With all the problems we’re having teaching during the pandemic, one has to reinvent activities and strategies that allow students to interact and do things in the classroom without putting their health at risk. Not long ago, my students shared cards, mixed and mingled with each other and spent their time interacting. Now, we can’t play board games or change partners and so on. Classes threaten to take the form of ‘the old days’ when students had to sit still and keep to themselves. I’m fighting against this, beating my brains trying to come up with new ideas or adapt old ones to the present-day situation.
For today, I’m going to try out a team quiz activity. I’ve used cards quite often, but they were facing downwards on a desk. Here the cards will be on the whiteboard and the class will be divided into two teams with a student from each team that will have the role of ‘messenger’. The messenger has to consult his or her team’s answers and write them on the blackboard (of course, each writer will have their own chalk and their half of the blackboard). Each messenger will be the only student that will be able to move around from the blackboard to where the team is sitting (in a circular form keeping safety distance).
We’ll see how it goes, I don’t think it’s perfect, but something is better than nothing and it seems to stick to the safety protocol.
Hi again! Here’s an open cloze for an email. It’s a practical activity for the past simple and an open cloze to practise the past simple.
My A1 groups were a bit frightened when they saw ‘their first’ open cloze, so I promised that I would post some on the blog so that they could become familiar with this type of activity. Here’s the first one (and I hope, not the last).
Remember to read the text very carefully. Think about the missing word before writing it in the blank. and check for spelling errors. Once you have the grade, see which answers were not correct and think about the reasons. Making mistakes is how you learn more, so don’t be afraid to make them. Let me know how it went!!!!
Have you ever visited London? Many of my students haven’t which is a real pity because this city is an incredible place bustling with life and exciting things to do. It’s also a cultural melting pot where you would hardly go out without meeting people from all walks of life.
What’s it like?
If you walk around London, you’ll see that it is an astonishing blend of tradition and innovation. You’ll see typical London pubs with all their flowers hanging out and the menus chalked in Times Roman out on the street claiming both, locals and tourists’ attention to stop and savour a lager or some fish and chips and just a few metres ahead, there’ll be a design museum or a second-hand store or whatever.
Are visitors welcome?
Concerning hospitality, the British tend to mind their own business, but if they sense that you may be lost or confused, somebody will very probably politely ask you if you need any help. However, don’t take this for granted, helpful doesn’t mean that they easily tolerate queue-jumping, or pedestrians getting in their way during the rush hour. Here you would most probably get an intimidating ‘Oi, you!’
Is London expensive?
Well as all cities, it depends on what you intend to do but it isn’t half as expensive as other European ones, like Paris or Rome and even if you could feel a bit upset for having to pay a few bob for a pint of beer, there are hundreds of other things you can do for pennies or for free, like visiting the wonderful museums, or having a picnic in one of London’s beautiful parks, just to mention a couple.
‘Will London hurt? And… will it go away?‘
Well, I’m not going to go on bragging about London because I’d end up writing a really long article, but I can assure you that, not only it doesn’t hurt, but it’s really worth a visit and NO, once you’ve been there, it will never, ever go away! (You’ve had it mate!)
So what are you waiting for? Here’s a word formation activity I’ve adapted from an article with some tips for visiting London (without putting your foot in it), for those brave souls that want to be on the safe side before setting off on their trip.
The article is from The Culturetrip.com and images from Unsplashed.
travel (uncountable noun) term used to refer to the act or activity of travelling.
travel (verb intransitive transitive) to go from one place to another. When meaning long distances, we usually use travel instead of trip. We also use this word when we talk about travelling for a reason such as work, etc.
- I love travelling – I’d love to travel around the world – Tomorrow I have to get up early. I’m travelling.
trip (countable noun) an excursion or a journey somewhere and back, especially for pleasure.
- We went on a boat trip to the island.
journey (countable noun) the act of travelling from one place and another. Here the focus is placed on talking about what happens between the beginning and ending of these points. For example, if going from Madrid to Paris on a train, you enjoyed it because it was quick, you had a good meal and a nice nap, you would say something like ‘your journey was nice’. But if you had bad weather, the food was horrible and the person on the seat next to you, kept dropping off, snoring almost all the way, you’d probably say that your ‘journey was horrible’.
Hi! Here’s a speaking activity for holidays and travel made by using Genially.
It’s almost time for holidays. Yes, school breaks up and students can relax their neurons a bit. While for others, summer means a lot of work hours and, er… tons and tons of stress. Because if you live by the Mediterranean Sea, you must already know how crowded with tourist we can get and of course, that means that while some people can enjoy a lovely fortnight lolling on the sandy beaches getting a really nice tan and sipping up cool drinks, others fret about how they are going to cope with long shifts, look after their kids and survive until the tourist season ends. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. It’s just one of those things…
Here are some songs about holidays. They were hits when they were released even though you will probably not know them and they may seem a little bit peculiar to you now in the 21st century (or at least to me, when I saw that huge red double-decker driving around France eh!!!???).
Anyway, I think the songs have pretty catchy tunes and words to them, and that you’ll enjoy at least one of them. Good practice and good holidays!
First one coming up for beginners. Scorpions 1979 hit ‘Holiday’.
Second coming up for A2 and low B1. Wow! A real golden oldie from 1963. Cliff Richard and the Shadows called this one, Summer holidays and it was one of the soundtracks for a film with the same name. Children frequently sing this song at schools when they are going to break up for the summer holidays and it is also ‘one of those songs you pest your parents or friends with when driving long distances and you want to kill boredom (yeah, sort of like the Spanish song ‘En el auto de papá ‘). If after the video you find out why the driver is served sandwiches twice, you might want to share that bit of information, because I just can’t work it out.
By the way, according to laws concerning cyclist’s safety, Cliff Richard would have got a hefty fine had he been driving like that nowadays.
Number 3… Madonna’s ‘Holiday’ released in 1983. You can get up and dance if you feel like it ( or not if you don’t, its up to you) 😉
Here’s a speaking activity on the topic of holiday and travel. If you liked the video and found it helpful, just click the like button and leave a comment.
I wish I hadn’t got a hateful tendency to pick out horrible scraps of news for some of our activities. What I would really like is to always be in a very positive mood and only mention the very beautiful things related to my home island. But I just guess that part of my blog will be devoted to some of the things that would welcome a change such as the extremely dangerous practice (not to mention suicidal and stupid) of Balconing, that is becoming more and more popular among some young tourists that visit the island of Majorca. This is a word formation activity adapted from Euroweekly.