Category Archives: Teacher’s Resources

Kick Me Vocabulary Game – Words to talk about body image and appearance

Aim: To practice words related to body image and appearance
Interaction: Whole class (any, preferably at least 3)
Exercise type: Matching, filling in the gaps
Language: B2 or C1
Time: 15-20  minutes
Materials: Post-it notes or strips of paper with tape; a handout  with a chart for each of the students

Since the majority of the words that are used in the exercise can be found in the first 90 seconds of the Illusionists trailer, you may choose to do an introductory activity to familiarize your students with the vocabulary.

An Introductory Activity

Show your students the first 90 seconds of a very short teaser of the Illusionists film:

Ask the students the following questions before starting the activity:

  • What do you think the film is about?
  • Do you think the film approves of cosmetic surgery for vanity?
  • What alarming statistics are mentioned in the teaser?
  • numbers
  • What do these numbers refer to: 
  • Would you consider undergoing a plastic surgery just to change your appearance? 
  • Do you know someone who has undergone a cosmetic surgery? 
  • Could you name some arguments in favor and against plastic surgeries? 

Preparing for the Activity

1. Take 12 post-it notes and write the following words on them. Write each word on a separate post-it note:

Celebrity-obsessed

Unattainable

Perception

Overweight

Overestimate

Commodification

Repugnant

Rebellious

Prejudice

Epidemic

Pursuit

To take the central role

You can also use strips of paper and tape instead of post-it notes.

2. Stick a post-it note to the back of each of the students without telling your students which word they have. If you have less than 12 students, some students may end up with two post-it notes on their backs.

Alternatively, if you have very few students  (3 or 4),  you can choose to hide words around the classroom (under the chairs, under the desks) or stick them on the walls around the classroom. If you choose this option, then in the third column of the handout the students will need to write down the name of the object on which they found the word and its location in the classroom.

If you have more than 12 students, then repeat some of the words, so that each of the students has a post-it note on their backs.

3. Give each student a handout with a chart.

If you have a very large classroom, you may choose to give one handout for two or three students and allow them to work in a group.

 Activity

1. Each of the students needs to walk around the classroom, looking at the backs of other students and the words that they have.

Remind the students that they are allowed to communicate only in English.

2. Once a student finds on someone’s back a word that fits one of the gaps in the chart, the student writes down this word and the name of the student who is wearing this word.

3. The first student to complete the chart correctly wins and gets an extra point.

4. If you have several students filling in one handout, then the group that fills in their handout first wins.

The handout and the explanation can be downloaded here: Body image and appearance Kick Me Vocabulary Game

 

 

Previously,  I also shared several ideas for speaking activities on fashion and appearance which can be found here and two activities and a matching game on adjectives to describe personality and appearance which can be found here.

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Adjective to Describe Personality and Appearance – Two Activities and a Matching Game

Previously I shared several ideas for speaking activities on fashion and appearance which can be found here.

In this post I want to concetrate on the vocabulary to describe appearance and personality. All three activities have been desined for B2 students and have been successfully used in my classroom.

Adjectives to describe clothes activity

Adjectives to describe clothes activity

Adjectives to describe appearance activity

Adjectives to describe appearance activity

The first activity is picture based and is aimed at introducing or reviewing adjectives to describe clothes. Check it out in a slideshow below.

Students need to choose the correct adjectives to describe the clothes in each of the pictures. Sometimes more than one adjective can be used to describe a picture.

The next activity is aimed at reviewing the adjectives to describe appearance, the task of the students is to complete the sentences with the correct adjective from the box.

And finally a matching game with compound adjectives.

You can read the description below or download it here together with the cards: Compound Adjectives To Describe personality and Appearance – Matching Game

Cmpound Adjectives To Describe personality and Appearance  – Matching Game
Aim: To practice compound adjectives related to personality and appearance
Interaction: Individually or in groups of up to 3 students
Exercise type: Matching
Language: B2
Time: 7-12 minutes
Materials: A set of cut up cards for a person or for a group
Procedure:
  1. Cut up the cards along the dotted lines.
  2. Give each student a set of cards (for an individual activity) or hand out one set of cards for a group of students (for a group activity).
  3. Set a time limit for the students to match the cards to make compound adjectives (see the answers). An online stopwatch can be of help to keep track of the time: www.onlinestopwatch.com
  4. Award extra points to the student or the group of students who are the first to complete the puzzle.

Have Fun!

Have fun learning and leading in the classroom! 🙂

Film Reviews – Vocabulary Workshop and Lesson Plan.

Film reviews are one of the most popular topics in TEFL and this is exactly what we were dealing with over the last week. Coursebooks don’t always do a great job in engaging students especially when it comes to reading and vocabulary exercises, so to assist my students, struggling with vocabulay aquisition, I developed the following vocabulary workshop.

The activity is based on a film review by Movieline and presents new words in context and with other words that they go with (i.e. horizontally). The visuals in the clip add a powerful element and help students to memorize the vocabulary easier and faster.

The activity could also be used to introduse a possible rhetorical structure of an oral film review (possible because there are other ways to structure a review).

Level: B2
Target skill: vocabulary
Other skills involved: reading, listening, rhetorical structure of an oral film review.

 
1.  As a lead-in activity quickly go through some vocabulary that students will need to know in order to understand the ideas and opinions expressed in the film review.

 

 

2. Hand out the graphic organizers and allow your students a couple of minutes to look at them.

*Students can be working individually or in groups of up to four.* 

Ask the students to figure out what information they need to get from the trailer in order to fill in the graphic organizers (the aspects of the movie mentioned in the review; the strengths and weakenesses of the film).

Ask the students to predict possible answers.
An editable graphic organizer can be downloaded here: Graphic Organizer for a film review vocabulary workshop

3. Let the students watch the Amazing Spiderman 2 review by Movieline.

4. Let the students watch the review in parts filling in the gaps with the appropriate word(s). Rewind the video if your students need to listen to the except again in order to fill in the gaps. The questions embedded in the video are multiple choice questions.

Click on the image below to open the EdPuzzle.

Film Review - Vocabulary Workshop and Lesson Plan

Film Review – Vocabulary Workshop and Lesson Plan

http://www.edpuzzle.com/media/53b2e425cf5849013aac2273

If you think it will be too easy for your students, download the paper-based handout with gaps and no options.

5. Let the students read the transcript of the film review.

Ask your students the following questions:
What information is included in this review? 
How this information is structured? 

Give the students the rhetorical structure of an oral film review handout. Working individually or in groups, students need to write the number of the paragraph (1, 2 or 3) in which they can find the information about each of the aspects of the movie and the parts of a review (the cast, the plot, recommendation, etc.)

Draw the students’ attention to the phrases in bold. Encourage them to use these phrases in their post-activity.
6. Allow some time for the students to complete online vocabulary exercise. They can use tablets, phones, laptops or desktop computers if you have an access to a computer lab.
Crossword Puzzle Film Review Vocabulary

Crossword Puzzle Film Review Vocabulary

Alternatively, you can assign this activity for independent study at home or use the paper-based version of the vocabulary exercises that can be downloaded here as a crossword puzzle (Crossword Puzzle – Film Review Vocabulary Workshop) or as a matching exercise.

 Film Review Vocabulary Matching Exercise

7. As a post-activity ask the students to prepare a film review at home and either to record themselves or to be ready to present their film  review next class. Once again students can work alone or in groups. Encourage the students to use the new vocabulary and phrases in their own fim review (assign extra points for each of the new words used or a lump-sum extra point).

Hope you enjoyed it and will find it of you.

Please, share your comments, ideas and suggestions. As always, they are always highly appreciated.

82 words and phrases to use instead of “good”, “great” and “interesting”. 

Last week I was grading speaking and writing exams of B2 level students and I was appalled at how many times a student can use the words “interesting”, “good” and “great” in a two minute speech or in a several lines of text no matter what they are talking or writing about. Everything seems to be either interesting or good or great: the film is interesting, the cast is great, the special effects are really good. These three adjectives are multi-purpose words and are used to describe pretty much everything, and while they might save some memory resources, I believe that our studends need to learn to tap into the richness of the language and be able to describe things more precisely, because, without a doubt, it is one of the skills they will need in the future.

So I’ve gathered together 82 words and phrases that can be used instead of good, great and interesting. Each word or  phrase is accompanied with a definition, collocations and picture examples of its use in the news, online publications and words of famous and outstanding people.

Grammar with comics and jokes: Comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives + comic-strip style exercise

In this post we will learn comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives.
And before we start let’s meet Josh. He is very young. He is only three years old.Comparative degrees of adjectives
Josh has a baby sister who is even smaller. Her name is Betty and she is only 11 months old. She is almost 2 years younger than Josh.Comparative degrees of adjectives 3
Betty and Josh have a baby cousin. Her name is Lina and she is only 1 month old. She is the youngest of all.

Comparative degrees of adjectives 4Comparative degrees of adjectives 4 Comparative degrees of adjectives 4Comparative degrees of adjectives 4

When we compare two things we add  ER to the adjective.
When we want to describe something that has the highest degree of a quality among three or more things, we use the superlative degree.Comparative degrees of adjectives 5
Try to do this one. Can you form a comparative and superlative degree of COLD?Comparative degrees of adjectives 6
 Comparative degrees of adjectives 7
 Comparative degrees of adjectives 8
 Comparative degrees of adjectives 9
 Easy, isn’t it?
So what would be the comparative degree of smart?

question
Comparative degrees of adjectives 10                           

Can you form the superlative?
Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  11
 When an adjective is short, we add ER and the EST to it, but do we do the same if an adjective is long? Can we say “comfortabler”? What a mouthful! It is too hard to say. That’s why if an adjective has two or more syllables, don’t use ER and EST.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  12
We use MORE + adj to compare two things.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  13
 And THE MOST + adj in the superlative degree.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  14
Can you form the comparative degree of difficult?Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  15
More difficult! And the superlative degree is “the most difficult”. Easy, isn’t it?Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  16
And how about famous? This word has two syllables: “Fa-mous”. The majority of two syllable words form their comparative and superlative degrees with more and the most. So what is the comparative degree of Famous?

Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  17
More famous! Can you form the superlative as well?Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  18

Of course, it is the most famous!

Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  18
So when we want to compare 2 things, we use the comparative degree of adjectives.When we have 3 or more things and we want to highlight one particular thing in this group which has the highest degree of a certain characteristic, we use the superlative degree.If an adjective is short and has only one syllable, we add ER to the adjective in the comparative form and the EST in the superlative. Some two-syllable adjectives also form comparatives and superlatives with ER and EST. However, if the word is long and has two or more syllables, we add MORE in front of the adjective in the comparative and THE MOST in the superlative degree. We can also use LESS and THE LEAST. They are the opposites of more and the most.
Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  infographic 19
Now some adjectives can be tricky when it comes to spelling.For example, try to form the comparative and the superlative degree of BIG. Since it is a very short one-syllable word we will use ER and the EST.

Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  20
And we will get BIGGER. But notice that the final G is doubled. This always happens when the word ends in a Consonant – vowel – consonant sequence (CVC adjectives). We double the final consonant in order to keep the pronunciation.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  21
Now can you form the superlative form?
The BIGGEST. We will need to double the G once again.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  22
Now try this one. Once again it is a short one-syllable word and we need to add ER and the EST, but like in the previous example here we have a consonant followed by a vowel and another consonant. 

Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  24
So we need to double the T and we will get WETTER. And what will be the superlative degree?Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  25
The WETTEST with double T once again.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  26
CVC adjectives are not the only adjectives with a little bit tricky spelling in comparative and superlative degrees.For example, take a look at EASY. It is also a short adjective that forms its comparative and superlative forms with ER and the EST. Can you notice the pattern?Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  27

What has changed in the comparative degree? The “Y” has changed to “I”. Can you form the superlative degree? How will you spell it?
Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  1128                   

It will be “THE EASIEST” with an “I” instead of the “Y”.
What about friendly? What are its comparative and superlative degrees?It is one of those two-syllable adjectives that form comparative degrees with ER and the EST but be careful with spelling.
Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  29
One-syllable and some two-syllable adjectives ending in “E” add only “-R” or “-ST”.For example, look at “SAFE”. Can you form the superlative degree?Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  30
It will be “THE SAFEST” with only one “E”.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  31
So, remember that one-syllable and some two-syllable adjectives ending in “E” add only “-R” or the     “-ST” in the comparative and in the superlative.Adjectives ending in “Y” drop “Y” and add “I” before -ER and the -EST.CVC-adjectives double the final consonant.comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives changes in spelling infographic
There are also several adjectives that form their comparative degrees differently. You need to memorize these forms.For example, “GOOD” in its comparative form becomes “BETTER”.irregular comparatives and superlatives 34
 And in the superlative it is “THE BEST”.irregular comparatives and superlatives 35
“BAD” also changes differently in the comparative and in the superlative degree. Do you know its forms?

BAD COMPARATIVE AND SUPERLATIVE

In the comparative form it becomes “WORSE”. irregular comparatives and superlatives 36

And in the superlative it becomes “THE WORST”. “FAR” also has irregular comparative and superlative forms. There are several more adjectives in this group. For now try to remember these three irregular forms and we will learn more as we go. irregular comparatives and superlatives infographic 37 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  exercise 40 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 41 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 42   Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 43 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 44 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 4145 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 45 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 46 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 48 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 49   Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 50 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 51 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 52 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 53 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 54   way to go

This is also available as a grammar slideshow from Slideshare. Please, like, comment and share if you enjoyed this post, so that I can create more of what you like and find of use. Smiles 🙂

You can also hear me going through the slideshow in a video that was made for the university I am currently teaching at.

Relative Pronouns with comics and jokes: who, which, that, when and where

We use relative clauses to provide more information about a person, a thing or a place.

We use WHO to give more information about people.

Relative pronouns in comix and jokes - who

We use WHICH when we want to provide more information about a thing.

Relative clauses with comics and jokes - which

We can use THAT instead of WHO  or WHICH.

Relative clauses with comics and jokes - THAT

Relative clauses with comics and jokes - THAT

We use WHERE for places.

Relative clauses with comics and jokes - THAT

And WHEN for time.

Relative clauses with comics and jokes - THAT

NB! When we add more information about something by using a relative clause, we use the article THE, not a/an

Also notice that we put the relative pronouns immediaty after the noun about which we are giving more information.

If you want to see all this gathered together and more, then check the  grammar s-show below that I created for my B1 students. I used comic strips and jokes to explain and to illustrate  the use of relative clauses and relative pronouns. As always, at the end of the slideshow there is an exercise to practice the skills and to check understanding.

You can also hear me going through the slideshow in a video that was made for the university I am currently teaching at.

To Like and To Be Like

“What does she like?” and “What is she like?”

These two questions can be very confusing for learners. This slideshow will  bring some clarity to the use of “To Like” and “To Be Like”.

The slideshow also includes an exercise to practice the skills and to check the understanding.

You can also hear me going through the slideshow in the video that was made for the university where I am currently teaching:

USED TO for past habits and routines

I made this slideshow to explain the use of USED TO to my B1 students, it seemed to help them quite a bit.

The slideshow also includes a gap-fill exercise to practise the skills.

You can also hear me going through the slideshow in the video that was made for the university where I am currently teaching:

Using too much/too many, (not) enough and very

Being able to express the reason, cause and result of actions is essential in any language. In English we use too, (not) enough, very, too many and too much for this purpose and they can be pretty confusing for learners. The following slideshow clearly explains the difference between them and includes a gap-filling exercise to practice the use of each in real context.

You can also hear me going through the slideshow in the video that was made for the university where I am currently teaching:

Conditional sentences, type 0, 1 and 3 – Grammar game

CONDITIONAL BATTLE FIELD
Aim To practise the use of conditional sentences type 0, 1 and 2
Interaction Groups of 3, 4 or 5 students
Exercise type: Filling in the gaps, correcting mistakes
Language: B1
Time: 15 – 25 minutes
Materials: A marker and a whiteboard, a set of question cards for the class.
Procedure:
  1. Project on a whiteboard a slide with a 4*5 grid in which each cell is numbered in order from 1 to 20. Alternatively, you can draw a 4*5 grid on a board and number each of its cells.

Conditionals Grammar Game

  1. Cut up the questions handout so that each card features one question.
  2. Divide the class into teams of three or four. Each team needs to select an easy-to-draw symbol (a circle, a star a triangle, a smiley face) or a letter to represent them.
  3. Tell the students that the 20-square board is a piece of land that they  are  trying to conquer. In order to conquer each piece of land the students need to correctly answer a question on the card.
  4. The teams decide the order in which they will play the game (for this purpose, the students can roll dice, play rock-paper-scissors game, or draw pieces of paper with numbers corresponding to the number of teams).
  5. Each of the teams draws a question card from the pile, collaboratively, the teams decide on an answer. Allow a certain amount of time then, ask each of the teams to read their question card aloud to the class and to suggest an answer.
  6. If the question is answered correctly, the team can draw their symbol in the square corresponding to the number of the question.
  7. If the answer if incorrect, the teacher collects the question card without giving the correct answer and puts the card at the bottom of the pile, later this card has to be drawn again by one of the teams.
  8. The game is over when all question cards have been answered.
  9. The team that manages to put their symbol in the greatest number of squares, wins.

The game is available from download from Slideshare and here >>>  CONDITIONAL BATTLE FIELD

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