Unusual Sports

Image made using photos taken from http://flickr.com/eltpics by Efi Tzour, Christina Martidou, @sandymillin, @ij64, @senicko, Mr_Schenk, @SerraRoseli, @vickyloras and @mamalarut used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial license, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Image made using photos taken from http://flickr.com/eltpics by Efi Tzour, Christina Martidou, @sandymillin, @ij64, @senicko, Mr_Schenk, @SerraRoseli, @vickyloras and @mamalarut used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial license, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

 

MAIN AIMS  Sports vocabulary and talking about sport

SUITABLE FOR Teens and adults, Intermediate (B1) and above

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

1. Display the mosaic above (or use this one). Put students in pairs and get them to talk about the sports: which have they done / watched / would like to do? Where    are they played? What equipment do you need? What are the rules, if any? What vocabulary do students need to talk about them?

2. Feedback – let students ask about vocabulary and write it on the board. Challenge them, collectively, to come up with at least ten vocabulary questions.

3. Regroup the students so that they are working with a different partner. They repeat step 1, this time including the vocabulary that came up in the previous step.

4. Feedback – which sport generated the most conversation?

5. Now divide the class into two groups. Tell them that you’re going to give each group the name of a sport and they should decide / make up how it’s played, rules, referee or not, team or individual etc.

6. Give one group a card with chess boxing written on it and the other a card with dog boarding on it.. Give groups a few minutes to talk about their sport and make some notes.

7. Pair a Dogboarder with a Chess Boxer. The Chess Boxer tells the Dogboarder about their sport. The Dogboarder can ask questions. If the Chess Boxer doesn’t know the answer, they should make one up.

8. Now play this video from the beginning to 01:11 and see how close the Chess Boxers’ descriptions came to the actual sport.

9. Repeat step 7 with the Dogboarders explaining their sport to the Chess Boxers and then play this video:

10. Tell students that no dogs were harmed in the making of the video and ask which sport they’d prefer to do. Do they know any other unusual sports? Send them home to research one and tell a partner about it in the next class, preferably with photos or a video on their mobile or tablet.

 


Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Burritos

Hamster by Turquoise Field is licensed under CCBY2.0

Hamster by Turquoise Field is licensed under CCBY2.0

 

MAIN ACTIVITIES  Speculation, Comparison, Speaking about viral videos

SUITABLE FOR Teens and adults, Upper-Intermediate (B2.1) and above.

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

STEP 1

Display this photo of a monkey.  Tell students to describe what they can see and say what they think is going to happen next. Get some feedback. Then display this photo and get students to speculate. What do they think it could be?

STEP 2

Tell students that they are going to watch a video. Put them in A/B pairs sitting back to back, with Student A facing the screen. Turn the sound off. Tell students that you’re going to play a video and Student A is going to describe to Student B what they see on the screen while it’s happening.

STEP 3

Play the clip from 00:03 to 00:44. Student B listens and can take notes.

STEP 4

Now tell students to change places. Play this video (no sound) from 00:06 to 01:12. Student B describes to Student A, who takes notes.

STEP 5

Still in the same pairs, students write down as many similarities and differences between the two videos as they can. Encourage them to use linking words of contrast of comparison.

STEP 6

Now regroup the students so that each one is working with a new partner (i.e. AA / BB pairs). They take it in turns to read out a sentence until they have none left. How many different words and phrases did they use to compare the videos? (e.g. Both videos show …. / One video was shot indoors while the other was filmed outside etc.)

STEP 7

Now it’s time to watch both videos. Play the first one again, with sound. Then play the second one. Any reactions to the videos? Why do students think they were made? (The monkey video advertises Go Pro Cameras while the hamster video was created by a social media agency called Denizen.) Would students share the videos on social media? Why (not)? Tell them that one of these videos went viral: Which one? (The hamster clip)

STEP 8

Get students to think of a video that they have shared on social media or one which has been shared with them. When they’ve had time to think, they tell a partner about the video and why they shared / watched it.

STEP 9

Send them the link to this TED talk to watch at home. In the next class, ask:

  • Would you like to do the speaker’s job?
  • Which of the clips had you seen before?
  • According to the speaker, what are the three reasons why a video goes viral?

 


Wonderful World

Vivid Color by ccmerino is licensed under CCBY2.0

Vivid Color by ccmerino is licensed under CCBY2.0

MAIN ACTIVITIES Listening, discussion, vocabulary of animals and geographical features.

SUITABLE FOR Teens and adults, Intermediate (B1) and above

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

STEP 1

Display this word cloud or make your own at http://www.wordle.net. Tell students that it contains the lyrics of a well-known song. Give them a minute to try and identify the song.

STEP 2

Display the second word cloud, which contains the song title. Did they get it right?

STEP 3

Tell them to draw a grid four squares by four squares. They choose sixteen words from the cloud and write one word in each square of their grid.

STEP 4

Play the video – sound only, with the screen blank. Students cross out each word they hear in their grid and afterwards compare what they heard / didn’t hear with a partner.

STEP 5

Display or hand out a copy of the lyrics so that students can see where their words appear in the song and check new vocabulary if necessary.

STEP 6

Put students in pairs and assign each pair two lines of the song. Tell them that they are going to think about images to include in a video for the song. What images will they include to illustrate their two lines? Encourage them to use the lines as a starting point. It isn’t enough to say “Some green trees and red roses.” (Describe the trees. Where are they? Any people? Who are they? What are they doing? etc.)

STEP 7

Give them a few minutes to come up with some ideas and then ask each pair to tell the rest of the class what images they agreed on.

STEP 8

Now play the video so that students can compare their images with the ones used in the video. How many can they remember? You could do this as a competition: put students in groups and get them to write down as many animals / geographical features as they can. Award two points for words they know in English and one point for words in their own language.

STEP 9

Finish off by choosing some questions for students to discuss from these teflpedia pages: Animals, Animal Rights, The Environment.


Giraffe Fight

 

MAIN ACTIVITIES Visualization, speaking, gap fill, vocabulary acquisition, prediction.

SUITABLE FOR Teens and adults, Pre-Advanced (B2.2) and above

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

STEP 1

Tell students that they are going to listen to something with their eyes closed. After listening, they tell a partner about the images they visualized. Who did they see? Where? What were they doing? Why? etc. Play from 00:25 to 01:02 (sound only).

STEP 2
Students tell each other what they visualized in as much detail as possible. Ask a couple of students to tell the rest of the class what they talked about. Did most people have similar ideas?

STEP 3
Play the clip again, this time with both sound and images. Students (in pairs) answer the questions in step 1 based on what they saw. (Two male giraffes are going to fight over a female in the African desert.)

STEP 4
Tell students that they are going to read a description of the fight. Display or give them a copy of the script. They read it quickly and say which word which is out of place.

STEP 5
Now they work together to replace the word banana** with another word (a different one for each banana).

STEP 6
Play the video from 01:05 to 03:23 so that students can compare what they wrote with the words used in the documentary. (rival, chance, blows, desert, fight, legs, reign)

STEP 7
Students vote on which giraffe will win – the old bull or the young rival. Play the clip until 04:35 and ask how the the old giraffe won (He ducked and aimed a blow at his rival’s underbelly). Tell students that the young giraffe didn’t die; he was just knocked out.

STEP 8

Say that the clip comes from the first episode of the BBC series Africa, and encourage those who like nature programmes to look for more David Attenborough documentaries and watch them in English. If you have a class wiki, students can look for nature clips on YouTube, upload them and comment on each other’s choices.
** The banana idea comes from this post about different ways to do a gap fill / cloze on David Petrie’s blog.

 

 


A Brief Encounter with Grammar : I Wish

I wish A3 web

 

Main Activities Prediction, listening, grammar (wishes) and speaking.

Suitable for  Teens and adults, Pre-Advanced (B2.2) and above.

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

STEP 1

Put students into groups of three or four. Tell them that they’re going to see a short extract from a film.

STEP 2

Show the film from 07:18 to 10:11.

Then ask them to discuss the following questions:

  • What’s happened to the woman?
  • What’s the relationship between the two women?
  • Is she glad that the other woman is keeping her company?

STEP 3

Get some theories from the groups and write them up on the board. Tell them that you’ll reveal the answer later.

STEP 4

Now see if anyone can answer this question: Which word did she use eight times? Hopefully, someone will come up with the answer “wish”.

STEP 5

Ask them if they can remember any of the things she said using it.

STEP 6

Show them the scene again, but don’t let them write as they watch. When they’ve seen it, ask them to complete the gaps in these sentences.

STEP 7

Let them decide if they’d like to see it one more time to check/improve their answers. Alternatively, play it again, pausing after each sentence.

STEP 8

Display or hand out the answers.

STEP 9

Ask them to divide the sentences (except 3 and 4) into two groups with different meanings and forms. They should decide what the meanings are and describe the rule for the form.

STEP 10

Display the first block of the infographic (either use the one above or click here for the first block only) so they can check their two groups and then reveal the second block, Groups 1 and 2, to see if they have come up with the same.

STEP 11

Now display the plot summary so they can see how close their theories were in step 3.

STEP 12

Ask how she feels about the affair. Does she regret it or not?

STEP 13

Display the third block of the infographic, True or False?. Ask the class to vote on whether the sentences are true or false. Then play the video from 09:27-10:11 again. (This shows that the first one is obviously false – the other two are debatable.)

STEP 14

Now ask them to make a third group for “wish” that describes the structure and meaning for these last three examples. They should come up with something like wish + past perfect verb form, used to express regret about the past.

STEP 15

Finally, reveal the fourth block of the infographic, Over to You, and ask students to complete the stem sentences with true desires, complaints and regrets of their own.

STEP 16

Get students to sit in groups of three, read their sentences to each other and then explain and comment.

 


Baseball Pitches

 

MAIN ACTIVITIES Vocabulary expansion, prediction, sports idioms

SUITABLE FOR  Upper Intermediate (B2) and above

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

STEP 1

Show the class the word cloud below and ask them to name the sport.

Baseball tagxedo

STEP 2

Divide the class into four groups – A, B, C and D – and organise the groups in a rough circle around the room. There must be at least one person in each group who has a mobile phone or tablet with an internet connection. If you have a big class, you can make eight groups. Display this image and ask them to tell each other what they know about baseball – its vocabulary and its rules. They can use mobiles or dictionaries to look things up.

STEP 3

Ask each group to nominate one member, who must then go and “visit” the next group in a clockwise direction. The visitor and the group compare ideas. Afterwards, the visitors return to their respective groups and give some feedback.

STEP 4

Display this page from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary so that groups can check their predictions.

STEP 5

Tell students that it’s traditional in baseball to have a ceremonial opening pitch, usually performed by someone famous or to celebrate some special event. Tell them that they are going to watch a different YouTube video each showing ceremonial pitches which are famous for being unusual in some way. Each group has to watch their video and work out how to describe exactly what happened in English.

Get each group to watch one of the videos below. In class, you can do this by getting students to look for the video on YouTube using the descriptions in italics as follows:

Group A      cirque du soleil baseball pitch

Group B     Max Ashton baseball pitch

Group C     Shin Soo-Ji baseball pitch

Group D     Zombies baseball pitch

STEP 6

Give students time (and some help!) to come up with accurate descriptions of the scene.

STEP 7

Once they’re ready, reorganise the class into four new groups where there is a representative of each original group in each new one, i.e. the new groups are made up of at least one person each from A, B, C and D. There must be a mobile phone or tablet with an internet connection in each new group.

STEP 8

Each person now takes it in turns to show the opening scene of their original video, being careful to stop it before the ball is thrown. The others have to guess what happens next. The person who showed the video then gives a point to the person who was closest before describing verbally what happens in the video without showing it.

STEP 9

Once all the opening scenes have been seen, they then watch each full video to see what actually happens. Now the group have to decide who gets a point for having given the most accurate verbal description.

STEP 10

Ask students which video they liked best and why. To round off the lesson, ask students to use their mobiles or a dictionary to first figure out the meanings of these questions – all containing sporting idioms – and then answer them.

 

 

 

 


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.

 

 

 


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