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Classroom resources for Christmas

Christmas ESL resourcesChristmas is nearly upon us, so we thought we’d share some classroom resources to help you and your class get in the festive mood.

Teacher trainers Stacey Hughes and Verissimo Toste from our Professional Development team have prepared some multi-level activities for you to use in your classroom.

 

 

 

Christmas Activities

Christmas Activities 2014, including:

  • Jigsaw Reading – pre-intermediate and above
  • Christmas Word Search – pre-intermediate and above

Christmas Cards Activities

Christmas Cards Activities, including:

  • Christmas Cards Activity – any level
  • Christmas Cards Worksheet – any level
  • Delivering the Christmas Cards – any level
  • The 12 Days of Christmas – pre-intermediate and above
  • A Christmas Wreath – young learners

Extensive Reading Activities

 

Happy Holidays!


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EFL classroom activities and resources for Halloween

As Halloween is nearly upon us, teacher trainer Stacey Hughes has been busy creating a collection of ghostly classroom activities for you to use with your class. 

It seems that everyone likes a scary story. As autumn days grow shorter and darker, forcing us indoors, this is the perfect time to tell ghost stories.

Ghost stories and tales of the supernatural have been around for centuries and are a feature of nearly every culture.  Though many people may not believe in ghosts today, stories about haunted castles, enchanted ruins and spooky spectres are still very popular.

Why do we like to be scared so much? One theory is that frightening stories cause a release of adrenaline which makes us feel a ‘rush’. Adrenaline is the same hormone that is released in a fight or flight situation, and, because there is no real danger, we enjoy this ‘thrill’. So we tell ghost stories around the campfire, go to frightening movies, read chilling novels – all in search of a spine-tingling sensation.

As Halloween approaches…

Why not use this opportunity to incorporate some ghostly language and tasks into your lessons? We have put together a variety of activities that can be used at various levels and with different age groups. We start off with our intermediate instructions and activities, including:

  • Scary Collocations
  • Ghoulish Word Forms
  • Frightful Idioms
  • Shadowy Web Quest
  • Write your own Ghost Story!


halloween instructions

How to use these resources with your class, whether in the classroom or remotely.

The below instructions correspond to the activities listed in the Halloween activity pack above. You can use these ideas to structure your lessons.

1. Introduce the topic of Halloween and find out what students know about it by asking them to respond in the chatbox or turn on their microphones one at a time. Put them into breakout rooms to brainstorm 10 words related to the topic of Halloween. Feed back in plenary.

Ask students why they think stories about ghosts and other scary stories are so popular. Put students back into breakout rooms to discuss, then feed back in plenary.

Choose one or more of the vocabulary activities from the handout to send to the students (via email or uploaded into a shared document folder – Google Classroom, MS Teams, OneDrive, etc). Ask them to use a dictionary to look up the words and complete the exercises. In the next videoconferencing lesson, check answers and follow up with one of the reading or writing activities in the handout.

Video option

Record a video to introduce the topic of Halloween, using pictures and introducing related vocabulary. Look directly at the camera as if you are speaking to the students to increase engagement. Give tasks and invite students to pause the video to complete them; for example: Pause the video for 30 seconds and write down all the words you can think of that are related to Halloween. Introduce words in the video, and ask students to post their words in a class forum.

2. Read a Ghost Story Show the cover of a graded reader that is the right level for your students. (see suggestions below). Follow the suggestions in the handout for reading a ghost story. Use breakout rooms or the chat box for student responses. If the story is a long one, do this over several lessons, or ask students to read a chapter or two before the next lesson for discussion. Pair students up and ask them to collaborate (e.g. via Teams, Google Classroom, WhatsApp, or other social channels) to write and record a dialogue between two main characters in the story. Students can then write a news article individually, and ‘publish’ to a class forum (e.g. on Google Classroom, Padlet, etc.)

Here are some readers we suggest you use for this activity, for more ideas check out our catalogue.

Lower levels:

  • Vampire Killer
  • Zombie Attack
  • Frankenstein
  • The Real McCoy and Other Ghost Stories

Intermediate levels:

  • V is for Vampire
  • The Turn of the Screw

Higher levels:

  • Dracula
  • The Pit and the Pendulum and Other Stories
  • Voodoo Island

3. Write a Ghost Story

Use one of the Cloze activities as pre-work for the writing activity and follow suggestions for laying the foundations from the handout. Students can start to plan in small breakout groups either in a zoom lesson or a forum or ask them to collaborate in a WhatsApp call to brainstorm ideas for the setting, characters, the scene, and action. Students write the story on their own. For peer review of their first draft give instructions in a video or live videoconference – ask them to comment on the setting, characters, scene, action and climax. Ask students to illustrate and publish their finished stories in a class forum or other shared online space (e.g. Padlet). Some students might like to read their stories or create a video.

4. Webquest

Prepare students for the topic on ghosts and introduce them to the idea of a Webquest. A Webquest is an online search to find out information, and you can set one up on webquest.org. Alternatively, send the handout to students. Put them into groups of 3-4. Each person in the group can research different questions within the webquest and feed into a shared document (e.g. on Google Drive, OneDrive or MS Teams), or upload answers into a shared forum or space such as Padlet. After the webquest, use a videoconferencing platform to hold an online discussion about the information they discovered and their reactions to it: Would you stay in a haunted house? Do you believe in ghosts? Why do people like to go on ghost walks?


Pre-Primary/Beginner Activities

We also have a variety of activities perfect for beginners and younger learners, including activities such as:

  • Finger puppets
  • Loot bag
  • Make a Halloween Mobile!


Need help planning your digital lessons, or looking for more ideas and fun activities you can do with your class, face-to-face or remotely? Take a look at the tips and resources on this page to help you along the way.

  • teaching online focus paper
  • guides to teaching young learners online
  • guides to teaching teenagers and adults online

 


*These resources are available on the Oxford Teacher’s Club. Not a member? Registering is quick and easy to do, and it gives you access to a wealth of teaching resources.

Found these resources useful? How did they work for you? Share your experiences with the teaching community by leaving a comment below, or by Tweeting us using the handle @OUPELTGlobal.


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A selection of classroom resources for #Christmas

Christmas sceneChristmas is nearly upon us, so we thought we’d share some of our classroom resources for you to use with your students.

The below resources are primarily intended for Primary and Secondary levels.

All activities are photocopiable for you to use in your classroom.

Christmas Activity Booklet

Christmas Activities 2013, including:

  • Decorate your Christmas Tree
  • Christmas Decorations
  • Christmas Quiz
  • Christmas Word Search
  • Where is Santa’s Sack?
  • Teacher’s notes for the above

Christmas Worksheets

Christmas Poster and Worksheets, including:

  • Christmas Classroom Poster
  • Let’s Sing! Jingle Bells
  • Advent Wreath
  • Christmas Card
  • Christmas Crossword
  • Pin the Nose on Rudolph
  • Teacher’s notes for the above

Extensive Reading Activities

 

Happy Holidays!


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A selection of classroom resources for #Halloween

Halloween decorationsHalloween is nearly upon us, so we thought we’d share some of our classroom resources for you to use with your students.

The below resources are primarily intended for Primary and Secondary levels.

All activities are photocopiable for you to use in your classroom.

Worksheets

Extensive Reading Activities

 

Happy Halloween!


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Using online posters to motivate teens

Glogster

Image credit: Glogster EDU

Usoa Sol, a materials writer, teacher trainer and the Head of the English Department at Sant Gregori School in Barcelona, offers some practical ideas for using online posters to motivate your Upper Primary students.

Would you like to see your students motivated to learn English and really looking forward to English class? Then Glogster is definitely the online poster tool you’re looking for! Let us take a look at the benefits of using Glogster in the classroom.

Why use online posters?

Nowadays, students take loads of pictures and make videos (of themselves, of their friends, of their everyday lives), so asking them to put them up on an online poster is a great way of using them to your advantage for learning purposes.

Glogster is visual, intuitive and very easy to use. What’s more, it caters for all students regardless of their level, it really appeals to them, and most importantly, it boosts their creativity and allows them to express their ideas in an artistic way.

Why is Glogster such a great educational tool? Because it gives students the chance to bring to the classroom what they do outside of it and to create something using the language they speak best: multimedia.

Also, most of our students are used to sharing things online with their friends, and Glogster is just perfect for that, because on a Glogster poster students can post images, video, music, hyperlinks, and add sound. Not only does this mean that their posters come to life, but also that they become really interactive; and what’s more, they can be seen by a lot more people.

Five simple activities to do with Glogster

Glogster can be used in many different ways, but here are a few ideas for you to try out in your classes:

1. For a quick collaborative activity that you could carry out in one single class, you could use Glogster to brainstorm vocabulary related to a topic, for example: food. Each student could contribute one word and its corresponding picture and paste it on the glog. Then, they could go in front of the class and tell their classmates why they have chosen that word and what it means to them or even give an example sentence with that word. For example: “This is a photo of fish and chips. It’s my favourite British dish. I first had it when I went to London three years ago”.

2. Another example of a brainstorming activity using Glogster that can be done at the beginning of the school year with low-level students is a poster where they can post words they already know in English. This is going to boost their confidence and make them feel good about what they know, so they are in the right mindset to learn new things!

3. A third version of this activity that could be done after Christmas is one where students could post a picture of what they’ve done over the holidays and write a sentence describing it. They could also put up a picture of a present they’ve received and write about what it’s for, who it’s from and why they like it.

4. Apart from being a great tool for brainstorming, Glogster can also be used for longer projects. One of the most successful projects I have carried out in an EFL class with my students is an activity where they had to design a Glogster poster to illustrate a text they’d written about themselves.

Students absolutely loved looking for the best pictures, videos and music to put up on their posters and they spent hours working on their “poster assignment” (which they didn’t really see as homework, but as a fun activity they actually enjoyed doing). What’s more, it was the students themselves who asked me if they could present their posters in front of the class, which was great oral practice in English, a highly enjoyable activity for my students and really useful for me to get to know them better.

After the students had presented their posters, we posted them onto our school wiki and it was amazing to see them giving each other feedback on their posters and asking each other questions that they had thought of in the days after the presentations.

5. Apart from asking your students to design a poster about themselves over a series of lessons, you could also adapt this idea to get them to illustrate what English means to them. For example, you could ask them to write their “English biography” (i.e., a short text about when they started learning English, what they like best and least about it, what they find the easiest and the hardest about English, why they think English is important, if they’ve ever been to an English-speaking country) and then get them to design a Glogster poster to capture the main ideas in their text.

Summary

Glogster holds great potential for EFL classes and will definitely motivate your students to learn English. So, what are you waiting for? Start using it and tell us about it! Which activities work well in your classroom with Glogster?

Project Competition logoWant to start creating online posters with your class? Why not enter the Project competition? Watch this short video from Project author Tom Hutchinson to find out more.