ESL Activities for adult learners

Re-touching lives through photos : A Lesson Plan

This is a lesson plan and activities I have recently created for a speaking and listening class. It is about a project of Becci Manson, a photo editor, which she initiated when volunteering in Japan after the terrible earthquake and tsunami in 2011, trying to bring positive change to the lives of people stricken by the tsunami.

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Post-it notes vocabulary activity

If you want an easy to prepare activity to teach students some new thematic vocabulary, what you need is some post-it notes (two different colors), pens or markers , a table and a larger piece of paper ( the size of a poster possibly).

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Social inequalities : an oral presentation mini course

“For us, art is not an end in itself … but it is an opportunity for the true perception and criticism of the times we live in.” (Dada poet Hugo Ball)

Social Inequalities is a mini course teaching students how to prepare oral presentations using contemporary artists as an incentive. The target group is students over 16 years old and the level is B2+ . In total it lasts about  8-9 teaching hours. This is why the whole series was initially  posted in 3 parts (First : lesson plan 1, Second : lesson plan 2 and Third : lesson plan 3 & 4 together).

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Writing poems late at night

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My friend, my finally cancer free friend, Meredith Lee, was here a month ago to visit. We met in Athens and I spent 3 days with her before she was off to a cruise around the Greek islands enjoying her ‘freedom’. We mostly spent our days strolling around Athens and taking pictures as she just wanted to take as much in as possible of the Athenian atmosphere and landscape. We went around the historic center, talked to people on the streets, shop owners, dogs and cats (!). We walked for hours, one day probably over 20 km! I even took her to the theatre to see the latest Enke Fezollari success! She cried in the end!

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Alien, the movie. Alien the punctuation?

This is a lesson plan I have been using for 2 years to teach punctuation to my students. It has worked well with levels B1-C1. The reason why I chose this particular movie, Alien,  and actually the first ALIEN movie made is that, even though older teenagers or young adults know the new version of it (the sequel was out about 2 years ago) , they are not familiar with the very first movie that ever came out. That makes it easier for me to make them work better and use their imagination. It should also be noted that I use this lesson plan when teaching essay writing and is part of the editing process which takes place in the end.

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DEBATE : Is Graffiti a form of Art or Vandalism ?

This series of lesson plans fist appeared on the Visual Arts Circle and can be found Visual Arts Circle. I am sharing it here too so that it is archived.

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By Vicky Papageorgiou

The classroom debate is a highly useful tool for a teacher. It provides the students with an excellent opportunity to improve their fluency skills and to extend their vocabulary while, at the same time, discussing about complex contemporary issues and developing the students’ critical thinking skills. If organised carefully, classroom debates are something your students will look forward to.

Introducing a debate in the ELT classroom is a complex process without any doubt. If none of the students has ever taken part in a debate, the teacher has to ensure that several steps are followed :

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Lesson plan : Learning with YouTube videos

This is a new Lesson Plan I wrote and is now published on the current ELTA SERBIA NEWSLETTER, in the July-August issue

http://elta.org.rs/kio/nl/07-2015/Lesson%20Plan-Vicky%20Papageorgiou%20Learning%20with%20YouTube%20videos.pdf

You can check out the whole newsltter here : http://elta.org.rs/2015/07/13/elta-newsletter-july-august-2015/

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Listen to my painting

This is a new series of activities about art paintings and sound effects.

In this activity students will explore sound effects and storytelling. They will compose a sound effect sequence from a picture stimulus and tell a story. They will have to find and select the sound effects on the internet, build up their own sequence and create their narrative and share it with the rest of the students who will have to guess which picture the sequence relates to and why.

Lesson Plan

Paintings and sound effects

 

Language level: Intermediate – Upper Intermediate

 

Learner type: Adults

 

Time: 60 minutes

 

Activity: Listening to sounds, narrating and writing stories

Language:  1) use of the simple past, 2) you might want to pre-teach some structures, such as :

It might be…

I think it is possible that…

Could it be …?

I believe it is..

Skills : The primary aim of this activity is to encourage students to use their imagination to build up a story with the use of sound and image.

Materials: Sound effects websites, art paintings/photos

Prepare a selection of pictures. In this case, it is : Matisse (Dance I), Edward Hopper (New York Movie) and David Hockney (My parents), Edward Hopper (Night Windows), Henri Rousseau (Luxemburg Gardens), Raph Steiner ( American Rural Baroque). Depending on the size of the class, of course, they could be more.


Henri Matisse  Dance (I)Ed. Hopper New York movie

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download (1)

 

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Ralph Steiner American Rural Baroque

 

 

It could be art paintings or art photos– in this case, you can browse through the various museum sites, such as the MOMA http://www.moma.org/ or the Getty museum http://www.getty.edu/art/ )

You can also suggest some sites with sound effects which the students can use, such as : https://www.freesound.org/browse/tags/sound-effects/ , http://www.flashkit.com/soundfx/ , http://www.freesfx.co.uk/ , etc.

Step 1

Divide your students in pairs and give each of the pairs a painting or photo. Tell them that they have to come up with sound effects to fit the pictures. Using the painting as a point of reference, they need to build up a story around it. (Show them, for example, Edward Hopper’s ‘New York Movie’. They should come up with the sound of a movie playing, the opening of a cinema door, the sound of the velvet curtain, the walking of a person on a thick carpet, etc.) . Also, tell your students NOT to reveal their pictures to the other groups/pairs.

Step 2

Allow each pair of students time to discuss a short narrative for their pictures. Tell them that they have to write down only the basic parts of their story and not all the details.

Step 3

Let them explore ways of expressing it using sounds. Ask them to find the MP3 files of the sound effects on a relevant site.

Step 4

After they have prepared their sound sequences, let the groups share them with the rest of the class. Now it’s also time to reveal all the paintings.

Step 5

Ask the rest of the class to guess which picture each pair of students used. Encourage the other students to describe the elements that led them to this conclusion.

Step 6

Now, ask them to explain the story that each sound-sequence think that it narrates.

Follow up

  • Get the students to explore each other’s stories and decide who made the better sound adaptation

  • Encourage students to research online more about the paintings or photos and the real story behind them (if there is one documented, but most of the times there is one and that’s why using paintings for this purpose is ideal, they can be a starting point for comparisons between the initial idea behind the painting and the story learners made up)
  • Ask the students, in the end, to write their stories in a more elaborate way.