Think of an interesting topic (perhaps based on a theme being studied at this time) and write it up on the board. Give the students a given amount of time (depending on age and level) and have them write the first part of a story. It is important to tell them not to write a complete story but only start it, with details, characters and storyline
After this time period is up, exchange papers so that each student gets the essay of another. The students then have to read the story they have and write the other half of the story that they receive.
Later, the stories can be read to the class. This activity means that what everyone writes is important because someone else has to base their writing on the first part of a story that is not their own, while their own original creation is being worked on by someone else.
It is not easy to explain the electoral college, but here is a great link that describes in fairly easy terms how the system works. This may help teachers to explain the system to their students as the graphs are very good, too.
If you are planning to generate some vocabulary lists for your students, even those who are very young, take a Toefl book and randomly choose words that you know feature in the test. This way the students get used to words that will help them at a later date. Learning instructions, test question forms and academic words are all important aspects of language and can be taught instead of words that may not be particularly helpful for students.
All vocabulary is important, of course, but this is a suggestion that makes sense in the building of students' development.
Purchase two mannequin heads at a craft store (Michaels or Joanns) and use them for dialogs. Ask students to stand behind the heads and have a discussion on any topic you choose. This works in the same way as puppets or masks in that the student talks through another, making it easier for the speaker to feel that he/she is not the focus.
Heads can be decorated with hats or jewelry. They can be used and dressed up in costumes of other countries if different cultures are being discussed, or in historical garb if history is the focus.
Jokes, stories and drama situations are suited to this prop.
Do something different this week! Try an activity that you don't usually do. We all have our own teaching styles and sometimes fall into a particular pattern. Incorporate pair work if you don't usually, a game if its not particularly your "thing", more or fewer writing activities, more or less reading. Change the tempo of your class. This will add interest to both you and your students. Check out the writing ideas, speaking prompts, dialogs, and other suggestions on this site.
Cut out headlines from newspapers and have the students write articles to suit the headlines. You could choose just one and see how many different articles you get from the students, or you can cut out enough so that each student receives a different one.
After this you can have them read the original article that was written under that headline.
Have your students write a diary entry as if it were written by a famous or historical person. For example, if they have been studying Napoleon, they could write about a day of his. Or Elvis might have an interesting thing to say in his diary.
Find out who the students admire, or who they have been learning about in history, and get them to personalize them in a diary.
Here are some fun ideas for writing dialogs or acting out scenes in both the ESL or any language classroom:
Two fleas discuss their home
Two tears talk about a recent problem
Two cats gossip about the dogs in their household
Two hairs left on a bald man's head talk about life
Two flies on the wall talk about a recent event
Two pieces of old fruit remaining in a bowl talk about their lives
Two earrings discuss recent fashion
Two ants speak about their last job
See more ideas on this site for topics for dialogs
A great list could be brainstormed from the group that you are going to teach - and remember to keep their suggestions. One creative mind is much smaller than lots of brains at work!
This works with all levels of ESL, and would succeed in a regular English class. Write the beginning of a story on the board. All the students write down what you wrote, on their piece of paper. Now, each student has to add to the story. The teacher can decide if the students should add one sentence or two sentences only, or if they just write for a given amount of time.
At the end of that given time, stop the students and have them each pass their essay on to the next student. The next student has to read the composition given to him/her and then continues the new story with a sentence/time limit as before. This continues until their own paper returns to them.
This activity means that students are composing, reading material written by others, using their imagination, practicing writing clearly so others can read their writing, and of course, practicing their English. Students always love the final results when they receive their original paper back with a story developed by everyone.
Essay endings! Pictures, stories, visual prompts are often the springboards that we start with to write creatively. This idea is receiving the ending of a story and having the students write the body of the tale.
Teachers can create their own lists, or use real endings of books from the library. Here are some examples of essay endings.
--Shivers ran down her spine. It was the last time she would come here again.
--It was now green. Flowers bloomed pink and large, and life seemed to have returned to it once more.
--and so, when they all returned home, everything was as it had been before. Had it all been a dream?
Click here for more "endings"
Hello fellow teachers,