Category Archives: Lesson Plan: Elementary

Lesson Plan : Fawlty Towers

I’m sure, dear reader, that you already know that I’ve got a temporary new job and when I say temporary I really mean it and it’s not that I’m not happy teaching teenagers (some of them are great to teach), it’s that SOME teenagers spoil all the fun. On second thoughts, I think I probably shouldn’t have written about my feelings so early in the course because I might end up feeling completely fulfilled teaching people who don’t want to learn  and you already know how the saying goes” People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” ( in Spanish… no se puede escupir para arriba… in case you haven’t guessed. Anyway, I’ve never been politically correct.

So, this change of career has brought about some other changes in my life and though I can hardly call myself a couch potato, the truth is that I watch more TV now than I used to. Even though, I cannot bring myself to swallow just anything on TV (and I’m sure you all know the kind of programmes I’m talking about) there are some sitcoms I enjoy.

Some time ago I told you about one of my favourites, The IT Crowd(post here and listening exercise here) and today I want to tell you about Fawlty Towers, probably the best-known ,most-loved, funniest British sitcoms ever produced in Great Britain (BBC 70’s) . The setting is a fictional hotel named Fawlty Towers and the main characters are the irascible Basil Fawlty, owner of the hotel, his domineering wife Sybil and Manuel and the funny Spanish waiter form Barcelona.
With only 12 episodes produced, Fawlty Towers has become a classic and though every episode is worth watching,  Communication Problems is probably one of my favourites.

I have chosen this 1 minute video for my elementary students to practise

I’m …… (English). I speak …… (English)
How are you? I’m fine , thank you

Now, if you want to do a listening comprehension about this video , click here

A Game to Practise Spelling with Teens

Yes, yes… here I am again, struggling to find ways to teach my demotivated students from E.S.O. That’s why I’m constantly surfing  the net  looking for different ways to teach the same things over and over again.

This game can be used to revise vocabulary from the lesson and at the same time practise spelling. It goes like this:

♥ Divide the class in two teams, A and B and ask them to invent a name for their team.
♥Then, divide the backboard into two halves and mark each side  of the board for each team.
♥ On each side of the blackboard draw either:

a river with stepping stones for students to get across the river. The winner is the team that crosses the river first.   For every correct word they write, mark a stepping stone.

a ladder. The winner is the team that climbs the ladder first. For every correct word they write, mark a step on the ladder.
a mountain with climbing points for the teams to climb and put their country’s flag up on the top. The winner is the team that climbs the mountain and puts their country’s flag up first. For every correct word they write, mark a climbing point.
a daisy. The winner is the team whose daisy is wiped out first. For every correct word they write, wipe out a petal and after all the petals have been wiped out, then wipe out the leaves and the stem until the whole daisy has gone.

♥Call a member from each team up on the board and dictate a word from their vocabulary to them. The students write the word they hear on their side of the board making sure at the same time that the student from the opposite team cannot see what the other student is writing. So cheating is eliminated.

This has proven a very nice and exciting way to check spelling, listening comprehension and pronunciation in a fun way.

Many thanks to Barbara Koziori for this idea

There are also lots of sites on the web to practise spelling with the typical hangman game so if you have a little time to spare ,why don’t you try some of these? divided into categories ( Harry Potter,Countries of the World , Musical Instruments..etc also divided into categories , namely, music, sports , geography …etc and that’s the place you want to go if you want to play the game with colours, everyday adjectives or household things.

If you are feeling creative or just need a specific category to work with (as is my case) , you might want to create your own hangman. To do this try this site It’s good fun!

Blog de Cristina is also  on Facebook.

Lesson Plan: Verb “to be” and Interrogative Pronouns

It’s never  easy to find stimulating real-life   activities for elementary students but on one of the few ocassions I was watching TV  this week  I saw a TV commercial that  I thought I could use to revise the verb “to be” with my elementary students.
The ad campaign for 212VIP CH is led by the top Australian model Catherine McNeil and accompanying her on the TV commercial is Spanish model Jon Kortajarena. Enjoy!!

And now, let’s concentrate on Interrogative Pronouns with the help of the  invaluable Photopeach. This is for my youngest students .I hope it helps you !!