Active learning really works!

Yesterday with my KET students I tried a different activity. I wanted to review the weather and teach them the “going to” tense so I decided to do something more entertaining with them.

First I reviewed the weather vocabulary with some flashcards, then I put them on the table and we played a game. They had to put their hands on their heads and when I called out a flashcard they had to touch it. The first one in touching it gets the flashcard. They are around 13 years old so they like a lot competition.

Then I arranged them into groups and gave them different roles (so I make sure everyone’s doing something in the group). I told them they were going to present the weather forecast. One member was the secretary (who had to write down the script), another was the language moderator (the one who checked that the script was well written) and then the other was the tv presenter.

I told them that the best group would get candy (they are still kids and this motivates them a lot!). As soon as I said that they started working.

I put a map on the whiteboard (one group chose Europe and the other one Comunitat Valenciana) and the presenter had to stick the flashcard in the area and report the weather. (On Tuesday it’s going to be sunny in Valencia… It’s going to rain in London…etc.).

They loved a lot the activity, all of them were working and we reached the goal: to learn the weather, to learn the going to and obviously speak in English and… more important… they had fun!

In the end I gave candy to all of them because they did it perfect! One of the group even created adverts and some jingles for the news! ūüôā

I was only there to help, they were the ones in charge and used their creativity to do this exercise. It took me 15 minutes and it really changed the atmosphere in the classroom!2d33dde

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Balloon Debate

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Yesterday I did an oral activity with my students of 5th & 6th of Primary they enjoyed a lot and I need to share it with the rest of the world.

 

It is called “balloon debate” and I learnt it when I was a student in Nottingham University. I decided to modify it for lower levels and so enhance the communicative skills of my students. I think every activity can be adapted to the age and level of our students.

 

First I explained them the situation. They need to choose who they want to be (it can be a celebrity, anyone famous, a person from the class…etc.). They are travelling in a hot air balloon but there is a leak and there is only enough gas for one person. They all have to give reasons to the rest of the class to convince them they have to stay in the balloon as then the whole class have to vote.¬†I gave them pieces of paper where they had to write down what they were going to say. I wrote¬†down on the blackboard the first sentence: I deserve being in the balloon because…

¬†I made groups of three people, all three spoke to the rest of the class and then they left the classroom for a short time as the rest of the class had to vote. Then another three and then the three remaining. Some of them chose the same celebrities (Spanish singers, celebrities they like..etc,) but it’s okay if they are in different groups. In the end there was only one winner and I was surprised because the winner was a girl who pretended to be another boy from the class who’s very special.

 

They enjoyed the activity a lot, one of them was Shakira and tried to do Shakira’s voice and sing, they tried to imitate even the behaviour of these people. It was really fun and I think I achieved the aim of the activity: to keep them talking and make them¬†have fun while learning. I saw smiles on their faces and that was very rewarding.

 

Why don’t you try it in your class?