guy’ around and ask people to give them some money:

Image result for penny for the guy

Now book work … reading about climbing Everest.

Comprehension quiz:

How tall is Everest ?

Who tried to climb it in 1924 ?

Who were the first people to climb it ?

When did they achieve it ?

Who was the first woman to reach the top ?

Where would YOU most like to explore ?

Image result for great wall of china

The Great Wall of China … like Marco Polo ?

Image result for james cook in australia

Australia and New Zealand like Captain James Cook ?

Image result for buzz aldrin on the moon

The Moon … like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin ?

Next time … computers: geeks, nerds and gamers..

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Young Learners, Level 5: Around the world (in eighty minutes)

26th October for 27th October 2019. E Up 5 U 7 L 1 Countries pp. 64 – 65

Today’s theme is travel, and we will focus on six countries from five different continents. As a warm up, the students can be put in teams (this is a large class in a small room so activities have to carefully planned to prevent chaos and injury). Each team is given a small board and has to write:

Four ways to travel – vehicles.

BONUS QUESTION: unscramble this

tho ria ololban

Start the clip around 0:52 seconds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjiCO8k6Jhg

Thay paul has been to many countries – write four countries in Asia where I’ve been.

Clue 1) Kimchi 2) Sawass dee Krap 3) Petronas Tower 4) Merlion

Now, in Vietnam – write four places to which I’ve been.

No photo description available.
No photo description available.
Image may contain: ocean, sky, outdoor, nature and water
Image may contain: sky, ocean, tree, outdoor and water

When we travel, we can:

Try to elicit long and detailed sentences. Encourage the use of at least one adjective.

Image may contain: 10 people, people smiling
Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling
Image may contain: food and indoor
No photo description available.

I have been to Thailand but I haven’t been to China

I’ve been to Thailand. I’ve never been to China.

Student talking time – in small groups, ask, “Where have you been ?”

Then ask, “Have you been to Ha Noi or Hue or Phan Thiet ?”

Ask one of the top students to tell me where they’ve been and never been.

Finally, ask the students to tell me about the others in their group e.g.

“He’s been to Dalat but he’s never been to Ha Noi.”

Today we focus on six countries:

UK, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, India and Kenya.

We studied how the Greek hero Theseus killed the Minotaur. Which countries are these ? Tell me as much about the country as you can (capital city, language, weather)

Image result for st george killing the dragon
Image result for indian god elephant
Image result for colosseum
Image result for maori
Image result for peru
Image result for kenya

Now, a quick music quiz; where do these pieces of music come from ?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVS72L8VsFk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4Sdxr1Likg;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdbZl2w_R7g

Students ask each – what music do they like best and why

Language to learn: fun // rhythmic // mysterious // melodic

Which country would they like to visit … and why ?

Finally, bring a globe to class and … in small groups, ask the students to find the six countries.

Endgame – have a student describe a flag, and the class have to guess which country.

What sport is this ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOuycLaJ-_s

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Young Learners, Level 5: Welcome to Athens.

3rd October for 6th October 2019. E Up U6 L1.

An Introduction to Greece: location, history, lifestyle.

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The flag of Greece
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I shall also bring a globe to the class, as this is more visceral than internet images. The students, in small groups (or else the globe will be destroyed) have to find Greece. Now, to review recent vocabulary, what do the students think of these lifestyles ?

First, the food: Does it look healthy ? What other adjectives can the students add ?

Image result for greek food

Some typical Greek food: olives, cheese,vegetables, fish, meat and bread. Also, we have some sweet food:

Image result for greek food

Next, lifestyles – what about these photos:

Image result for jogging up the acropolis
Image result for greek man smoking

How about this Greek dance ? Maybe some of the more active students would like to try !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_kele6tedo

Image result for greek dancing

Now, Greek history and myth. On the island of Crete, there lived the Minotaur, half-man, half-bull. He lived underground in a big maze called the labyrinth. Every year, the King of Athens had to send 14 children for the Minotaur to eat.

Image result for greek minotaur

The king had a son called Theseus. He was a hero. He decided to go and kill the Minotaur.

Image result for Theseus

The King of Crete had a daughter called Ariadne. When she saw Theseus, she decided to help him. She gave Theseus a big ball of string. He tied it to the door of the labyrinth, then used it so he wouldn’t get lost (it would be a good idea to get some string and tie it to the door handle, or at least act out the motion).

Image result for labyrinth
Image result for Theseus with ariadne's string

Theseus found the Minotaur and killed him. Then he sailed back to Athens with Ariadne (I’m being economical with the legend here; the students are aged ten and eleven).

The students will be learning about the Parthenon in the next lessons, so this is a way of introducing them to Greece and its history. I’ll board words such as ‘bull’, ‘labyrinth’, ‘sailed’, ‘hero’ and ‘decided’. Then, after the students have written them down, they can watch this Lego version and tell me what is happening- start at 0:23.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-zWkDElTyc

Many children will know superheroes such as Spiderman, Iron Man etc. How does Theseus compare ? Whom do they like best ?

Then, onto the lesson. Today it’s about measurements, so although its important, it will not be as exciting as Theseus and the Minotaur.

The class is rather large, (twenty-one students) the room is rather small, which limits the scope for kinetic activities. Remember, these are still young children, some of whom will not really want to be in class on a weekend, so anything to vary the lesson and maintain their interest is worth trying.

I often put the class into small groups and then hand out a board and marker. The teams race to be first to write a sentence or key words from the lesson.

Another activity is to put two sets of flash cards on the floor and choose two students. They have to walk or hop from card to card, saying the phrase on the card. To make it more challenging, they have to hop with both hands on their heads (or some such variation). Quickly, two more students

Finally, to make the lesson more inter-active, one student per team can ask another student from another team to say what is on a flash-card and the answer has to be within five seconds. Points should be awarded to encourage the competition.

And what better way to end the lesson than with the theme from the film ‘Zorba the Greek’.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkXmPAStp8Y

Young Learners, Level 5: Feelings (nothing more than feelings)

20th August for 25th August 2019. E Up 5 U1, L2 pp 6 – 7

A new class (for me) which I hope to be substituting, not taking full-time (this is an afternoon class and I already work all morning with young learners, and THAT is enough in spades). I will need to assess the levels of ability and motivation, as well as spot the trouble-makers, the big mouths and those who are committed to disrupting the lesson (believe me, there’s always at least one).

Last week they learnt some past tense, mostly irregular verbs. As our text books are published by the USA office of Oxford University, they favour American spelling i.e. learned as opposed to the more commonly used learnt in British English (both are correct). Furthermore, the books are printed in China, making this a real global enterprise, so that will form part of our activities.

Warm Up: A kinetic run ‘n’ write exercise. I will say a simple sentence in the present tense; students have to write the past tense. Class can be split into two or three, depending on size, each with a different colour marker.

You act in a play / I ride an elephant / She win a competition / He read a big book / We learn English / … and what happened here :

And yes … I DID ride an elephant:

With my friend in Thailand

Information gathering:

Last week, the students were introduced to the continents. Now I will develop that further by focusing on four different countries: Brazil, Canada, Egypt and South Korea. To give an example, I will use Vietnam:

Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam

95.54 million people live in Viet Nam. The population is 95.54 million.

The government of Viet Nam is in Ha Noi. The capital city is Ha Noi.

People speak Vietnamese. The language of Vietnam is Vietnamese.

Vietnam is very hot but also has a rainy season. The weather is very hot then very wet.

Ladies in Vietnam wear ao dai and non la. Ho Chi Minh is the most famous Vietnamese person.

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Vietnam is famous for beautiful ladies in the traditional dress, the ao dai.

First, elicit comments about the four countries; where are they, in which continents ?

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Canada
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Egypt
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South Korea

The class will be split into four groups, each representing one country.

One member can draw the county’s flag, the others have to gather information. Around the room I will stick information sheets. One member has to run to the sheet, then tell his team the information. This practises reading, talking and writing skills and most importantly, allows the students to communicate with each other in English.

The drawing is also useful, as the students are still children, attending classes on weekend, so they need some diversion from book work.

As such, and as a way of introducing new vocabulary and expressions, I will show a children’s guide to London, my hometown and the UK’s capital city.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrJNIUp2izQ&list=PL97HViQblvdEM3zsauRxnIg1baFTNmsDM&index=24&t=0s

Image result for duck tours london
Duck Tours, London … a bus that turns into a boat – it’s brilliant.

I will play the video once, writing down new words. I will then make the students write them down and then, when I replay the video, they can shout out when they hear the new vocabulary spoken. These will include:

loads and loads / I reckon / really / very / amazing

And so .. to book work. The theme is ‘feelings’ and then using them in basic sentences.

With six flash cards, I will drill the pronunciation and meaning. One game is to pass the first card to a top student and let the student say the word out loud before passing on to the next student; when the third student has said the word, I pass the first student the second card and so on …

Additionally, there is (for Johnny Cash fans) ‘Walk the line’: I spread the six cards out on the floor, in a line. Two students, one at each end has to say the word then move on to the next. First to finish is the winner – or even have the whole class line up, in two teams, so everyone gets to join in.

Finally, once students are confident (one of the feelings) of meaning, we can have a game where I tell a student a feeling and said student must mime or act out for the class.

At this level, I’m hoping for good speaking abilities and students able to form basic sentences and read short passages.

As usual, I’ll be supplied with some additional worksheets about feelings for those who finish the workbook section quickly. These can easily be found online – the British Council have a great supply on their website: https://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/worksheets