Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm Back!

I'm back after a few weeks holidays. I haven't posted anything on my blog while I was on holidays, because I really needed some time away from routine. Now that I'm back I'll be soon posting some new materials and ideas. I hope you keep in touch and ... welcome back!

Friday, June 12, 2009

"You're a star, because..."

I used this activity with my 7th graders.
First I asked them to draw a six pointed star on a cardboard or paper, any colour they liked. Then they brought their stars to class. The aim was to think of someone they would like to give their star to and write on it (in the middle) the sentence "You're a star because ..." and finally write an adjective on each of the six parts of the star. It was a nice way to practise different adjectives. When they finished their work, they exchanged their stars. It was quite a surprise what they thought about other classmates.

I'm showing here only three of the many stars.

This was an end of the school year activity.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I used this project with my 9th grade students. I wanted them to practise some structures and vocabulary, as well as research on their favourite songs / singers. And we all know how much teenagers love music!

First I handed this guide out:

Project Work

And these were some of the results:


The Story Behind a Song 2 Sofia


The Stoty Behind the Music Fabio r

Nice work!

Monday, May 18, 2009


Once again, the final result of a WEBQUEST on "Rainforest Animals". I'm really glad with the results. They learned about their favourite rainforest animals, they used the "new technologies", they practised their researching skills and, last but not least, they had fun!

Thank you, Tânia! Great job!

Animals of the Rain Forest Tania

Angela, wonderful job!

Animals of the Rain Forest Angela

Friday, May 01, 2009


Another ppt presentation about "The Jaguar" , the result of a Webquest on "A Rainforest Animals". This one is from PATRICIA, 7th grade, class 2. Great job, Patricia! Keep up the good work!

Power Point Patricia- Jaguar

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


After choosing their favourite rainforest animals, after looking for information on them, here's the result. This is RICARDO'S ppt presentation. Good job! Congratulations, Ricardo!

PS: Ricardo is a 7th grade student. He's in class 2.

Ricardo Alpoim Arara-Vermelha

Monday, April 27, 2009


A ppt presentation for elementary students who study a Future Tense for the first time. Quite easy, straight to the point examples, with some explanations in Portuguese.
I used it after they studied a text with some sentences in the Future Simple. Well, they were more involved because, at this age (12 year olds!), they're strongly attracted to image. A lesson that worked well. I'm sharing it with you:

Simple Future


Hi, everybody!
I got this nice award from Hannie and "Teaching Frenzy". Thank you, Hannie. All the best!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Rainforest Animals - A WEBQUEST for 7th grade students

Searching for information on the net about a topic is not as easy as it may seem, especially if you're an elementary student of English. Don't just ask them to use the net to research a topic. There's so much information about any topic, that they will feel lost. As a result, they will copy and paste the first thing they set their eyes on. Besides, there's the language barrier. Not every piece of information is adequate to their langauge level, so they won't understand what they read and will soon lose interest.

So try to make their search easier and adapt the language to their language level giving them clear instructions. An example of this is a WEBQUEST. If you don´t know what that is, visit this site:

So, here is a WEBQUEST on "RAINFOREST ANIMALS" I created for my 7th grade students.

It's their first webquest. I hope they're enjoying it!

Monday, April 13, 2009


I created this task for my 9th graders. It's a pretty hot topic nowadays, so it was quite easy to find the pictures I wanted them to work on. They are supposed to work in groups of 3 or 4 students. They have to follow all the steps and present their group work in class. The following worksheet is just one of them, because each group gets a differet one.

Calamities Tranparency1

Friday, March 13, 2009

Where is the Love ?

I usually use songs with my students. I think they are a light way to teach both vocabulary and grammar. I've recently used ... WHERE IS THE LOVE? by the Black Eyed Peas, with my 9th graders.
Here is the song:

And its worksheet:

Song Where is the Love

Feel free to use it if you so wish!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Games for Revision and Recycling

Dear teachers, if you want to turn your revision lessons into something more interesting, then here are some ideas:

Lying game

Aim of the activity
Improve fluency skills.
You will need dice for this game.
Write a list of general topics, numbered 1 to 6, on the board. For example,
1) love
2) family
3) sport and hobbies
4) holiday
5) ambitions
6) food
Students work in groups. One student in the group throws the dice and the number showing on the dice decides on their topic for the next part of the activity. They then have to talk for one minute on the topic, but before they do that, they choose a card which they must keep hidden from the other members of the group. On one card is written Tell the truth and on the other is Tell a lie. While they are talking, they must follow the instruction on the card and the object of the exercise is for the rest of the group to decide whether they are telling the truth or lying.

Criss cross quiz

Aim of the activity
Revise a variety of language skills and structures in an engaging way.
You will have to prepare questions for each category in advance.
This game is based on a game of noughts and crosses. Draw a grid on the board and in each of the nine squares write a different language category. For example, spelling, pronunciation,verbs, odd one out, etc.
In two teams, the students take it in turns to choose a category and to answer the
corresponding question. If they answer correctly, their team can mark a nought or cross in that square. If they do not answer correctly, the question passes to the other team. The first team to get a row of noughts or crosses is the winner.

Label game

Aim of the activity
To revise idioms by using them to talk about personal experiences, thus making the new language more memorable.
Make a copy of a list of idioms to be practised for each student in the class.
You will need 6 to 10 blank sticky address labels for each student in the class. Post-its can be used as an alternative. You will also need a poster-size piece of paper for each group of 3 to 4 students, dice and counters.
Give a copy of the list of the idioms to be practised to each student in the class.
Give each student in the class a pile of blank sticky address labels. Ask them to look at the list of idioms and to think of a time when any of them were relevant
to their own experience. For each relevant idiom, they should take a sticky label and write the idiom on it, as well as the approximate time of their life the event they are thinking of happened (e.g. last year, yesterday, when I was a child, on my birthday, about three weeks ago etc). They should not write down what happened, just the idiom at this stage.
When they have finished writing idioms on separate labels, ask the students to work in groups and give each group a poster-size piece of paper.
Students now arrange their idioms in a line or a snake on the piece of paper in chronological order and stick them down.
Give each group dice and counters and ask the students to take it in turns to throw the dice and move their counter along the idioms according to the number on the dice.
Students should either talk about a time when the idiom they land on was relevant to
themselves, or ask the student who wrote the idiom down to talk about their experience.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Giggle Poetry in the English Class!

Students are usually reluctant to reading poetry, let alone ... writing it!
Well, that's because they think a poem is an extremely difficult and serious piece of writing. But it shouldn't be, because it really isn't! Trying to turn it into something more appealing to my students, while I was teaching the unit "Addictions", I came across an interesting site on Giggle Poetry:

And I thought to myself it would be an easy way to make them write something funny.
I chose the "Smoker's Epitaph", a funny poem which they had to complete in order to rhyme. Here is the original poem:

Smoker's Poem
After completing it they had to go on writing similar rhyming verses. These were the results:

Here lies Sam Shay
Smoked six packs a day
He started smoking when he was thirteen
Now he won't know what he could have been
(DÚNIA, 9º 2ª)

Here lies Sam Shay
Smoked six packs a day
He started smoking when he was fourteen
Now he can't eat a bean
(AISHA, 9º 2ª)

Here lies Sam Shay
Smoked six packs a day
He started smoking when he was fifteen
Now he cannot fulfil his dream
(CLAUDIA, 9º 2ª)

Here lies Sam Shay
Smoked six packs a day
He started smoking when he was sixteen
What he did was a sin
(JOÃO, 9º 2ª)

Here lies Sam Shay
Smoked six packs a day
He started smoking when he was sixteen
Now there's only an epitaph to be seen
(SOFIA and KARLA, 9º 2ª)

Here lies Sam Shay
Smoked six packs a day
He started smoking when he was seventeen
Now he'll never meet his queen
(SOFIA and KARLA, 9º 2ª)

Here lies Sam Shay
Smoked six packs a day
He started smoking when he was eighteen
I wonder what he could have been
(DAVID, 9º 2ª)

They exercised their imagination and, at the same time, they had fun. I had fun, too!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


If you're looking for a more interesting way to teach the topic "Environment" and if both you and your sudents have easy access to the internet, then you can try this WEBQUEST with your elementary students. It's easy and I'm sure they'll have lots of fun, while they learn about "Rainforest Animals".
In case you need any further information about how webquests work, feel free to cantact me!

Rain Forest Animals Webquest

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ana's School

Ana O. is one of my 12 year old students in the 7th Form. She's been learning English for 3 years. After studying the topic "School", I asked Ana and her partners to write a composition under the title "My School". Ana was one of the first students to hand in her composition. She is a hard working student and an enthusiastic learner of English. This her composition:

Hello !
I’m going to talk a little about my school ...
My school´s name is ...
My school is in (...).
In this area there are people with different backgrounds and cultures, so it is quite varied. And I think it´s quite rewarding, too.

My school is big. There are four big buildings.
In building A, on the ground-floor, you can find the school office, the “AGIR” room, the staffroom, the phones and the “SASE” office.
On the first floor, we find the library, the headmaster´s office, the computer room and the rooms of some school clubs. This building, as all the other school buildings, was recently painted in light blue and white.
On the ground-floor of building B you can find some classrooms and the toilets; on the first floor there are more classrooms.
It is painted in pink and white.

On the ground-floor of building C you can find some classrooms and the toilets. On the first floor there are other classrooms. This building is painted in green and white.
In building D you can find the bar, the gymnasium, the canteen, the recreation room, the toilets and the stationer´s.
This building is painted in orange and white.
I like my school because we don´t have to wear a uniform.
We can wear what we want : jeans or skirt, blouse or pullover.
I also enjoy spending my free time with my friends there. We like each other very much.
I like my class and my teachers very much.
I don´t have my own locker at school to put my things in and I would like to have one.
My favourite subjects are English, Portuguese, French and Computers.
I´m good at all my subjects, except Science.
I hate my school timetable.
I confess : I love talking in classes, sometimes …


Class ...


Monday, January 12, 2009

The "awful" Present Perfect!

Have you ever had trouble teaching/learning the Present Perfect? Well, I have as most of you, I think. There are no easy "recipes" to learn/teach it, but a good thing is to start by practising its form, not worrying much about when to use it (that is reaaly difficult for us Portuguese, because there is no similar Tense in our language). As soon as students understand how it's formed, then it's time for 2nd "round". Here is a simple way of practising the 1st "round". I'll soon be back to this topic.

Present Perfect (Beginners)