Young Learners, Level 4: Tell me a story

12th October 2021

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Top Cats – I’ve shown you a lot of adjectives. Learn them, practice them, use them.

Look at these pictures. Tell me a story. Use adjectives to tell me what you see and what you think.

Here is our list of adjectives, and remember, colours are also adjectives.

amazing, angry / beautiful, big, boring /clean, clever, cute / dangerous /easy, electric, exciting / fantastic, fast, funny / greedy, great, Greek / happy, hard-working, healthy, high, huge / important, intelligent / Japanese / kind / lazy / messy / nervous / old, outgoing /popular / quick / rude / sad, selfish, shy, sleepy, small / talkative, tiny, tired / ugly, unusual / valuable / wealthy / xenophobic / year-long, young / Zambian

We have a young lady and a man.

Let’s go to work ! What can you see in the first two pictures ?

Tell me about the lady. Who is the man ? How does he feel and why ? What does the lady do ? How does she look ?

Then the lady … ?

Finally the lady … ?

OK, Top Cats, give me your answers.

Points for using adjectives, correct grammar, and pronunciation.

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EXAMPLE:

A young lady with long straight dark hair is at school. She is very tired and sleepy. She has a lot of boring homework.

Her daddy is very angry. He wants the lady to be intelligent not lazy.

The lady is nervous because she is so shy. She reads many big books. She is unhappy. However, she is hard-working.

Sometimes the books are exciting and she thinks it is important to learn.

She has a high score and her family are very happy.

The beautiful clever young lady has a great job. She is wealthy and has many valuable things. However, she is not selfish. She buys her family amazing presents.

NOW … Your turn

Tell me a story

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Tips: Tell me what the boy looks like. Tell me how he feels. Tell me what he does. Finally, what happens to the boy when he grows up ?

How about this story ?

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Notes and links

The ‘Young Lady’ story was originally used in an IELTS blog: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/01/06/ielts-4-5-speaking-class/

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Young Learners, Level 4: What does the future hold (and a repeat of ‘The Late Show’).

30th May 2019

One of the benefits of over-planning is that the work can be carried over to the next lesson; such is the case now. Also, we have a chance to refine the activities, find ways to improve them and eradicate our (i.e. ‘my’) mistakes.

A common problem I make is to over-estimate creativity in students. Some people find it hard to be imaginative in their native language, let alone in a foreign tongue. To solve this, I shall provide some assistance in the form of notes, taped to the walls.

As a warm up, we learnt colour association last week; have they remembered ?

What emotion or feeling do you associate with

Red

Blue

Green

Yellow

Black

White

Can they give me a sentence or an example ?

Now … The show must go on

I will use the talk show format as blogged last week but with some amendments.

This is a compilation of clips from David Letterman, who speaks in a very quick, New York style. We can start around 2:41 and play about 30 seconds. Drinking the perfume should amuse my students:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K22baZRNQKc

In groups of five, one person can pretend to be famous, either an artist, scientist, sportsperson or actor. The rest of the group have to interview the student, each member asking a question such as:

When did you start (acting, playing sport, learning an instrument, acting) ?

How long did you practice or How many hours a day do you rehearse ?

How old were you when you won your first award or medal ?

Tell us about yourself – where were you born ?

Do you have any brothers or sisters ?

What do you want in the future ?

Who do you like or who inspires you ? Why do you say that ?

Next, we need to create a studio set. We’ll do a ‘word bomb‘ or ‘mind map’ game. Who works on a TV show ?

We have a host and of course, we need a guest.

But we need someone to work the camera (cameraperson), the sound (sound engineer) and a director to shout ‘Action !’ We’re in HCM City, so we need a great backdrop for our show:

To arrange groups, and get a mix of students who don’t usually sit or work together, I will arrange the desks in islands of four or five chairs. Each island has a number. The students must choose a card numbered 1 – 5 and sit at that island. Here my TA will be invaluable in making boys sit with girls, and dealing with all the petty squabbles that WILL ensue.

To prevent paucity of ideas and therefore an excuse to do nothing, I will make information sheets and have them pasted around the room. The students have to gather information, but I will expect them to provide basic information themselves.

However, by putting text on the wall, the students will have to read and transmit the information to their team and arrange it in a proper sentence:

Actor

First performance: School play at age 5. Actor forgot the words !

Teacher told student to be an actor because was a bad and noisy student.

Was in a TV advert at age 8 for ice cream

First film at age 9

Next work is a film with Hari Won.

Wants to go to Hollywood and be in a big action film

Scientist

Got a microscope for birthday present at age 6. Used it every day

Favourite subject at school science, biology and chemistry

Went to Sai Gon Zoo every weekend in summer

Won District 2 science contest when was 7

Has an uncle who works for English medical company

Wants to work with animals in the Asian jungles

Artist

Began painting at 2 years old with hands !

Grandmother bought a paint set for birthday at age 4

Always won best painting at Kindergarten and school

At age 6, went to HCM City art gallery

Paints the stage for all school shows

Wants to study art in Paris, France

Sportsperson

Began playing table tennis when only 3 on a special small table

Could beat older brothers and sisters when was only 5

Neighbour said join a club. Was best player in 10 weeks.

Won first contest at age 6

Could beat most adults by age 8

At 9, joined the Vietnam national team

Wants to represent Vietnam at the Olympics and win gold medal.

The students will then have to present their work in the form of a TV chat show, with a director, cameraperson and sound boom (a plastic fly swat can easily stand in for a boom, while the director can pretend to have a headset, and shout, “Three, two, one … action !”

To continue the fun, we can have the students drink tea in the ‘British’ fashion – I model the typical way to drink tea, raising the pinkie, and sipping quietly and without a Vietnamese, “AAAHhhhhhhhhh !” after each gulp. Points, naturally, awarded for the best tea-drinker.

Finally, we can watch and imitate one of my favourite actors, Mr Peter O’Toole, also from the Letterman show. The students must copy this line: (0:46 – 0:50)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Fl3bOeXvyI

The line to be recited, along with accompanying body language, is:

“Oh, I’ll shuffle through my memory.”

And then, our little lesson is rounded with a … hopefully not sleep, but spelling tests, book work and general shenanigans.

I shall endeavour to elicit the meaning of new words and to gauge juts how much vocabulary the students are retaining as opposed to forgetting. Place your bets …. the clever money’s on the latter.