Thursday, July 28, 2011

Studying Vocabulary - Fantastic Tool!

Surfing the net trying to find different ways for my students to study/memorize voacabulary, I came across this fantastic online fashcard programme -
As they say quizlet is "...the largest flash cards and study games website with over 6 million free sets of flashcards covering every possible subject. It's the best place to play educational games, memorize vocabulary and study online."
In fact, you can create sets of flashcards (with sound and pictures)with your own terms and definitions for your students, or you can ask students to do so. In case you have no time to create your own flashcards, you can choose from sets created by other users. Everything for free! Pretty amazing, isn't it?
I was so curious to test it, I created this one:

To know how it works watch this tutorial:
Have fun and ... enjoy your summer holiday!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Using Songs to Motivate Students' Creativity

Teenagers and music are inseparable. So it's always an excellent tool to use in the classroom to teach or revise both grammar and vocabulary, or just for fun. I posted some examples some time ago (click here to check).
With songs students can practise the 4 skills: from a simple listening activity, or a reading comprehension, or even a debate, to a more elaborate writing activity, you just have to pick (or let them pick) the song.
I've recently written about arousing student's imagination and creativity through art. Music is art too. So why not using it to stimulate creativity? Here are some ideas:

1. After listening to the song, ask students to create a new verse to it;

2. Ask students to find a photo which best describes the song lyrics;

3. If the topic of the song allows it, you can ask students to improvise a dialogue between the song writer and the character in the song. In this case, you have to make sure students understand the lyrics so as to feel confident enough to accomplish the task. Give them the timing and the setting to give it more meaning and make it easier (Coldplay's Scientist is a suitable song for this activity);

4. Have students write a letter/e-email to the main character (or the singer), or send an answer to the character referred to in the song;

5. "A song talk" - students usually have their favourite songs. Maybe they know interestings facts or stories to tell about their songs, so ask them to prepare a short talk;

6. If the song tells a story, you can challenge students to turn it into a cartoon story using Xtranormal or Goanimate;

7. Ask them to draw or collage the song and compare the visualizations in class.

Well, the sky is the limit! Enjoy.