Sunday, August 7, 2011

Getting to know each other - Teenagers and adults.

First day of class = nervousness, anxiety, adrenaline 

I always find it really exciting getting new groups and new students every semester , but I also have to confess that the first 10 minutes of lesson make me really nervous.
The first day will somehow determine what the semester will be like for you and your students. So ...
make the most of it, motivate them to interact and produce language.
Make them feel safe and comfortable. 
Remember you are going to spend the whole semester with them.

This semester ,the very first day was somehow easier and that`s why I want to share the ideas I had  for the first lesson. You can adapt them for almost all the levels.

 Activity 1- Myself in a word

1. Give each student half of a sheet of paper and ask them to write down  one word which could describe them.
2. Ask Ss to stand up and mingle around so that everybody have the chance of interacting and finding out the reasons for their peers  to have chosen such a word.
3. Collect all the words and in a circle elicit explanations for each one in a way that students can describe each other. Do not interact with the person who wrote the word but with his/her friends.
4.After that you will have an idea of who your students are and how well they perform in terms of speaking.

Activity 2 - Myself in a drawing

1- Hand out sheets of paper and make sure each student receives one.
2- Provide Ss with crayons and ask them to draw a circle on the paper. Tell your students it can be big or small , in the center, on the right or left. It`s up to them.
3-Whenever they all have finished drawing this circle tell them to use it to draw a picture which represents themselves.Some Ss may struggle firstly but they will come up with amazing productions.
4- Whenever they have finished ,ask them to stand up and mingle around silently for around 1  minute in order to show everybody their pictures.
5- Tell them to sit down in pairs and give them 3 minutes to get to know the meaning of their partner`s picture.
6- Ss are now going to be guided to explain their partner`s picture to the class. Ask more questions to make Ss feel you are interested in their lives.

Activity 3 - the interview

 1. Give each S a small piece of paper and ask them to write their names down on it. After that Ss should folder the paper once and throw it on the floor in the middle of the class. When you have all the papers on the floor , mix them up and tell your students they have to pick one paper up, when you shout GO!!!. Advise Ss not to get their own names.
2.Contextualize the activity by asking Ss what a profile is and  what we normally do in order to find information about somebody`s life.
3. Show Ss some prompts and elicit question from them.
house/ flat
favourite food
future plans

4-Then tell Ss they are going to interview the person whose name they have picked up. Tell them to use the prompts you provided them with as a guideline. You can also challenge them by saying that they should add more questions. ( My Ss wrote down 10 questions).
Depending on the level  Ss naturally come up with more creative and elaborated questions. 
You must say these questions will help them to create a classroom profile so, they need to collect as much details as possible.

5- After having finished the interview moment , assign their homework by asking them to write down a brief profile of their friends. They can add photos and/or extra information. Some of my groups wrote on a blog I created for the group to exchange ideas throughout the semester.

Activity 4 - Getting to know the teacher.

1- On a PPP, show Ss some photos of you and have them in groups describe your pictures.
2- Based on the pictures say  they should ask questions about you ( around 3 each group).
3- Have Ss interview you. Try to feel comfortable and answer their questions . It is a great opportunity for you to build rapport and get closer to them. 
4- If you have internet connection available in your classroom , you can give Ss the chance of entering they web page and showing their own pictures.At this moment , either their friends or you can ask question about them.

Have a sweet, pleasant and memorable semester!!!


Екатерина Жданова said...

Great ideas!I think I will use one of these activities for my first lesson in a new class in September. I just loved the idea of the Interview activity with throwing papers and further students' interaction! So simple and effective! Thanks a lot!

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