Young Learners, levels 2 & 3. Snakes & ladders review games

29th November 2011

Team games are a great way to motivate younger students, as well as reinforcing their knowledge of English. Ideally, games should test all learning skills; reading, writing, speaking and listening, not to mention focusing on pronunciation and grammar.

Here’s a familiar game which can be used in the classroom together with an online dice. Put the students into small teams, and give them mini boards and markers.

First, some questions for level 2

Give me a sentence with these verbs:

dance / drink / eat / take / hold / listen

some or any ?

Is there ____ milk ?

There are ________ eggs.

Are there _____ fries ?

There are _____ carrots.

Would you like ____ ice cream ?

There aren’t ___ sausages.

Grammar: conjugate these verbs

I like watching football (you / he / she / it / Mr John / we / they).

I don’t like taking photos (you / he / she / it / Mr John / we / they).

I can float in space (you / he / she / it / Mr John / we / they).

Adjectives. Write two adjectives for:

a tiger / a dolphin / a puppy / a vampire / a frog

Time

What do you do at 7.00 in the morning ?

What do you do at 1.00 in the afternoon ?

What do you do at 9.00 in the evening ?

Quick writing: You have 10 seconds to write down as many words as you can beginning with the letter:

s / p / t

Tell me something you like and something you don’t like. EXAMPLE: I really like English however, I don’t like maths.

Tell me three things you can have in a:

kitchen / bedroom / living room

Tell me about your family. Try to speak for as long as possible.

Example: I have a mummy, a daddy and two brothers. My mummy is friendly. She is small and has black hair. My daddy is tall. My older brother likes to play video games. My young brother likes to read books.

Write a sentence with these adverbs. One sentence each:

always / usually / sometimes / never

Tell me what children can do in Sai Gon

Image from Pinterest from teacherspayteachers.com

IELTS – Some footnotes to help you stand on your own two feet.

25th November 2022

Last night I was speaking with my wonderful TA about boosting her IELTS score. Our lesson used the Greek hero Achilles. Furthermore, we had both been standing more or less for four hours. I gave her two expressions then realised they were connected – Achilles heel and my dogs are barking. Therefore, here’s a quick list of foot-related expressions.

Achilles heel – this hero was invincible because his mother immersed him in a special river, as shown in the painting. However, she held her son by the heel so the water didn’t touch the boy’s skin. This was his one weak spot, and he was killed by Paris who shot an arrow into Achilles’ heel.

In everyday English, an Achilles heel refers to a person’s weak point, or flaw.

John’s vocabulary was excellent but his pronunciation was his Achilles heel.

This means John knew many words, but his pronunciation was so bad, he would lose points in a speaking test.

My dogs are barking – this mean your feet are very sore or hurting. Bob Dylan uses the expression in his song ‘Summer Days’

My dogs are barking, there must be someone around
My dogs are barking, there must be someone around
I got my hammer ringin’, pretty baby, but the nails ain’t goin’ down

copyright Bob Dylan 2001

To foot the bill – means to pay for something, or all of something.

We went out drinking but I had to foot the bill !

To put your foot in your mouth – means to say something that you shouldn’t have said – maybe you tell a secret, or you hurt somebody or get somebody in trouble.

Tony said the man was very stupid but he didn’t know he was talking about her husband ! He really put his foot in his mouth.

Foot and mouth disease – this is a very serious disease affecting cows, pigs and sheep. We can also use it to speak about a person who always puts his or her foot in their mouths.

Shelia can’t keep her mouth shut, she always says the wrong thing. She has foot and mouth disease.

To stand on your own two feet – means to be independent, not to need anybody’s help.

It’s time you stood on your own two feet, young man.

To toe the line – to do as you are told, to follow orders, or to follow the rules.

You better start toeing the line, mister, or look for a new job !

You won’t have a foot to stand on – you have no rights, or evidence to help you. You have no chance. Sometimes you may hear you won’t have a leg to stand on.

Without photo evidence or a witness, you won’t have a foot to stand on.

Two left feet – refers to someone who can’t dance.

No, I can’t dance, I have two left feet.

Footloose and fancy free – a person who is not in a relationship, so they can go out and meet new people. Someone who is ‘single and loving it.’

Footnotes – information or explanatory notes at the bottom of the page in academic books. The fiction author, David Foster Wallace was famous for using footnotes in his novels.

Legless – slang for being totally drunk.

You should have seen Peter last night – he was absolutely legless !

To have a hollow leg – someone who can drink a lot of alcohol but doesn’t get drunk, or appear to be drunk.

That’s her 7th beer and she looks fine. She must have a hollow leg.

To be a heel – this is now old-fashioned, but it means to be a bad person, to cheat people or be unfair.

He tricked the man out of $100. What a heel !

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

How to kill a vampire: post-Halloween review game

1st November 2022

A chance to review recent lessons, and be a brave hero.

First, split the class into two or three teams: Vampire, the Mummy & Werewolf.

Second, what can kill these evil creatures ?

For a vampire, we can use garlic, and a crucifix or cross.

For the Mummy, we can use fire, and a cat.

For a werewolf, we can use a silver bullet or mercury.

Team Vampire

Team Mummy

Team Werewolf

The game:

Ask the students questions, testing vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar and writing skills.

A correct answer means the student may roll a die. The following numbers represent weapons:

1 = garlic // 2 = mercury // 3 = an Egyptian cat //

4 = fire // 5 = silver bullets // 6 = crucifix or cross

Therefore, Team Dracula needs a 1 or 6, Team Mummy needs a 3 or 4, Team Werewolf needs 2 or 5

The first team to reach 5 points is the winner

Sample questions

Adjectives: what is the opposite of …

sharp / smooth / easy / cheap / high / modern / soft /

Countries: what countries begin with letter …

B / D / E / G / H / R / S / T / V /

Grammar: conjugate the following verbs …

I don’t like vampires / You / He / She / It / Ms Anh / We / They …

I’m not scared of the Mummy / You’re …

I don’t want to be a werewolf / You …

Speaking: tell me about the pairs of food, using adjectives and your opinion

Example: water and cola

I always drink water because it is very healthy. However I never drink cola because it is bad for my teeth.

Pair 1: banana and crisps

Pair 2: hamburgers and salad

Pair 3: phở bò (beef noodle soup) and pizza

Free speaking. How long can you speak about …

Give the students some time to prepare as a group, then select one spokesperson.

Sports //

What you can do at home //

Your family //

Bonus Goth points … an extra throw of the die for the student who can sing this song, ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead.’

The song builds up, and the vocals don’t start until around the 2:50 mark

Bauhaus

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Young Learners, Level 3: using new adjectives.

14th October 2022

The last two lessons focused on adjectives and their opposites, including:

big~ small // high ~ low // sharp ~ blunt //

easy ~ difficult // rough ~ smooth //

quiet ~ noisy // fat ~ thin // safe ~ scary

Complete the sentences with the correct adjective.

I can’t cut my hair, my scissors are __________

My puppy is so _______ however, my hedgehog is very _____________ .

The maths test was so _______ however the science test was so ________________ .

Be careful, Ms Thuy ! The man is very ______ .

Laurel and Hardy are so funny. One is very _____ however, one is very ______ .

Yoyoko is only _________________ however she is very ______________ !

Harold is climbing very _____

Oh, no ! Crocodiles have very ______ teeth.

Now … your turn

Get out your list of adjectives. Write THREE sentences with new adjectives.

To help, look at these photos:

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Young Learners, level 1: let’s write a story

13th October 2022

Today you are going to write a short story about your favourite animal.

First, what animals do you like ?

A is for …. // B is for … // C is for … // D is for … //

E is for … // H is for … // L is for … ? // M is for … //

R is for … // S is for … // T is for … // W is for … ?

Then listen to this short story about a rabbit called Peter. The story is by Beatrix Potter.

You will learn some new words. Try to use them in YOUR story.

New verbs and adverbs: (use present tense or Verb 1)

underneath / squeeze / chase / catch / hide /

New adjectives:

naughty / lost / safe / friendly / happy / scared /

Now … your turn

Make four squares on your paper like this.

Think of a story. Start like this:

[Square 1] I will tell you the story of …

[Square 2] First … was naughty.

(what does your animal do ?)

[Square 3] Then … chase or squeeze …

[Square 4] Finally Mummy tells …

Draw and colour your story

EXAMPLE

I will tell you the story of Max the dog.

First Max was naughty. He sees a friendly cat.

Then he chase the cat in the garden. The cat is scared.

Finally Mummy tells Max to be nice. Max hides and the cat looks and catches Max.

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Young Learners, Level 3: Sentence building using the Past Tense

24th August 2022

Last week, we learnt some adjectives and used them in a short piece of writing.

Can you remember the adjectives ?

Let me think …

The adjectives:

old / young / beautiful / handsome / ugly / happy / angry / sad / healthy / unhealthy / amazing / clever / cute / dangerous / exciting / great / intelligent / interesting / lazy / talented

This week, we are going to write another short story, but this time using Past Tense (Verb 2).

To start, here is a list of verbs in the Present Tense (Verb 1). What is the Past Tense ?

buy // drink // eat // go // listen // make // play // read // say // see // take // watch

Some of those are hard !

bought / drank / ate / went / listened / made / played / read / said / saw / took / watched

What did you do last week ?

Use Past Tense (Verb 2) and the new adjectives. I want three sentences with at least three verbs and three adjectives.

EXAMPLE:

On Saturday I watched an interesting video on YouTube. A young girl played drums very well. She was so talented. On Sunday, I read an exciting book and listened to some old music.

Now … your turn.

What did you do, what did you see, what did you eat and drink ? Did you … ?

Goodbye from Nick, Ben, Chris & Nathan

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Young learners, level 3: Let’s tell a story.

18th August 2022

Reading is cool !

Let’s tell a story !

First we need a subject, a person or animal, or both:

a pirate
astronaut
girl who plays guitar
boy who plays football or sports
happy mummy
angry man
unicorn
puppy
shark
teacher
doctor

Now, what are they doing ? Maybe they are:

walking // playing // working // talking // watching // reading // doing homework // making a video // looking for something

What other verbs do you know ?

Now we need some adjectives. What adjectives do you know ?

old / young / beautiful / handsome / ugly / happy / angry / sad / amazing / clever / cute / dangerous / exciting / great / healthy / unhealthy / intelligent / interesting / lazy / talented

Now, let’s make a story. I will choose the teacher.

One day a handsome teacher was making a video for YouTube. The teacher has short, straight, black hair, and a black beard. He looks very friendly and happy. He is speaking about sharks. Sharks are very dangerous, big and angry. The video is very exciting and interesting.

Now … your turn. Tell me an interesting story. You may draw and colour as well

bye-bye from The Beatles

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Kindergarten: Student as teacher

14th August 2022

Objectives:

Develop speaking skills

Encourage students to speak in sentences

Use of contractions i.e. I’m, it’s etc

Show English syntax by example rather than by formal teaching e.g. adjective before the noun

Have the students interact with each other in English

Make basic phrases part of the student’s natural speaking

The students have been making short sentences, looking at flashcards, such as, “It’s a yellow book.” To make sure the students are able to switch colours and adjectives, and not just think that all books are yellow, here’s a little exercise.

Have one of the students be Teacher, and then ask, “What is it ?”

Teacher can also ask individual students; that way, we can monitor progress, and see where help is needed.

Rotate Teacher so all students are given a chance.

Now … What is it ?

It’s a blue book. It’s a big, blue book.

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Young learners, level 6: Adjectives and grammar review

5th July 2022

First, let’s build a word bank of incredible, useful and unusual adjectives:

amazing / beautiful / Chinese / colourful / cute / dangerous / difficult / energetic / English / famous / fantastic / generous / greedy / great / hard-working / healthy / intelligent / interesting / Japanese / kind / lazy / loud / messy / naughty / nervous / outgoing / popular / quick / quiet / rich / rude / selfish / talkative / top cat / unhealthy / unusual / valuable / wealthy /

Game 1 – say are these adjectives positive (good) or negative (bad) or neutral (neither good nor bad)

Game 2 – make sentences using present continuous and two adjectives

EXAMPLE: She is reading a heavy, interesting book.

I ___ play ___________________ , ______________________ music.

You ___ watch a _______________ , ________________ film.

He ___ talk to a ____________ , _____________ film star.

She _____ study every day because she ___ __________ and ___________.

Ms H ____ smile because she is so _________ and ___________ .

The fat cat ___ not share her food because she is ______ and _________ .

We ___ learn ________ grammar but it is _____________ .

President __ wear a _________ dress. She ____ very _________ .

The boy ___ leave school because he was __________ and _____ to the teacher.

The teacher ___ laugh because the ________ , _________ student was sent home !

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Teenage IELTS Challenge

21st June 2022

The Three Johns, a Rock band from the UK

Can a young teen class have better English than an IELTS class ? That is the challenge. Without pushing the students too far, and with realistic expectations, let’s introduce some low-frequency words (L-FW), phrases and idioms.

Furthermore, students will also be expected to speak in longer sentences, using connectives as well as a wide range of adjectives.

The subject of our current unit is very dear to my heart: music. Let’s rock !

First match the new words with the meaning

ubiquitous // over the moon // genre // extremely

kind of or type // to feel very, very happy // everywhere // an adverb that means very, very

Roll up your sleeves and practice: Fill in the gaps using the new words AND your own ideas.

Today, music is ______________ . We can hear music on our _______ and when we go to _______________.

Yoyoka, a Japanese drummer, is ____________ talented. She must ________ many hours, every day to be so skillful.

If I pass my English test with A+, I will be ___________________ . My parents will be so happy, they will _______________.

My favourite _______ of music is ____________ because it makes me feel ___________ and ____________ .

Genres (types) of music:

Jazz / rap / pop / rock / classical / electronic

Look at the photos. What genre are they ?

Why do you think so ?

Kraftwerk from Germany
T-ara from South Korea
Chloe Chua from Singapore
Miles Davis from USA
Rolling Stones from the UK
Cassper Nyovest from South Africa

Grammar exercise. Rewrite the following blog post in the Past Tense (verb 2)

EXAMPLE: Yesterday I go to school and I have a speaking test. I do very well and my parents are over the moon.

Yesterday I went to school and I had a speaking test. I did very well and my parents were over the moon.

Now … your turn

Last week I see a concert on TV. The group is Blackpink and they play for 30 minutes. They sing many songs and dance extremely well. It is so exciting I am over the moon. The next day I buy their music and decide to be a pop star too !

Watch this concert and write your own blog using Past Tense (verb 2) as well as adjectives and new words. Let me help you with the start:

This morning I watched a video from T-ara. The band … (what song did they play ? Did they all sing ? What else did they do ?

Did you like the music ? Why or why not ?

Were they alone on stage ? What did they wear ?

How did the audience feel ? Do you wish you were there ?

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.