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Feel free to send your ideas to my email: / To use the lesson plans in my blog, you do NOT need photocopies for students. You MAY need to print instructions or to use a projector and/or a computer.

Browse LABELS to the right, underneath to find prompts and tasks.New!! VIDEO BLOGS on English for Communications and on English for Office Applications (Computers). See links below.

* English for Communications. Click HERE. By Beatriz Papaseit Fernández and myself, María Zabala Peña

* English for Office Applications (Computers :Word 2007 and more). Click HERE. By Beatriz Papaseit Fernández and myself, María Zabala Peña

Friday, March 27, 2015

Snakes and Ladders to review class grammar, vocabulary.. you name it!

Aim: groups of students create a Snakes and Ladders board game for other groups. 
Level: any level but students need to use either basic commands: say, name... or basic questions. 
Higher level groups will create more challenging questions.
Materials: Snakes and Ladders template, which can be downloaded from the Net 
Timing: 3 hours but they need not be consecutive. You may carry out this task one hour a week in 3 consecutive  weeks. 


This was my third option (Google) 
Step 1: Model the task

Option 1: Many text books contain a resource pack with a Snakes and Ladder game review. If your pack contains it, you may use it
Option 2:  Create your own Snake and Ladder game.

You will need a Snake and Ladders template.

  • go to any search engine: google, yahoo, altavista...
  • type the words: "  freeS nakes and Ladders template"
  • go to" images"
  • use any of the Snakes and Ladders templates  available.  
Print the template and write about 20 questions . You need to leave some frames blank. 

You may choose grammar/vocabulary  as your topics:
1. What are the comparatives and superlatives of : "east, confortable, clever and good-looking" ?
2. What are the past tenses of " be, see, dig, feel and fall"?
3. Name 10 parts of your body in 20 seconds
4. What are the synonyms of  "large, trendy, robber"?

You may  choose cultural topics:
1.What's the capital of Vietnam? 
2. What  are the colors of the Frenh flag?
3. Who is the Prime Minister of England?
4. When did Christopher Columbus reach America? 

or a mixture of both 

Step 2 : Students play the game (about one hour)

Avoid the hassle of bringing dice and counters by asking the students to  use  paper  snippets  on which they write their initials as counters 

Use paper snippets to create the die with 6 small pieces of paper on which they write the numbers 1 to 6. One student hold the 6 numbered pieces of paper  in his hands and the student takes one. 

Step 3: Groups of students create their own game (about one hour)
  • Give students a blank template
  • Ask them to create a different set of questions  and an answer key. They may write the answers on the back of the game. 
  • Students hand in their version of the game. Make sure they write the name of their team on the paper 
Step 4:  Students play other team's games  (about one hour)
  •  Distribute the games making sure no team gets his own proposal
  • Students  play 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Goat for sale. Past tense practice

Aim: students use past sentences to guess what happened according to the sounds they have previously heard.

Level: students need to know how to use basic verbs in the past simple/past continuous.

Materials: provided video. This video is the Doritos commercial for the  2013 SuperBowl


A)Students listen to the Doritos  video sound but can't see the images. You may minimize the image or have students face away from the computer screen.

B) Students tell each other what they imagened as they were listening to the video.

C) Option one: students compare their guesses with the real video, which they watch with image and sound.
Option two: students work in pairs. One sees the video and tells the other what happened.

Thanks to Mr. Muir, speaker at the Barcelona  2015 MacMillan Teachers' Day for this idea.

Verb tense practice with silly sentences

Aim: students have fun practicing the formation of different verb tenses.

Alliteration is a stylistic literary device identified by the repeated sound of the first consonant in a series of multiple words. Using this technique students create silly sentences that could be joined together to create a fun to read poem. 

Materials: none
Level: all 
Part A) Ask students to think of :
  • the name of a person 
  • something to eat 
  • an adjective 
  • a city, a place or  a country
... that start by a letter of their choice:

Using those words and adding any extra words they may  need,  students have to create a sentence in the verbal tense  you indicate.

Letter F in present perfect: Ferdinand, Fig, fantastic, Findlad .
Ferdinand has eaten some fantastic figs in Findland 

If students read all the sentences they have created, one after the other, the alliteradion creates the sensation of a poem. 

Part B) for higher levels. Students follow the same procedure again and add a connector to join the senteces.  Allow absurd sentences

Letter F
Fiona, french fries, forbidden, fun fair 
Ferdinand has eaten some fantastic figs in Findland but  Fiona  has preferred the forbiden french fries she had at the fun fair .

This activity was suggested by Vanessa Reis at the Barcelona,  2015 Macmillan Teachers Da and adapted by myself, Maria Zabala Peña 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Modal verbs practice: must, should, could...

Summary: Students create a situation  they will discuss with their classmates.  The teacher provides a model  so that students know  how to proceed.

PART 1: The teacher creates a situation and asks the students to advise him/her on how to proceed (see example below).
Students need to use the modal verbs they have studied in class to suggest solutions or comment on the situation.   The teacher may write  the verbs students need to use on the board (must, can, could, should, have to, to be allowed, would...).  
Students are also encouraged to ask questions to clarify the situation the is teacher  is presenting. 

PART 2: Once students have understood how to proceed, teams of students create a situation and then they share it with other teams.  Students comment on the situations provided by the other teams

Materials:  No materials needed. I like to give my students some pieces of scrap paper so that they can write their scenarios on them. 

Example the teacher may provide:  
  • Yesterday   I  was alone  at the library. I was "hiding" behind the table because I was tying my shoelace.    Our classmate, Johan,  entered the library silentlly  and he took several dictionaries with him. I am sure he was stealing. This boy is always very nice and he is always helping  me with my English  homework. 
Must I report him? 
Should I talk to him? 
  • Students discusss the case (advice, prohibition, permission...)  using the modal verbs the teacher has provided.
  • Groups of students create other possible scenarios. They  take turns presenting  their case to other groups and discusss the situation  according to the model in Part 1