US ELECTIONS 2016

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It’s been a long time since I last published an activity here. But here we are again. I don’t remember how many times I’ve taught or shown the US electoral system to my students. It’s complicated and different from ours in Spain. Of course, what happens in the USA affects the whole world and it’s important for us. If we combine these two factors, we have a reason to talk about it in class.

I found this video on the facebook group Cosas que encuentro para clase and I decided to exploit it for my lesson this evening. Here are the instructions.

LEVEL: b2 and above

TIME: 45 minutes

MATERIALS: video and cards.

PROCEDURE:

  1. Elicit from your students any information they know about the US elections and what they know about their candidates.
  2. Play the video and explain that they have to pay attention because they have to answer some questions afterwards.
  3. Form groups of 4 people. One of them is the moderator of the game and will have the sheet with the answers. The other 3 are the players.
  4. Give each group a set of cards and give each moderator the answersheet.
  5. Each group has to put their stack of cards facing down on the desk. In turns, players take a card, if they know the answer, they keep it, if they don’t, the next player can try to guess, and the next if necessary. If nobody guesses, the moderator keeps the card.
  6. The moderator decides if the answer is right or wrong.
  7. The student with more cards at the end wins.

Here you can find the video and download the cards and the answersheet.

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Some examples of the use with Aurasma

If you have never used Aurasma, check the following video and discover its potential.

 

These are some examples I would like to show you. Follow me as “esuarezguillen public aurasmas” to see them, and at “Eoi Guia”.

Riddles:

I created this images with Tagxedo and asked them to find the answer to the riddles. A simple activity that involves lots of fun for them. They see the image and they hear my voice at the same time. (To see these ones you have to follow me at “Eoi Guia public Aurasmas”).

 

I’d rather be…

In this example students created an image and then they said their thoughts. You can see this activity under “esuarezguillen public Aurasmas”. Click on each picture to enlarge it and scan it with the app.

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Life Questions

In this case, students wrote their questions on paper, I took pictures of them and created a video with Vivavideo that is now linked to this image (esuarezguillen public Aurasmas).

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Christmas Report

20131212-104402.jpgI don’t like giving homework for holidays, but I think it’s necessary that students do things constantly so that their linguistic competence improves more and more. That’s why I’ve thought of this simple report. The only thing they have to do is writing down whatever they do in English: watching a film, reading the news, listening to a podcast, etc.

My aim with this small record is that they become aware of what they have done and what they could have done. I hope it works that way.

You can download the Christmas report here.

Writing Stories

I’ve designed this two-hour lesson plan to teach how to write a story. I hope you like it.

Aim: Writing a Story

Level: Intermediate – Upper-intermediate

Materials: Google Docs document, slideshow presentation, photocopies

This is the lesson plan I wrote. At the end of the lesson we ask them to write a 200 word story starting like this:

The most wonderlful thing of life is that you always know how your day starts, but you never know how it is going to finish.

Natasha Bedingfield: Unwritten

Whenever I hear this song I say to myself, I have to do something with it, after a lot of thinking, here is the activity I designed:

Time: 30 minutes

Skills: Listening, reading, speaking, writing. Students are encouraged to listen to a song, read its lyrcis, write and speak about it. They are forced to think in English and speak about feelings.

Level: Upper-Intermediate to Advanced

Aim: To analyse the meaning of the song and to write some creative lines.

Contents: Expressing your opinion, talking about feelings.

Procedure:

  • Students watch the videoclip of the song Unwritten, by Natasha Bedingfield. If we have time, we can share with them what the Wikipedia says about this song.
  • We tell them to pay attention to what happens there and at the end we ask them what they saw. If they don’t know what to say, we can tell them to say what they think that happened in the lift, and where it takes everyone.
  • Then we give them the lyrics and ask them the meaning of the song. If they don’t know what to say, we can use the ideas given at Blurt It. They have to write a few lines about it and then share them with their classmates.
  • When they’re finished, we’ll point out these lines taken from the song:

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in

  • We share with them this idea: It’s clear that feeling the rain on your skin is something that can make you feel alive.
  • Now it’s their time to share with the whole class those things that make them feel alive.

These kinds of activities are sometimes risky, so we have to think it twice before using it with a group that’s not cohesive enough or with people afraid to talk about feelings.

Materials:

These notes contain some extracts from the website Blurt It and the lyrics to the song, together with the questions students have to answer.