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 !

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Adjectives for Young Learners. Level 1

24th June 2022

This short blog introduces young learners to adjectives, and how they can start to build longer sentences.

First, let’s start an adjective word bank:

big // small

cute // dangerous

strong // clever

yummy // healthy

plus colours

Game 1:

Who can tell me a colour beginning with the letter y ?

Letter b ? Letter o ? g ? r ? p ? Letter w ?

Game 2:

Tell me an animal begins with the letter d Letter g Letter e Letter s Letter l Letter c Letter w Letter z

Game 3:

What is it ? Tell me about these animals. Use 2 adjectives.

EXAMPLE

It’s a cute white sheep

Now … your turn

Finally – tell me about the food

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.

Screen Test Compilation: Video clips for classroom games

23rd June 2022

Contents:

1 Summer Holiday

2 World’s tallest buildings

3 Egyptian Gods

Here’s a compilation of video clips that can be used in class for listening skills, observation, collecting information, and for fun.

‘Screen Test’ was a children’s TV show on the BBC from 1970 – 1984. A group of children were shown short clips of films, then asked questions about what they had seen.

First up is a clip I’ve used several times, ‘Summer Holiday’ starring Cliff Richard and his backing band The Shadows.

1 Summer Holiday

  1. What colour was the first car behind the bus ?

red // white // blue ?

2. What was the number of the bus ?

9 // 19 // 28 ?

3. What was the road sign at the beginning of the clip ?

London // Berlin // Paris ?

4. How many children wore a hat ?

1 // 2 // no children ?

5. How many men were riding bicycles ?

3 // 4 // 6 ?

6. What did Cliff, the driver, eat ?

a sandwich // a biscuit or cookie // nothing ?

BONUS POINTS – Can anyone sing the song – just two lines

“We’re all going on a summer holiday // we’re all going for a week or two.”

2 World’s tallest buildings

Questions

1) How tall was the Philadelphia City Hall ?

2) Where was the Singer Building ?

3) What year was the Bank of Manhattan Trust finished ?

4) How tall is the Chrysler Builder ?

5) The Empire State Building has two different heights – why ?

6) In what year did Chicago have the tallest building ?

7) What was the first tallest building in Asia ?

8) How tall is the Dubai Creek Tower planned to be ?

foundations of the Dubai Creek Tower

Answers: 1) 167m / 548 ft 2) New York City (NYC) 3) 1930 4) 319m / 1046 ft 5) first is height of building, second is height to the tip. 6) 1973 7) Petronas Tower in Malaysia 8) 1321m / 4351 ft

3 Ancient Egyptian Gods

Questions

1) What was the name of the Sun God ?

2) Which God was a writer ?

3) Anubis had the head of which animal ?

4) Would you see Nut in the day or night, and why ?

5) What was the name of the lioness ?

6) What animal was Bastet ?

Answers 1) Ra 2) Thoth 3) a jackal 4) night because she was the star goddess 5) Sekmet 6) a cat

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 Teens: Three British Legends

13th May 2022

Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, UK

You have read about three famous people from British history.

Question 1: Who are they ?

Here is a short video about Robin Hood.

Watch it twice, the second time write down any words you don’t know. I want at least five words.

Question 2: Returning to our three famous people, who was real, who was based on a real ruler and who is maybe only a legend?

Question 3: Match the pictures with the legends. EXAMPLE:

Sir Lancelot is part of the King Arthur legend.

Now … Your turn

Picture 1 is Friar Tuck

Picture 2 is Black Bess

Picture 3 is the sword Excalibur

Picture 4 is Maid Marion

Picture 5 is the Green Man Pub in London

Picture 6 is Sherwood Forest, Nottingham

Picture 7 is Camelot Castle

Creative Time – which character do you like most ? Which one would YOU like to be ? Alternately, tell me about someone from YOUR country’s history.

Write a short story, and feel free to draw and colour. You may make a comic book, if you like. If you can’t draw, no problem, just write.

Vocabulary bank:

brave / cheerful / cruel / dangerous / disrespectful / greedy / honest / intelligent / legendary / loyal / punish / ruler / ubiquitous /

extremely / amazingly / unbelievably

I wish I could be … // In my dream, I would be …

Goodbye from Robin Hood

Answers

1 – King Arthur / Robin Hood / Dick Turpin

2 – King Arthur was based on a ruler but probably a Duke, not a King. Dick Turpin was real, while we are still not sure if Robin Hood was real.

3 – Robin Hood / Dick Turpin / King Arthur / Robin Hood / Dick Turpin / Robin Hood

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: Ancient Egyptian Gods

12th May 2022

An activity that combines listening & reading, collecting information, and allows for creative thinking, not to mention introducing students to different cultures and legends.

Today we are going to learn about some of the ancient Egyptian gods. First, where is Egypt ? In which continent is Egypt ?

Egypt is in the north – east of Africa.

What ancient buildings can you see in Egypt ?

The Pyramids, the largest one was built about 2,500 BC (about 4,500 years ago), and at 481 feet (146.6 metres) was the tallest building for 3,800 years (NOTE 1).

The creature in front is called the Sphinx. What kind of animal is the Sphinx ?

The Sphinx has the face of a woman, the body of a lion and the wings of a bird (maybe a falcon or eagle).

Ancient Egypt was thousands of years ago, from 3150 BC (BCE) to 332 BC (BCE). Animals were very important.

What animals can you see in this picture ?

We are going to focus on four Gods:

Thoth // Bastet // Ra // Anubis

Vocabulary

Pyramids

Sphinx

Tomb

Hieroglyphs

Let’s return to our four gods

Thoth // Bastet // Ra // Anubis

Watch this video, and write down information about the four gods.

What animals do they look like ?

What can they do ?

Which one do you think Mr Paul likes best … and why ?

What animal was Bastet ?

Bastet was a cat, and cats were very important in Ancient Egypt. Can you think why ? What do cats like to chase and eat ? Check your answers:

Now … be creative. Invent a God from your country. First, think what animals you have, then what they can do. Don’t forget to tell me why.

Use crayons, colour pencils. If you can’t draw, it’s OK; just write me a magnificent story. Don’t forget to use the amazing adjectives you have been taught.

Would you like some music to help you while you work ?

Bye Bye from Egypt

Note 1: The first buildings to be taller were cathedrals, in England. St Paul’s was in London, then the cathedral in Lincoln became the tallest building in the world.

Note 2: The British Council ‘LearnEnglishKids’ page has some excellent resources and free print-outs.

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.

IELTS: Relatives, relatively speaking

17th February 2022

One perennial IELTS speaking topic, an old chestnut in fact, is family. You will, no doubt, encounter such questions as, “Who do you live with ?” or “Which member of your family do you feel closest to and why.”

So, continuing on from the pervious posting, here are some exercises designed to increase your speaking prowess, and boost your score.

To kick off, a recap of expressions:

a heart of gold // firm but fair // as good as gold

life and soul of the party // a little angel // is a good sport

he looks out for me // he has my back //

never has a bad word to say about anybody

On the other hand

a real tiger mum // is a bit of a wallflower

is a little devil // drinks like a fish

is a real prima donna // is very touchy

Exercise 1

Tell me about your mother, using a subordinate clause and at least one of the above expressions.

Asian Mother Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash
Image from unsplash.com

EXAMPLE:

My mother, who works as a medical secretary, has a heart of gold.

Exercise 2

Tell me about your father, brother, sister, grandmother and uncle. Make sure you use a subordinate clause for each person. Endeavour (try) to make longer, jaw-dropping sentences.

Safe Houses – South Africa – Emmanuel Relief & Rehabilitation International  of Canada
Image from eicanada.org

Now, let’s kick it up a notch. Add at least one of the personality adjectives from below:

Personality adjectives:

aggressive / arrogant / calm / domineering /extrovert / fastidious / generous / honest / humorous / kind / mean / modest / outgoing / polite / quiet / reliable / rude / selfish / serious / thoughtless / trustworthy / unreliable

First, decide if these adjectives are positive or negative, then match with the expressions accordingly.

EXAMPLE:

My mother, who is very fastidious, is a bit of a tiger mum. By that I mean she always wants me to pass every test with flying colours. However, I know, deep down, she wants what’s best for me, and that she has a heart of gold.

Image from theprouditalian.com

Exercise 3

Tell me about your family. You have to speak for two minutes, and tell me what the members look like, their personality, their occupation, and an anecdote about them.

EXAMPLE:

My uncle Michael, who lives in Ha Noi where he works as a tour guide, is the life and soul of the party. He is so outgoing and a real extrovert. I recall one time he came to Sai Gon for Tet Holiday and he really enjoyed himself. To be honest, he drank like a fish, singing karaoke and dancing with everybody. My uncle, who is my mother’s brother, actually looks nothing like her as he is very tall and thin, and has a receding hairline.

Mens Receding Hairline Hair Cuts - Stylist225.com of Baton Rouge : Salon  Hair Stylist
A receding hairline. Image from stylist225.com

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.

IELTS: Relatively speaking

16th February 2022

A collection of exercises to prepare students, who need practice, for IELTS speaking which tests the use of grammatical range and accuracy.

The aim is to get students forming complex sentences naturally in order to pass with flying colours.

So, without further ado, let’s go to London which is my hometown as well as being the capital of the UK.

Exercise 1 A day in London. The aim is to introduce aspects of London in the form of complex sentences, using

who where which whose

EXAMPLE

Please allow me to introduce you to London, where I was born, so you can experience first hand what it is like to live in this incredible historic city.

Firstly, we can visit the British Museum, which is a must-see sight, as it contains some of the world’s most amazing treasures such as a giant stone figure from Easter Island, Egyptian mummies and the unique Rosetta Stone.

The Rosetta Stone in the British Museum, London

Secondly, I would be pleased to introduce you to the buskers and street performers at Covent Garden. These artists, who work for tips, really lend the area a bustling, friendly atmosphere. In my opinion this area, which is close to many sights, is not to be missed although prices can be sky-high.

Things to do in Covent Garden: The best restaurants, bars, pubs and more |  London Evening Standard | Evening Standard

No trip to London would be complete without sampling fish and chips which, along with shepherd’s pie and the Sunday roast, is traditional British food.

We have a variety of ways to get around. The famous black London taxis are ubiquitous in central London however, they cost an arm and a leg. Most Londoners use the Tube, which is the subway system, as it connects most areas of the city. Having said that, avoid using at rush hour, because it will be chockablock.

In the example I mentioned one famous sight, some people, some food and how to get around.

Now … your turn

Work in small groups and plan a day for me in your hometown. Assign one paragraph to each student so that everybody prepares work and speaks.

Remember, the aim of the exercise is for you to use relative pronouns.

The formula

An introduction

First paragraph a famous sight

Second paragraph about some people

Third paragraph about local food

Finally, how to get around.

The Tube is chockablock during rush hour

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Young Learners: Kids’ Guide to … listening and comprehension exercises

5th February 2022

A chance for younger students to watch short videos in order to practise their listening skills. After the clips, the teacher can ask basic comprehension questions.

Top Five Activities for Children in HCMC

What was the name of the first activity ?

What is special about the pictures ?

Where is the museum ?

How high is the climbing wall ?

How much does it cost ?

What can you hear at a water puppet show ?

On what day is the Water Park closed ?

How old was the youngest child on the bike tour ?

What would you like to do, and why ?

Is there any place you would not like to visit ? Tell me why.

Answers

  1. Artinus 2. The pictures are 3-D 3. District 7 4. 20 metres 5. About $6 6. Singing (in Vietnamese) and traditional music. 7. Tuesdays 8. 2-years old.

Now to my home town: what can kids do in London ?

First, board some new words and expressions. The kids can shout out when they hear them spoken.

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

What are the names of the kids from the UK ?

What can you see at the Natural History Museum ?

Where does the Queen live ?

What can people do on the South Bank ?

How many people can ride in the London Eye ?

What was the girl’s favourite waxwork ?

How much are the Crown Jewels worth ?

What is the name of the bus that can drive into the river ?

What films were made at Warner Brothers Studio ?

How can people travel around London ?

What is the most exciting thing for YOU in London ? Choose 3 things to want to do or see in London.

Answers

  1. Robert, Jess, Lara & Olive 2. dinosaurs 3. Buckingham Palace 4. See buskers, shows and markets 5. 800 6. Hulk 7. 23 billion GBP 8. Duck Tours 9. Harry Potter 10. The Tube (subway) walk, bud, taxi, bicycle

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 4: Fun Facts about Space

30th January 2022

New Vocabulary

solar system

planet (Earth, gas giant, rock)

moon (the Moon)

star

asteroid

vacuum

Sol was the Roman God of the Sun. All stars are suns

All the planets are names after Roman Gods, except Uranus who was a Greek God, and Earth which is an English-German word.

The first four planets from the sun are small, and have a rock centre (core).

The outer four are mostly made of gas.

When Voyager gave us the first close-up pictures of Saturn's rings |  Astronomy.com

The rings of Saturn, which look amazing and so beautiful, are just made of dust and ice, with bits of rock.

FUN FACTS:

The speed of sound is 343 metres per second (usually given as 330 m p s)

The speed of light is 299 792 458 metres per second or approximately 300 000 000 m p s or 300 000 km per second.

Sound cannot travel through a vacuum

To demonstrate the last point, show NOT tell. Here’s a good example (start around the 0:24 second mark): An iPhone not making sound in a vacuum.

Space Cadets Quiz

Who was the first man on the moon ?

Buzz Aldrin / Michael Collins / Neil Armstrong

What is the biggest planet ?

Jupiter / Saturn / Mars

The sun is a … ?

planet / star / moon

What is faster ?

light / sound / Ms Bao Tran speaking (just give the name of any talkative students, and then elicit the adjective talkative).

In space, people are … ?

heavier / lighter / weigh the same

The first animal in space was a … ?

monkey / elephant / dog

The crew of Apollo 11

Answers: Neil Armstrong / Jupiter / star / light / lighter / dog

The Last one could seem to be a trick question. The answer is Laika, the Russian dog. Fruit flies and then monkeys were first put into rockets but they didn’t go high enough to officially enter space.

Laika, the Russian space dog

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: Animal Magic

25th January 2022

Orangutan's Incredible Reaction To A Magic Trick Is The Only Thing You Need  To See Today - UNILAD

A compilation of animal videos for comprehension, information or just end-of-lesson entertainment.

First, a chance to practise superlatives.

What is the largest mammal ? // What is the smallest one ?

How much does a blue whale weight ?

What is the largest bird ? // What is the smallest one ?

What is the largest reptile ? // What is the smallest one ?

How long is the crocodile ? // How long is the dwarf gecko ?

What is the largest fish ? // What is the smallest one ?

How long is the whale shark ?

A whale shark can be up to 10 meters long

The text book, which I follow, uses the USA spelling (meters not metres).

Activity: Make two crosses at the front of the class. Have two students stand on them; one will ask the question, the other answer. Repeat until all the class has participated.

Encourage full answers:

How long is the whale shark ?

“It’s up to 10 meters long.”

OR

“The whale shark can be up to 10 meters long.”

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Answers:

The blue whale // the bumblebee bat // [up to] 200 tonnes // ostrich // hummingbird // saltwater crocodile // dwarf gecko // whale shark // stout infant fish

Bonus points for additional facts such as a hummingbird can fly backwards, an ostrich can’t fly.

Secondly, amazing facts about the animal kingdom

When do ants sleep ? How do dolphins sleep ?

What can’t elephants do ? Is a giraffe noisy ?

How many hearts does an octopus have ?

How do butterflies taste ?

Why do camels have three eyelids ?

What is different about a hummingbird ?

How does a man penguin ask a woman penguin to marry him ?

And now, just for fun. Does an orangutan appreciate magic ?

Can a gorilla play drums ?

What can make a panda jump ?

Everybody, thank you for visiting this blog.

Happy year of the Tiger

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.