Tag Archives: genial.ly

Create a GIF-like “Meet-your-Teachers” Interactive Photo with Genial.ly

Hello, hello!

Do you know this classic end-of-the-course photo we used to take when studying primary education?  I am sure you do and keep some in old photo albums. Ahh I miss the time when we printed photos!

Now, picture this: the annual staff photo or students photo transformed from a static image into a dynamic mosaic of interactive moving photos welcoming the students to the new course. How, you ask?  Thanks to GIFs and the incredible free templates in Genial.ly. It is very easy to create and a lot of fun: you only need a little bit of tech and a dash of inspiration.

Below these lines is an example of what we are aiming for. If you hover over the image, you can read the names of the teachers, the language they teach and the position they hold in the school.

 

Steps to Follow

  • Tell the teachers (students) what you want to do and then, using your mobile phone, record a quick 2-3 second video asking the teacher to make a move. It is important that they don’t talk, just make a movement.  See my own video here

Great! Now that you have the video, we go to the free tool https://ezgif.com/ to create a GIF from the video. We might need to optimize the resulting GIF to reduce file size, but don’t worry, you can do it on ezgif.com, too. To optimize the GIF, look below the GIF (it says” optimize GIF”). I also use this other GIF optimizer when I need t further reduce the GIF; also free.

 

3. Awesome! Now you have all the GIFs for all the teachers (students) in your school. Time to go to  Genial.ly and sign up for free.

  • Click on Create and in the search box, write school photograph ( in Spanish “orla”). There are two free templates. This is the one I have chosen but you can customize it as much as you want.
  • Click on Use this Template and modify the texts.

  • Now we need to upload the GIFs. Watch this video, and you’ll see how easy it is to create it. Sometimes, it is easier to see it than to explain it.

Creating a by cristina.cabal

Can’t wait to see your own Dynamic School Photos!!!  Or are you considering, perhaps, an end-of-the-course photo with your students, too? Or maybe first-day presentations???

Thanks for reading! Love you!

Threeish in a Row with a Twist for Learning

Super fun activity loaded with learning, a nice tad of competitiveness, and team work for the last post of this school year? Yes, please!

Preparation

What do we need for this activity?

  • Different coloured whiteboard markers or post-it notes. How many colours? As many as teams in the class.
  • Task cards with content to revise. In my case, a combination of sentences to translate and rewriting exercises. Ideally, the cards will be digital so that you can easily show the exercise to the whole class. (I have used one of the digital flip cards templates on Genial.ly and made it reusable. See it in the last section of this post)
In Class
  • On the board, draw a 5×6 grid
  • Divide the class into teams of 3/4 students and assign each team a different coloured white board marker or, in my case, a different coloured post-it note. It will be used to claim their square on the grid.
The rules
  • In this game, all teams participate simultaneously in completing the task. However, establishing an order for the teams becomes important, especially when they need to claim a square to achieve a three-in-a-row formation. In each exercise, the order of teams claiming a square rotates. Team 1 goes first for one task, followed by Team 2 for the next task, and then Team 3 for the subsequent task. This ensures fairness and equal opportunities for all teams to claim a square.
  • Explain how three-in- a row is going to work in this game:

The goal of each team is to form a straight line of three of their assigned colours, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, i.e., a winning line can be formed horizontally, vertically, or diagonally by having three of the same colours in a row. As long as the assigned task is successfully completed, any team has the opportunity to claim a square on the grid.

Let’s start playing
  • Each team names a secretary who will be responsible for writing the answer to the exercise on the digital task card.
  • The teacher displays a task card and all the teams complete the exercise in written form. The secretary will write the answer on a piece of paper. The time allotted for each task card will vary depending on the difficulty of the exercise.
  • The teacher asks each team to provide their answer and verifies if it is correct or incorrect. This can be done in different ways, but the simplest one is for the teacher to quickly approach each team and check their answer.
  • The teams that have a correct answer stand up and claim a square on the grid that is displayed on the board. They can choose any square they want, as long as it has not already been taken by another team.
  • Repeat steps two to four until all the task cards have been used. The game does not end when a team gets three in a row. Instead, the game continues until there are no more task cards left.
  • Teams can block other teams from getting three in a row by marking a square that interrupts their line. The winner is the team that has the most three in a row at the end of the game.

Ready to play?

 

I hope you have liked the game!!!

A Speaking Board Game about Work with some Props

A digital or analogue board game? Which do you fancy? For me, variety is key. So I tend to alternate between both types of exercises to keep things interesting. In this post, you will find both versions. Cheers to diversity!  But just so that you know, I am going to focus more on the analogue version where I can use props.

Who doesn’t love props? Using props in the classroom can be an effective tool for teaching. Props can help to engage students and bring an element of fun and creativity to a lesson. And right in the middle of winter ,when days are short and dark, I feel the need to add some extra spark to my lessons. Don’t you?

Board games have been around for a long, long time but, have you tried to design one? It is not easy. I have tried and failed. They looked awful. This time I have not wasted any time, and used Genial.ly’s Monopoly board game, which I have adapted to suit my content.

 

First, I made an online version (reusable in case you want to change something), which turned out great, but I decided to go oldschool and print out the board, get a huge foam dice, and use some coloured counters. Not surprisingly, rolling a big red foam dice and having students use little markers to claim their spots really made a difference. 

Here’s the downloadable version if I have managed to persuade you to use the printed version of the board game.

TEACHER-GUIDED: HOW TO PLAY
  • Arrange students into groups of 3–4 students and give each group a board.
  • Each player in the group must choose a colour: blue, green, yellow, or red.  They will then receive a token to mark their position and 10 coloured counters (preferably, the same colour as their token) to indicate the questions they have answered correctly throughout the game. 
  • Each player should take their token and place it on the starting square. Write down the starting order of the students on the board, like this: blue first, then green, then yellow, and lastly red. To start playing, the teacher rolls the huge die and Blues move their token to the corresponding square.
  • If Blues can talk about the question non-stop for 2 minutes, they earn the right to place one of their blue counters on that square. That square is now officially theirs!
  • If another player lands on a square that is already occupied by a coloured counter, they will have to answer the question, but they will not claim the square.
  • Special squares: squares with icons contain penalties, such as “The player pays light taxes: loses 2 of his coloured counters.” (you can read the penalties in the digital version)
  • The player with the most coloured counters on the board, once all squares are occupied, will win the game.

I hope you enjoy the game!

Would Rather: Introducing, Revising and Reinforcing

This is not the first time I’ve shared a lesson on using Would Rather to express a preference, but this lesson is also an excuse to share some of the tricks (also called activities 😊) I keep up my sleeve to engage my students and make them enjoy learning; because they/ we deserve to have fancy, engaging, dynamic lessons even if what needs to be explained is as dull as ditch water.

I strongly support the use of visuals in the class to create stimulating lessons. I know creating your own content takes time. But it pays off. Trust me on this one!

FIRST SESSION
INTRODUCING THE TARGET LANGUAGE. PRESENTATION.

I have introduced Would Rather presenting students with some slides and some visual prompts and asking them to provide the questions based on the images.

Some help might be needed, at least, for the first two slides. Encourage students to describe their preferences in pairs, even if it’s a guided assignment.

Target grammar:

  • Question: Would you rather read a book or watch TV?
  • Answer: I’d rather read a book than watch TV because…

Would Rather Introduction de cristina.cabal

GRAMMAR AND EXERCISES
SECOND SESSION

The two activities that follow are meant to be done the following day in order to revise and reinforce this content.

REVISING AND REINFORCING: VIDEO, INTERACTIVE GRAMMAR, FLIP CARDS GAME

(NOTE FOR TECH ENTHUSIASTS)  This beautiful activity has been created with @Genial.ly.  First I created the video, published it on YouTube, and then embedded it on Genial.ly. Then, I used the Template to create the Flipcards.

  • Revise with the video (1st slide)
  • Revise with the matching grammar (2nd slides)
  • Flip Cards Game (following slides). To be used in the game that follows.
FLIPCARDS GAME. Rewriting with Would Rather.  Using Dry-Erase Boards

1. Pair learners and give each pair a dry-erase board and a whiteboard marker.
2. Show the first sentence and ask students to rewrite it using Would Rather
3. Depending on the length or difficulty of the sentence, set a different time limit.
4. Once the pair have their sentence, ask them to write it on the board, big enough for you to see from a distance.
5. When the time is up, ask the pairs to hold it up and quickly go through all the sentences, awarding 1 point to the pair who has the correct grammar.
6. The winner is the pair that get the most points.

Note: Be strict with spelling mistakes or any other tiny mistakes. Students love it when you are strict and don’t give away points easily.

Follow-up: Revise all the sentences again, but this time orally.

SPEAKING: BOARD GAME

This board game has all the ingredients of a good game:

  • Reinforces grammar
  • Boosts communicative skills
  • Improves writing skills
  • Builds rapport
  • + Combines technology with traditional props: in this case, a huge die  (there is a built-in die on the board, so don’t worry if you don’t have this beautiful red die; it is just that I love mixing both worlds.

And here’s the board. As you can see,

  • There are 3 draggable counters.
  • To see the prompts, you need to click on the number.
  • As you can read in the Instructions, if they land on a square with the question GIF, students will need to write a “would you rather” question for the teacher. Yes, you need to answer, it is only fair!!!

 

Hope you have enjoyed this lesson plan. My students have! 🙂

The Future with Be: the Visuals, the Grammar, and the Exercise

After over a decade of running this site, if I have developed one signature post, I would say it’s ideas to bring to life content from the course books.  That’s, at least, the posts I enjoy writing the most.

But, in this post, the star of the show is grammar and the featured tool is one of my favourites, for its versatility and visual impact. I am sure you all know and tried and fallen in love with Genial.ly, so I am not going to waste your time or mine talking about it.

Whether explaining grammar or doing a speaking activity, visuals play a very important role in my teaching. Is it the same for you?

Finding the right visuals to accompany a point of grammar is not a task you do in the blink of an eye; it takes time and it is never entirely fulfilling as you are left with the feeling “there should be a better picture to represent this if only I kept looking”. Unfortunately, time is tight and sometimes you just have to make do with what you have.

Without further ado, let me introduce to you the visuals.

The Visuals:

After writing on the board the point of grammar we are addressing –the future with the verb “to be”– and eliciting some structures they might already know, I display the first picture.

  1. Students, in pairs, try to come up with a sentence that describes the picture.
  2. Listen to their sentences. In most cases, they will give you a “be going to” sentence, but someone is likely to give you the “right” one. If not, don’t despair; this will only happen the first time you show the pictures. The second time -yes, there is a second time and even a third- they will do better and quickly come up with your same sentence or a similar one.
  3. Click to show your sentence, explain without getting into much detail, move to the next picture and repeat procedure.
  4. Once, you have shown them all the pictures; start again, this time a little bit faster.

 

The Grammar

Now that students are familiar with the structures, let’s jump right into the grammar. Rules should be very easy to understand now.

 

The Exercise

This grammar exercise is from their textbooks and yes, I know you can do this same exercise in their books, but it is not the same, is it? The exercise in their textbooks can be set for homework to reinforce this point of grammar.

You can even divide the class into two teams. Display the first sentence, give them a minute to rewrite the sentence using the future with the verb to be and then ask Team A to challenge a student from Team B to say the sentence. If the student from Team B gives a correct answer, he will score a point for his/her team; if incorrect, the point will be awarded to Team A. Display the second sentence and repeat procedure with Team B.