Tag Archives: genial.ly

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.

Name 4: a Game to Energize the first 10 Minutes of your Class

I write a lot about games on this blog but the truth is that there are many days when all we do in class is course book related. It is easy to fall prey to the monotonous rhythm of the book and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it; but I never get a kick out of doing the exercises the book suggests and I might be wrong, but I don’t think the students do either. And I, for a start, need this kick to keep me going.

So, from time to time, I like to give them games that will not only engage them but also help them fix previously studied content in an attractive way.

The game I am sharing with you today is called NAME 4, and the aim is to revise content studied in this course and mix it with some easy bits and bobs from previous courses.

I have created the game in Genial.ly. If you don’t want to create your own, you can easily edit mine and write your own categories. Also, in each slide I have placed a countdown timer. The time allotted for each category varies. If you need to modify the time, you can  find numerous countdown timers on YouTube; you just need to write “X seconds countdown”in the search box.

I have used the same template for C1 and B2, slightly varying the categories.

All the instructions to play the game are on the second slide. We had great fun so I really encourage you to give it a go.

GAME FOR C1 STUDENTS. Click on the three dots … to enlarge the presentation

GAME FOR B2 STUDENTS.Click on the three dots … to enlarge the presentation

3 Fun No-Prep Games to Practise Present Perfect Simple and Simple Past

Although I might seem like an organized and methodical person from the outside, the truth is that, in some areas, I am or can become highly and hopefully disorganised.

Context: this week I am teaching Present Perfect Simple /Continuous and its use in combination with the simple Past. I know that, over the years, I have written several posts with games and activities featuring these tenses. Problem? I have so much content on the blog, that, sometimes, it is hard to find what I am looking for. See my problem?

The idea when I started this blog was to have a repository of activities I could resort to, when needed, quickly. For the most part, I have managed to do it. However, in this case, I had to trawl the blog looking for these activities. And this is precisely what has prompted this post. Having them together. Easy to find. Up for grabs! I am not sure which activity I’ll use this year but what  I know is,  it will be easy to find now.

1.How Long?

Speaking game for B1 or B2 levels: Click on the Instructions to read how to play this game. Suitable to practise for and since and the present perfect simple/continuous and the simple past.

R
2. You are lying
A speaking game to consolidate the use of present perfect simple and past simple. Ready for a lot of fun!  Handouts provided.
Read all about it here!
3.  Never Have I Ever
This hilarious speaking activity is fairly simple and requires little preparation. It helps consolidate the use of the present perfect to talk about life experiences.
Read all about it here

A Digital Board Game to Use “Would you Rather” in Speaking and Writing

Is there anything better than a little game to break the ice?

This board game I am sharing with you today is meant to be used as a get-to-know-each-other activity for my first class, but I am sure it can be used in other contexts.

Here’s the thing, I like games as much as the next girl;  buut…, although I haven’t started teaching yet, I already feel the pressure of an overwhelming curriculum. Is it the same for you? So, first-day fun speaking activities? Totally. But, and this is a big “but”, adding a grammar structure that needs to be learned.

This year, goodbye normalcy. So long. See you next year. Hopefully.

 

  • Aim: to teach or revise “would rather” in positive, negative, and interrogative sentences
  • Skills: speaking and writing
  • Level: B2 and upwards
  • Handout: “would rather” grammar, here

After explaining/revising the grammar and giving and asking for lots of examples both in written and spoken form, it’s time to play with our digital board game. I have used Genial.ly, one of my fave sites, to create content for my classes.

The instructions are pretty simple.

  1. Ask students to work in pairs.
  2. Throw the built-in dice and move the counter.
  3. Click on the square and a would you rather question would be displayed.
  4. Ask students to work in pairs expressing their preferences. Encourage them to elaborate on their answers.
  5. Choose a couple of students to express their preferences aloud for the rest of the class. You can always ask someone who has chosen a different option in the would you rather question. Students answers should follow this model:
  •            Question: Would you rather be Donald Trump or Melania Trump for a moth?
  •            Answer: I’d rather be Melania Trump than D. Trump because…

       6. Writing: 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 have to answer. You are allowed some white lies, though.

EXTRA: to spice up this activity a bit more, you might ask random students to guess your preference.

Note: You might want to click on the arrows to enlarge the board

 

FOLLOW UP: Working with Would you Prefer

Below, you will find the same board; only this time, students will be required to use a Would Prefer structure

  • Would you prefer to be Donald Trump or Melania Trump for a month?
  • I’d prefer to be Donald Trump rather than Melania Trump because…

 

This is a perfect example of killing two birds with one stone: same board, two grammar points.