Song: “I would go out tonight, but I haven’t got a stitch to wear.”
As usual, divide the class into teams, give points to make the games more exciting.
First up: feelings
Choose some top cat students, one by one. Outside of the class, show them a flashcard (happy, sad, thirsty etc). The student has to mime or act the emotion.
Have a small group of students hold the flashcards. Model a question e.g. “Is Tina thirsty ?” Students reply, “Yes, she is,” or “No, she isn’t,” depending on whether she is holding that card. Appoint a new teacher (thay in Viet) to ask the next question.
Moving on up: Pronunciation, intonation and stress
Thay Paul loves coffee so does his friend Agent Cooper: Students can act out the scene. Not only does it require stress and emotion, but also pacing.
No time to lose: Run ‘n’ write
What are the five senses ? One student from each team writes a sense on the board. Then say a noun – one student from each team will tick which sense applies e.g. ‘Pizza.’ Students can tick ‘see,’ ‘taste,’ ‘smell’ & ‘touch.’ ‘Guitar‘ (‘see,’ ‘hear,’ ‘touch.’)
One of my students has chosen the English name ‘Cherry’, so this song goes down well (especially when I try, and fail, to hit those high notes).
Now, down to business
Past tense – what is the past tense for:
eat // drink // see // become // live // travel // ride // sleep
Moving on – complete the sentence:
Last night I _____ Chinese food
Yesterday he ______ hot, sweet tea
She ______ all night
Marco Polo _______ famous for his travel stories.
He ______ from I___ to C________
In Thailand, Mr Paul _____ a large grey intelligent elephant.
Also he _____ many beautiful colourful temples
Now, past continuous
Make sentences using continuous form. Remember – verb + ing
What are they doing ? They are telling stories
Use flashcards. Have students ask and answer the questions. Call two students, one from each team and have them stand on a mark. Awards points for pronunciation as well as correct answers. Drill class to make sure everyone is taking part.
Next hand out six flashcards, three to each team.
Ask them, “What were you doing when I drank coffee ?” They must answer in the present continuous e.g. I was setting up the tent.
Finally, have a student mime an activity. Only that student’s team may answer.
Moving on, today’s subject is a reading exercise about exploring a cave. As a lead-in, show this video about a famous cave in Viet Nam:
Which brings us to the theme of safety and the book work for the Saturday Class.
E up U 2, L 1
As a break, a little introduction to the UK and its history and traditions. The beginning of November sees Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night
In 1605, a group of men wanted to kill the King of England, James I. They wanted to blow up the building where the King was going to be, so they hid 36 barrels of gunpowder under the building. However, the King’s soldiers found one of the men, Guy Fawkes, and arrested him. The King was safe ! To celebrate, people made giants fires called bonfires : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wnq7aqHLCSM
Start and play up to 0:52 to explain the background, then from 3:25 and have the class copy the children in the video. This helps with pronunciation as well as learning new words, and learning about Britain.
We still do this today. Also, children help to make a Guy Fawkes from old clothes and old bags, and then adults put it on the fire. Finally, there are fireworks, sometimes at home, sometimes in parks so everyone can see.
Many different types of fireworks are used:
Some young children are holding sparklers – they have to wear gloves and be VERY CAREFUL.
One purpose is to encourage writing; a senior Vietnamese official explained to me that Vietnamese customers are not used to writing. In my own experience, I have seen how hard it is to make the class, regardless of age, write down new words. It can take up to ten minutes to get the whole class to write down as little as five words. They have to find paper, pen etc, then they look bewildered at the task presented to them … they will often write down one, maybe one and a half words, then simply stop.
Therefore, I want to get them used to writing from an early age. To facilitate this, allocate a specific time when the lesson stops and the class have to write down new words.
I’ve found that using hand gestures can serve an a mnemonic; allow me to illustrate. I put my thumb up, I then hold my palm up, finally I put my thumb down. This has been used to help students build a sentence with a positive verb, a negative one and an advanced discourse marker.
This helps the younglings remember how to produce a sentence such as:
I can swim however, I can’t fly
The sentence introduces younglings to a contraction (can not = can’t) as well as a higher level discourse marker (or connector) ‘however’ (instead of merely using ‘but’). Furthermore, I drill the STRESS on the negative ‘can’t‘.
So, what vocabulary do they know ?
Thank you for your question. At this stage, they know many animals, basic body parts (finger, thumb, hand etc), about twenty adjectives, and basic verbs.
Additionally, they are able to form basic sentences.
It’s now time to move into present continuous, from “I drink” to “I am drinking.” We shall start by celebrating Mid Autumn Festival, a major holiday in Viet Nam. Here’s a song which uses the continuous “singing,” as well as new vocabulary such as “holiday,” and “lantern.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTWwgI17kTs
It is correct to capitalise the ‘m’ in moon IF we are referring to our Moon. We only have one, let’s not upset it (yes, I know it’s a popular question, ‘How many moons does Earth have ?’ and the answer seems to increase every year due to space debris both natural and man-made, not to mention that now some scientists think Earth actually DOES have two … but this is Level 2, let’s not confuse the poor blighters too much).
And now, without further ado …
Warm up games: If possible, make these team games as friendly competition makes the activities more engaging.
Teacher Says – this is great because it is kinetic, and helps to pass the opening minutes while students are arriving.
Word Bomb or Mind Map – board a simple word (e.g. animals), younglings have to shout out answers. Could try colours, body parts, food, clothes depending on class ability.
Magic Bag – I open my bag and ask “What’s in my bag ?” Class has to shout out (or write) possible items I would have in a school bag. This reviews vocabulary from a previous book. As an extension, when they see the item, they have to describe it with two or three adjectives.
Screen Test (based on a children’s TV show from the 70s) – show a short video clip, just a minute or so. Then ask questions. For example, in the Mid Autumn Festival Song, we could ask:
What is the first word we see ?
How many windows does the house have ?
How many lanterns were orange ?
What lantern did the boy hold ? A star, a fish or a doll ?
What colour dress does the girl wear ?
How many dancing moon cakes were there ?
Bonus Question: Can you name 4 different lantern shapes ?
Run and Write – any game that involves the younglings leaving their seats and writing on the board. One version is to have students write a word that begins with ‘a’, then ‘b’ … and so on. Just one person at a time (to avoid possible accidents … I only have limited space in my classroom).
Memory Recall – choose 4 – 6 students and give them a flashcard from a previous lesson. Today, we could use feelings (sad, happy, hungry, thirsty, hot & cold). Younglings stand at the front of the class and hold their card up. Class shout out the words. Then the younglings hide the cards behind their backs and change the order in which they are standing. Now I ask, for example, “What does Ms Linh have ?”
Pair work talking – this is vital in breaking the teacher- student dynamic; we need to promote more student to student interaction, but making this work is a slow train coming. Arrange class in pairs and make them ask each other basic questions. At this age (my class is in the 7 – 9 age range), it may be difficult to get boys talking to girls … at 17 – 19 it may be impossible getting boys to STOP talking to, or trying to impress, girls … but that is a different story.
Subjects could include:
How are you ? (to which the answer must not be “I’m fine.”
What animals do you like ?
What is your favourite colour ?
Do you have a brother or sister ? How many ?
What food do you like ? Can you swim ? Can you play piano ?
Hope this helps. Feel free to leave any comments or suggestions.
I’ve spent so much time reading books about classroom activities, looking at websites and blogs only to reject the vast majority as not being suitable for my level of students. Here are a couple of games that have been successful over the years, in different centres and with different ages, though I usually employ them with students aged between 6 and 10. Adapt them as you wish, and have fun.
This is based on the old paper and pencil game (later upgraded for the electronic and computer age).
Board a grid as above (add more cells as required). Put the class into teams.
[I let them choose their own names, and if a student says, ‘Errrrrr,” then that’s the name I give them … additionally, this always gets a laugh]
Ask the teams questions based on previous lessons, general knowledge, whatever suits your class. You could either elicit an answer from the team as a whole, or individual members.
If the student answers correctly, they are allowed to choose a cell, example “C3.” On a separate sheet, have the same grid with scores assigned to each square. In the example that follows, C3 would score 25 points.
The following questions were used to review past tense grammar, as well as forming collocations:
Put the sentences into the past tense (simple past). Say complete sentence.
1 Last week we learn about technology
2 I buy a new iPhone last night.
3 Michael Jackson write many good songs.
4 Oh, no … I do not do my homework !
5 Have they decide what printer to buy ?
6 He see all the ‘Avengers’ films in one day !
7 It’s Friday ! I think today was Wednesday !
8 On holiday, I walk along the beach.
9 My grandmother send me an email.
10 Have you play the new video game ?
Complete the collocation
11 (go) to the cinema [I _______ to the cinema]
12 (play) guitar
13 (take) a photo
14 (chat / go) online
15 (do) voluntary work
16 (make) a decision
Snakes and ladders
Another activity based on a classic game. I first used this in a very energetic class of 9 – 11 year olds and, thanks to the size of the room, I was able to draw a grid on the floor and use students as ‘counters’, to move around the ‘board’.
If that isn’t possible, just board a grid like so:
GO FORWARD 2
GO BACK 1
GO FORWARD 1
HA HA BACK TO START
GO BACK 3
All you need is a die or dice and different colour board markers. As before, arrange the class in teams, then ask each team a question. The student who answers then throws the die (preferably NOT at the teacher but one thing at a time), and I chart their progress on the board. You can decide whether or not the students need an exact score to land on Finish or not … play it by ear.
[ ‘dice’ is generally accepted for both singular and plural. For English-language learners it’s probably better to use ‘dice’.]
Working in pairs or small groups, gather information about these countries, then make a presentation. Add something about yourself ;would you like to visit these countries ? Why ? What would you do there ? What would you eat and buy ?
Brasilia (Brasil) Seoul (South Korea)
Ottawa (Canada) Egypt (Cairo)
Brasil 183 888 841 // South Korea 51 047 000
Canada 37 000 000 // Egypt 97 055 000
Brasil – Portuguese // South Korea – Korean
Canada – English & French // Egypt – Arabic (EgyptianArabic)
To make the lesson come alive, have the students act out scenes or give them a set time to make up sentences containing as many phrasal verbs as possible.
Same as Shakespeare … English is meant to be USED and SPOKEN … not just studied in a dry text book.
So, without further ado:
the cat out / the fire out / up with it (something unpleasant) / on a happy face
it in your own words / up or shut up ! / it away / it another way
well soon / over it ! / on with it / away with murder / on the bus
stuffed ! (impolite) / with the program (US) / some fresh air
a career move / your move a pig’s ear of something / a wish /
up for lost time / the best of something / fun of someone /
the right thing / away with that old technology / your best /
a funny walk / the dishes / your hair
it on ! / it to me / “my bow of burning gold” (poem) / about change
it up at the next meeting / a smile to my face / up children well
turns speaking / it up with the manager / up my trousers a little /
a good look at yourself / a hike ! / medicine / a deep breathe
look after/ think about / wear out / give up / grow up / takes after
tell off / look up to / hang up / go for / passed away
Phrasal verbs work like normal verbs, so they can be used in the infinite (look,think), the past tense (I wore out, I looked up to ..) and in continuous (I am hanging up now).
Make sentences using phrasal verbs in:
I need to think about that for a while. (present)
He gave up smoking ten years ago (past)
We are looking after our niece today (present continuous)
verb + particle e.g. find + out = find out (learn something)
The verb can be present, past, future or continuous:
I give up
I gave up
I’m finding out about HCM City.
I will (I’ll) find out about the cost.
buy out / up
give up / away /
CLUE: first identify what tense is being used
They were __________ free samples
The computers are down; we have to ________ the meeting
A soldier has to _______ orders
The company was ______ by a Japanese company
The stocks are very low, we should ________ as many as we can
Don’t ________ on your dream 🙂
Make sentences with these phrasal verbs:
take care of // hold on // move on // take over // think it over
look after // think about // give up // grow up // takes after // tell off // look up to
Which phrasal verbs fits here ?
She really …………. her father, they are so alike.
I can’t go out, I have to ……….. my nephew.
Mandarin is too hard, I just …………. (past tense verb)
Many Vietnamese ………………. Uncle Ho
I’m not sure which bank is best. Let me ………. it and get back to you.
I had to ………….. my son because he ate all the cakes.
My manager is very immature. He needs to ………… and quickly !
give up / go for / grow up / hang out with / hang up / look after / look up to / tell off / passed away / takes after /think about / wears out
Izzy is talking to Kate on Skype. Izzy can’t go out on Saturday because she has to
____________ (take care of, be responsible for) her little sister, Georgie. Izzy says she’ll __________ (consider) bringing Georgie too. Georgie interrupts, and Izzy has to
_____________ (end the phone/Skype conversation). Georgie’s hamster has ________
(died) and she’s upset. Izzy says she loves her little sister but she __________
(makes her tired).
Meanwhile, Sam is wondering why Izzy doesn’t want to _____________ (spend time with) them. He thinks Izzy should bring Georgie to the cinema, but maybe Izzy won’t ________
(like, agree to) the idea.
Izzy is annoyed because her sister is trying to look like her, but Kate says it’s sweet that Georgie _____________ (respects and admires) her big sister. Izzy disagrees that they are similar; Georgie ______________(is similar to an older relative) her dad, whereas Izzy is more like her mum.
When Georgie asks Izzy to get her a hamster, Izzy gets angry. She tells her sister
to ________ (become an adult). Georgie says their dad will _______(Izzy)_______
(speak angrily to Izzy because she’s done something wrong). In frustration, Izzy says
“I __________ (admit defeat)!”. Fred and Sam take Georgie to look at some kittens, then they all go to the cinema. Georgie is the only one who isn’t scared by the film.