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Old 09-02-2008, 10:38 PM
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Maria Maria is offline
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Thumbs up A Moving Activity

We had a really nice class today in high-intermediate grammar. Today was a review of subject-verb agreement since we had spent the previous class learning some of the unusual rules or tricks. I used this activity found in the Classroom Materials part of the website: http://azargrammar.com/assets/advanc...s/UUEGExp6.pdf

At a high level, it can be very easy to get complacent and start working out of the book straight. Students are very vocal and they don't seem to need as much "out of their chairs" work as lower levels. But I am alway pleasantly surprised by the burst of energy an activity that requires getting up and moving about brings to the class. We have class 3 hours a week, and I aim to have students out of their chairs at least 45 minutes of that time. But that can be a challenge at a high level. I wonder if other teachers have high-level grammar activities that might involve mingling or moving one way or another?
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:43 PM
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Default Another Moving Activity

This is an oldie but goodie. We did this today in a lower-intermediate level grammar class to practice irregular verbs.

I asked everyone to stand up and form a large circle. There are only 15 of us, so it works. I handed everyone a slip of paper with the base form of an irregular verb and started the activity by saying "Yesterday after school, I began to walk home." My slip of paper had said "begin". The next student continued with "Yesterday after school I began to walk home, but I forgot my street." (Her slip said "forget".) All around the circle we went, and each person held up their base form of the verb to remind the others what to say.

I put the three best students in the three last positions, and they went out of their way to be funny, slightly altering what the others had said, and generally making the activity very amusing. Since we only practiced 15 verbs that way, I then divided them into 3 teams who raced to the board to write the correct irregular form in order to practice the rest.

Who needs high tech, right?
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:49 PM
ouyang ouyang is offline
 
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You can teach prepositional phrases of location with a small class sizes by having students take turns telling each other where to sit. You need to have several more chairs than students in the classroom. Students aren't allowed to point. The must use phrases like "next to Bill", "beside Tom", "on the left side of Bob", "behind Mary", "in front of Susan", etc. This is a fun beginner level lesson for students who know each other's Englsih names.

You can similarly have five or six students stand at the front of the class, and call on a student to arrange them by their height. Students are only allowed to move where they have been told to stand.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:11 AM
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Default awesome prep idea

Excellent idea for teaching preps, Ouyang. I'm glad you shared it. It has two points that I particularly like: first, it gets at least one student at a time out of his or her seat, and second, it has zero prep or materials to make!
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:51 PM
ouyang ouyang is offline
 
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Another fun activity for teaching prepositions is to play solitaire. You need to spend about 15 minutes to set it up, but you can use it with a large class. You start by teaching the vocabulary for suits, the ace, and the Jack.

In Mandarin, the equivalent of a prepositional phrase is often placed before a noun. Chinese students are likely to say "put the heart of ten to the spade of eleven." So, you have to model the correct syntax and word forms, and I also write it on the board along with the suit names and their symbols. I also write the prepositions "above, on, below, beside" in a cross in the setup.

In small classes, I have used a real deck of cards. However, I've mostly used this lesson in large classes where I've had a computer and an LCD projector. I launch two versions of the game on the computer screen, and I divide the class into two teams. I then take turns calling on students from either side of the room to tell me what card to play for their team's game.

You need to have students in the back of the room walk up to the front to take their turn. Many can't make out the suits with or without their glasses, which some are too vain to wear.

Last edited by ouyang; 12-09-2008 at 01:53 PM. Reason: error
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Old 12-12-2008, 07:22 PM
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Default Clarification

So is this then played like a regular Solitaire game and students say "Put the ace of clubs next to the ten of diamonds"?

This sounds terrific! Thanks for sharing this idea. I had never heard of it before.

I have a prepositional activity with Lego blocks I'd like to share. Students sit face to face in pairs, with an notebook standing up between them so neither can see the desk space in front of the other student. Each pair gets a little bag of Lego blocks- each bag is identical. For example, each bag may contain a long blue block, a small yellow block, 2 medium red blocks, a wheel and a lego person.

The first person has 3 minutes to arrange his or her Legos in some sort of configuration. Then, using only words, with no visuals, the first student must guide the second student to configure his or her Lego in the same way. "Put the white block in the middle. Put the small yellow block on top of the white block. Put the person behind the while block." Then they take down the notebook and compare. Finally, students switch roles.

Thanks again for sharing your great ideas, Ouyang.
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