Tag Archives: song

Some nice activities to practise Reported Speech

I love teaching reported speech. I don’t know if students can feel when a teacher enjoys teaching something though I have the impression that somehow it shows. Here are some ideas to get my students “love” (well, maybe I’m getting a bit carried away) reported speech. Hopefully, some of them will do the trick.

Video: How to tell  if your boyfriend is a slob from the British Council

How to tell if your boyfrid is a slob

This video is great to practise statements, questions, orders and suggestions!

Setting the context: tell students they have had a big argument with their boyfriend or girlfriend and they are going to meet their closest friend to tell them all about it. Divide the class into “girls” and “boys” and ask each group to focus on what the girl or the boy says in the video. Ask them to write down as much as they can using the exact words said in the video. Working together within their groups, they’ll need to report in as much detail as possible the conversation to their closest friend (the teacher).

For weaker students I would  do the whole lesson plan as presented by the British Council. Click here

Song: My name is Luka by Suzanne Vega. A song about child abuse. It tells the story of a frightened boy who is forbidden to talk about what he’s going through.

The idea is the same as above. I´ll let the students do all the work (we, teachers, need a break from time to time, don’t we?). The song is quite easy to understand and though they might not pick up everything, they will still be able to come up with some good reported statements. The idea is:

  • Students listen to the song once and write down whole sentences. (ex. My name is Luka, I live on the second floor…)
  • Students in pairs share with their partners.
  • Students listen a second time and pair again one last time.
  • Correct using the video+lyrics and ask students as a class to report the sentences one by one. (For ex. He said his name was Luka)



♥ Gossiping about the teacher (from Begem Tonyali -original post here)

Students think about 10 things they want to know about their teacher and ask the questions, which are written on the board. The class is divided into 2 groups. The first group leave the class and wait outside. The first group members take turns in asking the teacher the questions and write down the answers. Now, they leave and the second group does the same thing. However, what they do not know is that the teacher is honest and gives correct answers to only one group, but lies to the other. It’s a good idea not to tell them beforehand. Then, students pair off as 1st and 2nd group partners. The activity goes like this and one of the students tells his partner “I asked the teacher how old she was and she told me she was 16.” Then the other partner goes “I asked the same question, but she told me she was 36.” etc…until all the questions are reported. Here they have to pay attention to the usage of the reporting verbs and have fun in finding which group the teacher lied to.

♥ A funny idea from A Journey in TEFL. Kids will adore me! 😉

Preparation: before the game, students have been taught the following reporting verbs: ask, tell, warn, advise, suggest and offer.
Students are given some scrap paper and asked to write a yes/no question, a Wh-question, a request, a warning, a suggestion, a piece of advice and an offer .

When they finish, they are asked to make balls from the papers. And the fun begins….Time to play snowballs!! Allow them to play snowballs for some time and play some music. Tell them they can play snowball for as long as there is music. Stop the music and ask students to open the ball of paper and report the things written on it. Remember, the bigger the ball, the easier it will be to catch it! You don’t want to be looking for missing balls!

♥ Indirect into Direct Speech Cards.

Not so funny, maybe, but still worth doing! Students love competitions- me too, if you want to know the truth- so I’m planning to disguise this exercise as a competition with the students  getting the card and scoring points for each correct answer. Now, this activity requires some preparation on my part, namely writing on one side of a card reported speech and, on the other side, direct speech of the same sentence. I’m planning to include statements, questions, commands, suggestions, offers…etc. Show the students the reported speech side of the card. The student who guesses the direct speech sentence, gets the card and the point.

Have a nice week!

Blog de Cristina is also on Facebook! 

Wanna sing along with Rihanna?

Probably a bit too early in the course to be singing songs but as I’ve already mentioned in one of my previous posts, Unit 1 of my pre-intermediate course is about Music.

Rihanna is the most popular singer among the students who have “bravely” decided to vote in the poll embedded in my previous post.

I’ve  chosen the song Russian Roulette. I hope you like my choice!! Two possibilities to work with this song.

Interactive Online Exercise


Also, Visit my section Teaching with songs

Backs to the Board: Picture Description

Oh My goodness! This first week has been hectic in the high school and by Friday  it had taken its toll on me;  I was worn out and I sort of needed to unwind. Can you think of a better way than going to the concert the great Gloria Gaynor gave in Oviedo and  dancing to the rhythm of  her hit I Will Survive? (fits like a glove :), it was just what I needed! Enjoy!

And now, to more down to earth issues. I wanted to show you an exercise I’m going to do with my second-year students  you might find helpful. If so, feel free to use it.

The aim is for students to use the vocabulary studied for Physical Description.

Preparation: Pictures of well-known people: celebrities, politicians,singers…

Procedure: Divide students into pairs. One of them faces the board and the other one sits with his back to the board. Display the picture of the famous person and ask the student facing the board to describe this person to his partner.

Some rules for the game: students must start by giving a physical description of the person and only then can they move on to give more information about this person. The student guessing can ask as many questions as he wants. I’m planning of setting a time limit for each picure; maybe  1m or 1.30m. Needless to say, only English is allowed. 😉

This is my choice of pictures
Picture Description on PhotoPeach

Teaching with Songs: Opposites

There is something I have to tell you. When I am alone in my car I sing at the top of my voice and I enjoy it so much that sometimes I even dance while driving! But it even gets worse  because  while I am listening  to music, very often, I focus on the grammar or the lyrics and if I am teaching something specific and I feel like my students need a break, then  I make a point of  not giving up till I find the right song. So much for concentration on the road!

This happened last week with my first and second years. I decided they needed a break from some boring stuff we had been dealing with. We were about to learn Antonyms  and then, all of a sudden,  Katy Perry was on the radio singing her world famous Hot n Cold. Great for opposites in elementary levels!

I was planning on grabbing the lyrics from Internet and racking my brains to create  some good tasks  when I decided to try ISL Collective and there it was. Ready to take! Thank you very much Missk for your wonderful job. It was a real timesaver!

(to download this activity you’ll need to register on this site : ISL COLLECTIVE (I talked about this page here).

Now, why don’t you try this activity? It’s a lot of fun.

A Ballad: Habits by Maria Mena

It’s been a long long time since I haven’t posted a song,  just because. But I’m on holidays and I’m still publishing twice or three times a week. so I think a deserve a treat or two! ha, ha ,ha!

Maria Mena  has, long ago, won my heart .She released her first album when she was fifteen and  writes all the tracks on her albums which are known for their raw emotion and honesty. This song Habits is from her new album Viktoria released in September 2011.