Look Up

 

Main Activities Poetry (reading and pronunciation), speaking about social media, vocabulary (words with more than one meaning)

Suitable for Pre-Advanced (B2.2) teens and adults

TEACHER’S NOTES  (Click here for a pdf of the Teacher’s Notes.)

STEP 1

Write the word poem on the board. Ask your students, in small groups, to define it.

STEP 2

Write up their suggestions around the word. Hopefully someone will have mentioned rhyme and metre, both features of more “traditional” or “older” poetry.

STEP 3

Display or hand out copies of this verse from Jonathan Swift. Ask students to decide how it should be read and then ask for some performances.

STEP 4

If students need some help, explain that there are four beats/stresses per line which should fall on the syllables in blue shown here. Point out the rhyming pattern of AA, BB i.e. the first line rhymes with the second, and the third line rhymes with the fourth.

STEP 5

Tell students that they’re going to work with another poem which has the same metre and rhyming pattern. If you have a larger class, divide them into nine groups and make them responsible for a verse each. If your class is smaller, three groups responsible for three verses each. However, all students should have all nine verses even though they may be working on one (or three) at the moment. Give out the poem.

STEP 6

Tell them that their task is to fill in the missing words so that the poem follows the AABB rhyming pattern. They can try to guess the missing word, but the most important thing is to find a word that rhymes even if it doesn’t make sense! Write up their suggestions, one for each gap.

STEP 7

Now tell them to focus again on their section of the poem. They should underline or highlight the four beats in each line and practise reading it – one line per person for a group of four, for example. They can use their mobiles or a dictionary for any problems with meaning or pronunciation.

STEP 8

Get the class to read out the poem in order (verse A to I) and then have a vote on which verse was best in two different categories – the best words in the gaps and the one that was read the best.

STEP 9

Ask them to agree on what the message of the poem is and then show them the video.

Tell them that they have to watch without taking notes. They’ll hear their verses at the end and they should listen out for the missing words. (You can find the whole poem here.)

STEP 10

Ask them to compare his delivery of the lines to their own. Better? Just different?

STEP 11

Now tell them that you’re going to ask them for their reactions. Display these questions and discuss them, either as a whole group or in smaller groups, who then feed back to the class.

STEP 12

In the next class, tell students that they’re going to revisit some of the vocabulary from Look Up, but they’re going to look at second meanings or different collocations. Display these questions for students to discuss.

 

 

 


Crab Invasion

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In our third post this month, eggs get another mention, a word cloud makes another appearance, and there’s a focus on words with multiple meanings. This time we use footage from the BBC documentary series Wild Caribbean. In the clip we see a cast of crabs (or a consortium of crabs, according to some sources) travel from land to sea to lay their eggs. And this week there’s no boiling, scrambling, poaching, frying or chocolate eggs to make starving students faint with hunger during classes at lunch or dinner time.

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes.

 


Frozen Planet

This activity is based on Frozen Planet, the BBC/Discovery series which charts life at the furthest reaches of the globe. It’s so full of jaw-dropping visuals you’ll be hard pressed to pick out just one clip. We ended up choosing a world first – this is apparently the first ever complete filming of killer whales “wave washing” a seal.
The activities for this clip are a collaborative memory task before and while viewing. After viewing, pronunciation practice with the script to work on chunking, rhythm and stress. If you can get hold of the DVD, students can try to sound like David Attenborough, and if you’re using the American version on YouTube, Alec Baldwin is the model to copy.

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes


The Tea Song

For our second tea-themed post this month, we have another break-up, but this time all is well as there’s a cuppa at hand for the spurned lover. It’s a catchy song from a very funny ad that was filmed in just one take. Watch out for the zombie ending…

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes.


Suckablood

On dark stormy nights, the Suckablood comes……….Just in time for Halloween, this lesson is based on a wonderfully atmospheric Gothic fairy tale about a girl whose habit of sucking her thumb angers her stepmother so much that she summons a monster to come for her. In class, our students’ challenge is to copy the creepy narrator’s telling of the tale as a poem.

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes.

You can see more by Bloody Cuts here.


Hong Kong Honey

 HK

In this lesson students watch a beautifully-filmed video about Hong Kong’s first urban beekeeper. The accompanying activities include a CAE-style multiple choice cloze, work on pronunciation, and discussion about food provenance. Click here for the Teacher’s Notes.

You can find out more about Hong Kong Honey here.


Storytelling at TESOL Spain 2013

Had a great time in Sevilla this weekend and all credit to the organisers of TESOL Spain for a fantastic conference.  And special thanks to all the people who came to my talk, both this weekend and in Madrid last month. You know who you are! This is a slightly shorter version but it includes all the main points and is my first experiment with PresentMe so comments welcome…

https://present.me/embed/53450-storytelling-presentme-version


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