March 15

A 2 Day in 5

This is a great activity I picked up from Catherine Morley‘s workshop on Dictation at the TESOL-SPAIN conference.  It’s similar to the Wacky Web Tales site, but uses a simpler story which students will find easy to understand.  You can find a downloadable version of the activity in the Games section on my Activities for your Classsroom page.

First, ask your students to write the following items in there notebook with the number next to it.

1. Favourite colour

2. Adjective to describe the weather

3. Favourite male (actor / singer / celebrity)

4. Boy’s name

5. Month

6. Type of transport

7. Animal

8. Food

9. Place (city / country)

10. Item of clothing

11. Place in a town (shop / building)

12. Activity (in the -ing form)

13. Object

14. Drink

15. Adjective to describe emotion

Then, tell them you are going to dictate a story to them and that when you say a number, they should complete the gap with the corresponding word.

It was a (2) day in (5).  I was in (9) and I was drinking some (14).  Suddenly, the phone rang.  It was (3) and his friends.  They were (15) because I was late.  So I put on my (1) (10) and picked up my (13).  I made sure that (4) the (7) had some (8) and left.  I quickly went by (6) to (11).  When I arrived I was surprised to see my friends were (12) there.

Students can then compare their stories.  For homework, they can decide what happens next.

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February 25

Sherlock Holmes Starter

Another gem from the TEFL del Sur SWAP SHOP.

At the start of class, divide students into teams and dictate four or five questions about the classroom:

  • How many people are wearing black shoes?
  • How many books are there on the table?
  • Who has a red pencil case?
  • How many people have their ears pierced?

Then give each team a board pen and tell them they have five minutes to find out the answers and write both the question and answer on the board (it’s a good idea to either give each team a different colour pen, or assign each a section of the board).  After the time is up, you can give each team points for the questions they answered correctly and also for writing the question correctly on the board.  I’m especially mean and don’t give points if they forget the question mark!

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