sabato 18 ottobre 2014

Teaching for Exams? Have fun! - Gift bags

UPDATE: This blog post has been awarded for the 'Blog Award for Innovative Teaching Ideas' by Teaching English British Council.


A couple of days ago my mother and I were doing some spring cleaning in the basement when she told me to throw away a bunch of gift bags. I was walking to the bins when I stopped at once. "Why don't take these gift bags into the classroom?", I wondered. I had already heard about vocabulary bag activities in oder to revise words from the website  Teaching English British Council so I decided I could try to introduce these Realia objects in my classes. 

This is the activity I did with my students.

Aimed at learners who are training for the FCE/FCE for schools

Background: Use of English part 3/ Reading and Use of English part 3 (from 2015)
This task is called word formation and it focuses on candidates' knowledge of how prefixes, suffixes, internal changes and compounds are used in forming words. 

Number of students: 4
Number of gift bags: 4
(You can pair or group up students depending on your class)

1) Give each student (pair/group of students) a bag. Each bag corresponds to a grammar category:
a. nouns, 
b. verbs, 
c. adjectives, 
d. adverbs. 

2) Put in the centre of the desk  mixed-up sets of words which have the same root. 

A set of the cards I used in my lesson.

3) According to the number of words, tell students they have ___ minutes to pick up the words which belong to the grammar category they have been assigned and put them into their own bags.

4) When time is up call the students to come to the board with their bag. One category at time. 

5) Students call out the words while you copy them to the board so as everyone can take notes.  
IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG: If a student has put the word SURELY in the ADJECTIVE's bag, don't write it immediately in the right column but stick it on the board. 

6) At the end, when all the chart is filled up go back to the words which haven't been categorized yet and with the whole class classify them. The students will then take the words and put them into the right bag.


My students enjoyed a lot this activity above all when they had to choose which category the words belonged to. This activity also gave them the chance to do some peer-teaching. 

You can also use this activity if you want to teach vocabulary according to the grammar categories or with just two bags you can teach opposite words. 

Do you have more ideas to use gift bags in exam preparation classes? Please share them with me!



11 commenti:

  1. It's an useful activity.Thank you for sharing it :)

    RispondiElimina
  2. This is a good help for teachers.

    RispondiElimina
  3. HI Larissa,

    Just to let you know that we’ve shortlisted this blog post for this month’s TeachingEnglish blog award and I’ll be making a post about it on today’s TeachingEnglish Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/TeachingEnglish.BritishCouncil, if you’d like to check there for likes and comments.

    Best,
    Ann

    RispondiElimina
  4. Lovely idea! I did something similar with a storytelling lesson whereby I appointed small groups of students as verb, adjective, adverb and noun police. Each time we heard one of the words in a category they had to take a note of it and write it on a large piece of paper stuck on the wall in the classroom. We then used all those words to put the story back together. It was very interactive and the students had good fun!

    RispondiElimina
  5. Very interesting idea! It sounds like a lot of fun for both students and teacher.
    And congratulations on your being selected by Teaching English!
    Isabelle Simon (France)

    RispondiElimina