ABC fun games

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Learning the English alphabet is  the very first step to learning the language and achieving fluency. And for our beginning students just learning how to use the English alphabet, here are some fun games I have tried, so far,to help teach and review the ABC in  class.

Most of them I have found online and adapted for my classes.

I have been inspired to use several of them in ELT seminars and teacher development courses I have attended….

I have also included, few games  I have come up with, while improvising in class…

I am also uploading some photos, taken in class this school year, of games that have worked and have been  much fun!

Well, here it goes!

 

CUP HUNT

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  1. Write the letter of the Alphabet on the white sticker or directly onto the cups.
  2. Model how to play in whole group or small group setting.
  3. Have the children close their eyes.
  4. Place a treat under one of the cups.
  5. Chant, “Eye Spy, I Spy.”
  6. Children open their eyes.
  7. Call on students one at a time to guess which cup is hiding the eyeball.
  8. Students read letter of the cup where they think the eyeball/treat  is.
  9. Students lift the cup to see if they are right
  10. Game continues until the treat is found.
  11. Repeat game again.
  12. They can keep  the treat, only if they manage to say a word which starts with it as soon as they find it!

These cups take up less room and work great for letters, words, and numbers too. The students  can:

  • Say the letter.
  • Say the sound.
  • Name something that begins with the letter.
  • Put the cups in ABC order first.

LETTER MONSTER SWATTER

I was inspired to create this the other day and I thought I’d share it if anyone would like to use it. I just printed 2 copies (one for each team ), then cut out the different pieces and glued them together. Then I laminated it and taped it onto a fly swatter with the middle part cut out. It can work as a letter monster, a word monster, or even a number monster

 

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LETTER PLATES and CLOTHES PIN LETTER MATCH

I have to thank my friend Andrianni Tsarkou for reminding me of this idea , during her EEPEK workshop , last November in Larissa.

I used a large paper plate and a medium size for this one.  The first I simply took a marker and wrote the letters around it and the second I used my cool “Jumpo ” stickers (needed the bigger plate for the size). Then I took my clothes pins and wrote the letters on those too. I put them in a bowl next to the plate and there you go!

Kids match clothes pins with lowercase letters to uppercase letters on this  paper plate.

You can also combine these two ideas ,like I did in the photos, below..

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WRITING WITH BOTTLE CAPS

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Make a  set of “alphabet” caps to help students learn the letters. Write a letter of the alphabet on each cap . Make two or three caps for common letters such as A, E, I, O, U, C, D, H, L, N, R, S, T.

You can give the students words in capital letters  to write them in small letters, and vice versa. They work in teams. The team which writes the word faster, wins!

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More ideas:

  • Using the alphabet caps, help students to spell out their names. Are there other words they might be able to spell out with the caps, such as “mom”, “dad”, “dog”, or “ball”?
  • Place all your alphabet caps in a bag and shake them up. Ask  a student to draw one cap out of the bag and read the letter out loud. Then she/he  has to think of something that starts with that letter. Allow for phonetic spellings, for example if she/he says “phone” for the letter “f”.

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Even more ideas, I have come across are:

Write letters or chunks on them and make words.

Colored circle stickers are perfect size for bottle caps.

Write words/numbers before you try to stick them on. Its hard to write once they’ve been stuck to the cap –

Write words (person, place, things, actions) on each color and pull out to use as a writing prompt –

Write letters and make a scrabble game –

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Write high frequency words and have kids create sentences (color code by parts of speech –

Elkonin Technique for hearing sounds of a given word. Pull down caps as each sound is heard –

Compound Word Matching Game –

Write words on caps and put them in ABC order –

Write sight words on lids and try to stack them in towers up as you read more and more words –

Game pieces for sight word tic tac toe

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ABC MINI BOOKS

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For this you need: white paper & old magazines or simply ask your students to draw their own pictures.  Each week we choose a new letter to work on. Write the upper and lower case letter on a piece of white paper, then go through old magazines with your Ss to find pictures that begin with that letter (or just draw their own pictures). Let them cut them out and glue them on the paper, which helps them improve their cutting skills too!  The Ss love to look at it over and over.

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For instructions about how to make a mini book, read here

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THE HAMMMER GAME

I found these hammers at JUMBO, after we had finished with our ABC and basic vocabulary.

I could have made some cards with words on them but, I finally decided to write those words on the board and play there, instead.But, it worked out fine, that way, too!

I called out a word and who ever hit it first with the hammer got  to keep it for their team.

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THE SNOWBALL THROW ABC GAME

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I use the same game for word recognition, before we finish the Alphabet. If you wish to do the same after you have finished teaching  the Alphabet and some basic vocabulary, you can ask the players to spell the word they hit, or you can spell a word for the players to spot and hit! The teacher could also, call a word in the student’s mother tongue . The players find and throw the snowball at the corresponding English word on the board, to win a point for their team.

If younger  students don’t know the letter sounds yet, you can just call out a letter and they can throw a snowball at it once they find it on the wall. For a faster paced game, you can call out a letter sound and the players throw a snowball at the corresponding letter.

TOUCH AND KNOW

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Blindfolds and oversized cardboard letters or magnetic letters ( I have bought them from JUMBO) help our juniors get a feel for the alphabet in this tactile game. Prepare several letter cutouts ( or use the magnetic ones, like I did) and place them in a  box. In turn, have each child wear a blindfold as he draws a letter from the box, feels its shape, and identifies the letter by touch.We play this game in teams and it’s great fun!

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ABC RELAY RACE

Have two students, one from each team, stand next to their team alphabet line, on the board . Explain to them that they have to run and write the corresponding small/capital letter , next to each one of the letters in their line .You can even work with letter sounds or ask them to write a word that starts with each letter they see. There are numerous variations of this game… The first team to finish, wins.

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This is such a fun game! My students loved it!

Practice letter recognition and letter sounds with a fun game that gets kids moving.

A fun variation, can be watched here

And for more ideas, you can read this …

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THE SNAIL BOARD GAME

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Well, if I am not mistaken, the original idea belongs to Papadeli Sophia but, I have seen several variations of it, online, so far!

I ask them to say/spell a word that starts with each letter.

An fun ABC board game, played in pairs.

 

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DRAW IT, MIME IT OR SPELL IT

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We play this game, with new words or vocabulary I wish them to revise.

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Get students into groups of three or four and ask them to sit around a table. Put a set of picture cards face down on each table. Distribute the cards evenly among the group. Tell them their cards are secret! They must not show them or talk about them. Students now think of  how they can draw it, spell or mime it. Give them time, but not too much. Students take turns in , miming, spelling or drawing, while the others in the group guess. The student with the fastest correct answer gets the card with the word. The winner is the person with the most correct answers.

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THE ABC SONG PASS-THE-BALL GAME

To help my students remember the ABC song, I have them sing it several times, of course. This is a fun way to do so!

Children develop listening skills, and practice their ABC as they pass the ball around the circle in this cooperative musical ABC game. I tell the children that when they hear a “new” letter , then the ball is passed to the next student.

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The last student holding the ball when the song finishes, is the winner and gets special stickers!

They just can’t get enough of this game! We get to sing the ABC song again and again….

If there is doubt as to who is holding the ball, for example half way through a changeover, then tell them to play “paper, scissors, rock”.

Insist that they only pass the ball, not throw it!!

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ABC and word games, on Halloween!

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Lately, we have been enjoying lots of fun Alphabet activities. Apples, leaves and pumpkins all lend themselves perfectly to letter learning activities, so we are embracing that and having tons of fun!
Here are my favorite ways to practice letter identification, uppercase and lowercase letter matching, letter sounds , word recognition and more!
Halloween Cup hunt 
  1. Write the letter of the Alphabet on the white sticker or directly onto the cups.
  2. Model how to play in whole group or small group setting.
  3. Have the children close their eyes.
  4. Place the eyeball/Halloween treat under one of the cups.
  5. Chant, “Eye Spy, I Spy.”
  6. Children open their eyes.
  7. Call on students one at a time to guess which cup is hiding the eyeball.
  8. Students read letter of the cup where they think the eyeball/treat  is.
  9. Students lift the cup to see if they are right
  10. Game continues until the eyeball/treat is found.
  11. Repeat game again.
  12. They can keep  the treat, only if they manage to say a word which starts with it as soon as they find it!

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All in all…These cups take up less room and work great for letters, words, and numbers too. The students  can:

  • Say the letter.
  • Say the sound.
  • Name something that begins with the letter.
  • Put the cups in ABC order first.
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The Pumpkin letter memory game

Alphabet Memory Game on…pumpkin templates!

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  1. Put the pumpkin  picture cards aside. Mix up all of the uppercase and lowercase cards.
  2. Place them face down on the table or floor in a grid-like pattern.
  3. Have a student choose two pumpkin cards anywhere on the grid.
  4. Are the letters a match? Big A with little a? If so, that student  gets to remove those cards from play and keep them for his/her team . He also gets to go again!
  5. If they don’t match, turn them back over, and the next person/team  goes. Even if the cards don’t match, encourage your students  to remember where those cards are in case they need to find them again!
  6. Keep playing until all of the cards have been matched. The team with the most matches wins the game.

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Game 2: Letter Sounds Memory Game with Halloween vocabulary!

This game is played the same way except you use one set of alphabet cards and the Halloween picture cards. Try to make a match by finding the picture’s beginning letter!

Set a timer for a few minutes and see how many matches he can get.

 

 

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 The Alphabet Monster
 I spread the letters/pictures  on a desk and tell my students  that the monster was VERY hungry and only eats letters/pictures … BUT that he can only eat them if you say the letter’s/picture’s name first.  They quickly pick out the letters that they already know and feed them to the monster saying each letter name as she put them in.  To make the game fun and playful, I make sounds for the monster … like, “Ohhhh, I’m so hungry!” and gobbling noises after they put a letter in the box.  This receives lots of giggles and silly smiles!
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Although we are using the box for alphabet identification, he can EASILY be changed into a number or color monster!

Variation:

A nice Halloween ABC variation that my students love, has to do with a….Monster!!

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I was inspired to create this last year reading an interesting  blog post and I thought I’d share it if anyone would like to use it. I just print a copy for each team . Then I laminate it and tape it onto a fly swatter with the middle part cut out. It can work as a letter monster, a word monster, or even a number monster. I also found a cute little rhyme to go with it.

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Halloween words- Ladders to the MOON!

This is a simple game.  First, I use tape to create the ladder or just draw it on the board .  Then, I write down high Halloween words or put up flash cards with letters and sounds .  The goal is to move all the way up the ladder.  If you get the word/letter/sound  right, you advance to the next rung.  If you get it wrong, you fall all the way back to the bottom.  Of course, it can work for kids on all levels and subjects.  It can be used for vocabulary, reading, ….math facts – the possibilities are endless.

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN IN CLASS!!

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European Day of Languages fun activities,in a… Library!

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The European Day of Languages has been celebrated every year since 2001 on 26 September, as an initiative of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

Throughout Europe, 800 million Europeans represented in the Council of Europe’s 47 member states are encouraged to learn more languages, at any age, in and out of school. Being convinced that linguistic diversity is a tool for achieving greater intercultural understanding and a key element in the rich cultural heritage of our continent, the Council of Europe promotes plurilingualism in the whole of Europe.

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The European Day of Languages celebrates plurilingualism and encourages the 800 million Europeans in the Council of Europe’s 47 member states to learn more languages.

 

 

For the day, a range of events is organised across Europe: activities for and with children, television and radio programmes, language classes and conferences.

Modern foreign language education aims to develop multilingualism and intercultural awareness. In this theoretical framework, the foreign language can be used as a bridge among the students’ languages and serve as a tool to develop translinguistic competence.

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This year, I’ve  decided to write, about  the activities our local “English Language Teachers Association” created, for the European Day of languages event, which was held in the local Public Library, on 26th September 2016!

Also, I  used most of those activities in my class, the very next day, with huge success!

Here we go…..

BRAINSTORMING TIME !!

Children aged 8-12 , had the chance to know a lot about the different languages spoken, not only in Europe but, all over the World, by watching several videos, singing and taking part in a discussion .

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They shared their experiences concerning their mother tongue and all the foreign languages they had been exposed to.

GAMES TIME !!

Later, they worked in teams and played a Quiz game. They answered questions about different Languages, testing their knowledge and having fun ! A bomb timer was used ,to add more excitement to the game!

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In the next game, a representative from each team , had to wear a special hat, with the name of a language written on it. His/her fellow players, had to help him/her  guess the name of that Language, using miming, key words, descriptions, movement and more…That was fun!!

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“BOOK TREASURE HUNT”!!

Then, it was time for our Book Treasure Hunt, in the Library!

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The teams, had to move around the room, and  look for  12 books, well hidden in the shelves, with titles written in many different Languages! There was a musical background during the Treasure Hunt and a time limit…..3 Songs ,with lyrics in 3 different European languages!

GIFTS!!

All the kids, were rewarded with the  “European Day of Languages” bracelet and special stickers !

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ARTS AND CRAFT!!

The next activity, enhanced the kids’ artistic expression!

The children had to create the Multilingualism Tree , full of cute Owls, speaking many different Languages.

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“Hello” IN ALL LANGUAGES!!

The final activity ,was to write  “Hello” in as many Languages as possible, on special mouth-masks!

And , of course, they greeted each other in all those Languages, holding their mouth-masks!

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I used most of these activities in my class, the very next day! My students loved them and had so much fun! Here are some photos…

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With my older students, we also played a favourite game I have written about, in a previous post: The multilingual game”  !

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With my very young learners, we played several circle games practicing “Hello” and “Goodbye” or “Goodmorning” and ” Goodnight” . But, the most fun thing we did, was to have our mascot Hippo, talk to us about his hometown London! We made beautiful drawings of Hippo’s most favourite places in London! We even asked Hippo lots of questions about his life there and learned so many things about life in a different country, in Europe ! It was a fun-fun day!

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And don’t forget: WE ALL SMILE IN THE SAME LANGUAGE!

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Vocabulary Hopscotch

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Today, I would like  to refer  to  the potential of HOPSCOTCH to engage students, as well as to facilitate the acquisition of factual knowledge (English vocabulary) and to improve the attitudes of students towards learning English as a second language. I can assure you that,   students remember and correctly spell about the same number of new vocabulary words after learning with HOPSCOTCH as they do after a teacher-centered lesson. Importantly however, they enjoy playing this  game very much and they report better attitudes towards studying English after learning vocabulary with HOPSCOTCH and games in general, compared to traditional teaching.

All that is required for this fun game is a few sight words -or anything else that we teach eg numbers- and sidewalk chalk or masking tape.

On rainy days, consider using masking tape on a floor and write each sight word on a piece of tape or index card – just make sure kids do not slip on the index card while playing the game.

Hopscotch activities I have found online and some of my own invention

INSTRUCTIONS:
What You Need:
chalk (multiple colors work best) for outdoor play
or use colored tape & bring the fun indoors
rock or bean bag
What To Do:
1. Using chalk make a hopscotch board.
2. In each square write target sight words, spelling words, letters, etc…
3. Child should throw rock or other item eg a bean bag,onto hopscotch board.
Whichever word the rock/bean bag lands in, is the word to be read.
4. Repeat until all words have been read/used, at least once.
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Different Ways to Play:
We play this a few different ways aside from the basic way listed above.
 Some rounds we read every word we hop on or
use the word in a sentence (this is especially useful for homophones)
Other times, we try to spell the target word after reading it.
Sometimes, we sing-spell the word she lands on to the tune of B-I-N-G-O.

Variations:

1. You can play with letters to help aid recognition
or practice letter sounds .
2. Use numbers to aid in number recognition.
3. Use colors to help with color recognition.
4. Play with spelling words.  Have child read word,
then look away and practice orally spelling the word.
5. Play with vocabulary words –
child tells you definition of word they land on.
6. Play with English words and mother tongue
For example, write color words like red
and child has to tell me word in mother tongue..
7. Spell hopscotch:Give each student a word to spell as she jumps through the boxes. If she spells the word wrong, she must repeat that word on her next turn. The first person to get through the entire board wins a point for her team.
8. Word hopscotch:Method: ƒ Draw a simple hopscotch outline on the floor with chalk or use tape. ƒ Children take turns to hop (walk or jump) from square to square ƒ On each square they say a word that they know. These may be words in general, or words associated with a particular topic or theme, counting etc. ƒ When they run out of words they must ‘give up’ Variation: ƒ Teacher puts pictures /flashcards of familiar objects on each square ƒ Children must name the objects as they hop onto the square More difficult: ƒ Children must say something about the object in the picture
9.I sometimes use the class vocabulary dice,too.
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Do you want to read more about how to play hopscotch? Here is goes…

One player goes first and begins by tossing his marker, e.g., a pebble or beanbag, into the first square. The marker must land in the square without touching the lines. If the marker does not land in the first square, his turn is over. If the marker lands in the first squares, he must hop over the first square and then continue hoping through the hopscotch pattern saying each sight word as he lands on that square. When he gets to the last square, he must turn around and hop back saying each sight word again. He must pick up his marker without touching the first square and then complete the course by hopping on it. If he successfully completed the course, he would proceed to the next square by tossing his stone to the second square and continue hopping as stated above. He must do this for each square.

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A player must hop on one foot on the single squares and straddle the double squares. If a player does not hop with the proper foot, hops on the lines or looses balance while picking up her marker, her turn is over. She would begin her next turn on that square. The first player to complete the course wins the game. For younger players, consider adding a neutral square, e.g., home and allow players to rest at the end of the course. While resting they can recite the alphabet.

– See more at: http://www.sightwordsgame.com/sightwordgames/hopscotch/#sthash.kZ8ypggS.dpuf

Teachers4Europe:”Mini Europe in a box” project (Greek version)

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Η φετινή μας απόπειρα, να εργαστούμε πάνω σε ένα νέο έργο στα πλαίσια του Teachers4Europe project,  συνάντησε πολλά προβλήματα!…Το βασικότερο όλων, ήταν πως, δεν είχα ώρες, εκτός των ωρών της Αγγλικής Γλώσσας, για να εργαστώ! Σημειώστε εδώ πως, στα πλαίσια του μαθήματός μου, εργαζόμαστε ήδη σε άλλα δύο προγράμματα etwinning και ένα του Βρετανικού Συμβουλίου !
Πίεσα πάρα πολύ να μου δωθεί ΜΙΑ ώρα Ευέλικτης Ζώνης, ή άλλη, για να καταφέρω να ξεκινήσω, και αυτό κατέστη δυνατό, μόλις …πριν ένα μήνα!!
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Τέλος καλό, όλα καλά λοιπόν, κι εδώ μπορώ σήμερα, να μοιραστώ το μεγαλύτερο μέρος της δουλειάς μας έως τώρα, η οποία δεν έχει ολοκληρωθεί ακόμη, αλλά θα ολοκληρωθεί, στο τέλος Μαίου!
Σκέφτηκα πολύ πάνω στην επιλογή θέματος , φέτος…
Τα πράγματα, στη χώρα, είναι κρίσιμα…οικονομική ανέχεια, κρίση αξιών, προσφυγικό και τόσα άλλα……Πολλοί κατηγορούν την Ευρώπη για όλα και δεν βλέπουν προοπτική πουθενά…
Σκέφτηκα λοιπόν πως, θα ήθελα να επιστρέψω στα βασικά…τις Ευρωπαικές αξίες και τον Ευρωπαικό πολιτισμό! Τα παιδια αυτά, οι σημερινοί μαθητές μου, θα είναι το μέλλον αυτής της Ευρώπης!
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Χρειάζεται, να γνωρίσουν όλα τα θετικά της στοιχεία, όλα όσα μας κάνουν υπερήφανους και να την αγαπήσουν , να επιτρέψουν ως νέοι Ευρωπαίοι αργότερα στην πηγή του Ευρωπαικού πολιτισμού, κι από εκεί να δροσιστούν . Να εγκαταλείψουν ιδέες ξενοφοβίας και ρατσισμού και να ανακαλύψουν πως, αυτά που μας ενώνουν , είναι περισσότερα από αυτά που μας χωρίζουν!
Να δημιουργήσουν τέλος, την Ευρώπη των λαών και των πολιτισμών, αυτή την Ευρώπη που όλοι οραματιζόμαστε!
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Το μύνημά μας στην Ευρώπη του σήμερα, αποφασίσαμε να είναι αυτό:
( “Ευρώπη, ν’ αγαπάς τους ανθρώπους” ) 
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 A “Teachers4Europe” project, 2015-16
Ε Τάξη, 30 Δημοτικό Σχολείο Λάρισας
Υπεύθυνη εκπαιδευτικός: Αφροδίτη Γκιούρη ( ΠΕ 06)
Σχεδιασμός Εργασίας
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H ιδέα του συγκεκριμένου  project, δημιουργήθηκε μετά το ταξίδι μου στις Βρυξέλλες πέρσυ, όταν επισκέφτηκα την υπαίθρια έκθεση Mini Europe δίπλα στο Atomium!
Σκέφτηκα τότε πως, σε δύσκολα χρόνια οικονομικής κρίσης για την πατρίδα μας και τις οικογένειες των μαθητών μου, σχεδόν κανένας τους δεν είναι πια δυνατό να ταξιδέψει στην Ευρώπη, ή τον κόσμο!
Αποφάσισα  λοιπόν ,να…κλείσουμε όλη την Ευρώπη σε μικρά κουτιά , να τοποθετήσουμε σε αυτά όσους μικρούς “θησαυρούς” σχετικά με κάθε χώρα ανακαλύπταμε στα νοερά μας ταξίδια μέσα στην τάξη και να έχουμε έτσι τη δυνατότητα, να επισκεφτούμε με τη φαντασία μας, όσες φορές θέλουμε, την…μικρή-μεγάλη μας Ήπειρο!
Οι μικροί μας αυτοί “θησαυροί”, μπορούσαν  να είναι: γνώσεις, εικόνες, κάρτες, βιβλία, μουσικές, συνταγές, ταξιδιωτικά ενθύμια-souvenirs, χρήματα, μνημεία, λέξεις, κι οτιδήποτε άλλο ένας αληθινός ταξιδιώτης έχει στις αποσκευές του και τις αναμνήσεις του μετά από ένα ταξίδι!
Τρόπος προσέγγισης στις αξίες και τους στόχους της ΕΕ
Ο βασικός σκοπός του project ήταν να βοηθήσει τους μαθητές να εμπλουτίσουν τις γνώσεις τους σχετικά με την Ευρώπη γενικά και ειδικότερα, σχετικά με τον σπουδαίο  πολιτισμό της.
Κυρίως δε, με όσα στοιχεία αυτού του πολιτισμού , την καθιστούν μία Ήπειρο με κορμό της ύπαρξής της αξίες, δίχως τις οποίες η Ευρώπη δεν μπορεί να υφίσταται. Αυτές οι βασικές αξίες είναι : σεβασμός της ανθρώπινης αξιοπρέπειας, ισότητα και σεβασμός των ανθρώπινων δικαιωμάτων, δημοκρατία, ελευθερία.
Άλλος ένας στόχος, ήταν να ευαισθητοποιήσει τους μικρούς μαθητές , σε θέματα συνεργασίας  και αλληλουποστήριξης, στα πλαίσια των ομαδικών δραστηριοτήτων, καθώς αυτές οι δύο έννοιες ,αποτελούν τον κορμό των Ευρωπαικών ιδεωδών .
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Διδακτικές προσεγγίσεις που υιοθετήθηκαν
Η μεθοδολογία του project βασίστηκε σε προσεγγίσεις διαθεματικές , βιωματικές συνεργατικές, επικοινωνιακές καθώς και μάθησης με μέσο το παιχνίδι.
Με την ολοκλήρωση του project, ευελπιστώ πως οι μαθητές μου,  έχουν γνωρίσει καλύτερα την  Ευρώπη γεωγραφικά και κυρίως πολιτιστικά.
Κυρίως όμως , έχουν κατανοήσει τις βασικές αξίες που κρατούν τις Ευρωπαικές χώρες ενωμένες και το σημαντικό ρόλο που αυτές παίζουν στην καθημερινότητά μας. Έχουν  επίσης κατανοήσει  σε σημαντικό βαθμό, την σπουδαιότητα των εννοιών “ αποδοχή”, “ συνεργασία”,  “σεβασμός”.
Εμπλοκή των μαθητών στη δράση
Οι μαθητές μου, επέδειξαν ζωηρό ενδιαφέρον για το project!
Ήταν μία τάξη που ποτέ πριν δεν είχε την ευκαιρία να λάβει μέρος σε παρόμοια δράση και είχε δυσκολίες ,εξ αρχής ,σε θέματα ομαδικής συνεργασίας .
Η δράση, ενίσχυσε το κομμάτι της ομαδικότητας και της αλληλουποστήριξης , καθώς και την δημιουργικότητα και την πρωτοβουλία των μαθητών.

Επίσης, τους δόθηκε η δυνατότητα να έχουν την εμπειρία της βιωματικής διδασκαλίας και διασκέδασαν εξαιρετικά ,με όσες δραστηριότητες είχανε σχέση με παιχνίδι και κίνηση!

Τέλος, είχανε μια μοναδική ευκαιρία να διευρύνουν τους ορίζοντές τους στον κόσμο και να γνωρίσουν την Ήπειρό μας, το Ευρωπαικό μας σπίτι, γεωγραφικά αλλά και πολιτιστικά.

Ήταν μία πολύτιμη εμπειρία για όλους !
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Οι δραστηριότητες, σε σύντομη παρουσίαση
Δραστηριότητες warming-up
Γνωριμία με το βιβλίο “ Πάμε να εξερευνήσουμε την Ευρώπη”
Ξεφυλλίζουμε το βιβλίο και εργαζόμαστε σε ομάδες πάνω στο Quiz της σελίδας — και στο χάρτη της σελίδας —

Ενεργοποίηση «Το Τρένο της Ε.Ε.»
Ασκήσεις ενεργοποίησης και ισορροπίας των μελών του σώματος ατομικά. Καθένας είναι μια χώρα της Ε.Ε. Στη συνέχεια κινούνται ομαδικά σαν «Τρένο».
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 «Το Όχι αποκοιμήθηκε στην αγκαλιά του Ναι!»
Ζευγάρια. Ο ένας είναι το Όχι και ο άλλος το Ναι. Ξεκινούν με λεκτική επικοινωνία ο ένας λέει μόνο «Ναι» και ο άλλος μόνο «Όχι» και εξερευνούν διαφορετικούς τρόπους πχ ένταση, ταχύτητα κτλ. Στη συνέχεια οι λέξεις αποκτούν κίνηση και γίνονται χορός.
«Δράση- Αντίδραση. Λεκτικοί Ισχυρισμοί»
Σε τριάδες. Ένας είναι Παρατηρητής. Οι άλλοι δύο είναι απέναντι με απόσταση μεταξύ τους και με τον δικό του τρόπο ο καθένας, εκφράζουν εναλλάξ τις Αντίθετες Έννοιες πχ. Το έκανες!# Δεν το έκανα!, Το είπες!# Δεν το είπα! Κτλ. Συνεχίζεται μέχρι την κλιμάκωση της έντασης. Συζήτηση και καταγραφή των συναισθημάτων και των ρόλων που ανακύπτουν.
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«Ευρωπαϊκό Ταγκό»
Ζευγάρια. Καθένας είναι μια χώρα της Ε.Ε. Ο ένας κλείνει τα μάτια του (τυφλός) κι ακολουθεί τις οδηγίες του ζευγαριού του. Όταν ο οδηγός- χορευτής τον ακουμπάει με την παλάμη του στον θώρακα τότε ο «τυφλός» χορευτής πηγαίνει μπροστά, όταν τον ακουμπάει στην πλάτη, πηγαίνει πίσω και ανάλογα όταν τον ακουμπάει στον δεξί ώμο πηγαίνει δεξιά κι αντίστοιχα στον αριστερό ώμο, αριστερά. Αλλάζουν ρόλους.
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«Ε.Ε.: Η ισχύς εν τη ενώσει…» 
Ομαδικό παιχνίδι. Όλοι πιάνονται από την μέση. Ο πρώτος έχει δαγκάνες και προσπαθεί/ διεκδικεί να πιάσει την ουρά, τον τελευταίο. Δεν πρέπει να σπάσει ο κορμός αλλά να παραμείνουν όλοι ισχυρά ενωμένοι μέχρι το τέλος!!!!
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Βασικές δραστηριότητες
 ACTIVITY 1
ΠΑΙΖΩ ΚΑΙ ΓΝΩΡΙΖΩ ΤΗΝ ΕΥΡΩΠΗ
Παίζουμε δύο παιχνίδια γνώσεων που αφορούν το χάρτη της Ευρώπης και τα μεγαλύτερα μνημεία της τα οποία δανειζόμαστε από το βιβλίο “Πάμε να εξερευνήσουμε την Ευρώπη” το οποίο υπάρχει από πέρυσι, στη βιβλιοθήκη του σχολείου.
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ACTIVITY 2
ΣΚΥΤΑΛΟΔΡΟΜΙΑ ΣΤΟΝ ΕΥΡΩΠΑΙΚΟ ΧΑΡΤΗ
Αναρτούμε έναν χάρτη της Ευρώπης στον τοίχο.
Χωριζόμαστε σε 4 ομάδες. Ένας παίκτης από κάθε ομάδα, 4 παίχτες κάθε φορά, τρέχουν  απο τον απέναντι τοίχο προς τον χάρτη, με σκοπό πρώτοι ν’ αγγίξουν τη χώρα το όνομα της οποίας , κάθε φορά ακούει να φωνάζει η εκπαιδευτικός, κερδίζοντας ένα βαθμό για την ομάδα του.
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ACTIVITY 3
ΤΟ ΕΥΡΩΠΑΙΚΟ ΜΑΣ ΔΙΑΒΑΤΗΡΙΟ
Γνωριμία με το Βιβλιαράκι μας: Το “Ευρωπαικό μας Διαβατήριο” !
Είναι για μας ένα πολύ σημαντικό εργαλείο, καθώς, δεν υπάρχει εργαστήριο πληροφορικής και καθηγητής πληροφορικής στο σχολείο μας!
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Χωριζόμαστε σε 4 ομάδες.
Σε κάθε ομάδα μαθητών , αντιστοιχεί μία ομάδα 7 χωρών, έπειτα από κλήρωση.
Διαδικασία
α) Οι ομάδες, συνεργάζονται για να κατασκευάσουν τις 7 σημαίες τους. Πίσω από κάθε σημαία, αναγράφονται 2 ερωτήσεις σχετικές με αυτή τη χώρα, τις οποίες οι μαθητές επιλέγουν.Οι σημαίες αυτές, χρησιμοποιούνται για να στολίσουν τα κουτιά κάθε χώρας και σε επόμενο μάθημα , στο “ Euro-καπελοπαιχνίδι” γνώσεων!
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β) Στις ομάδες, δίνεται ο χάρτης της Ευρωπαικής Ένωσης σε κομμάτια παζλ. Καλούνται να συνεργαστούν, για να τον ανακατασκευάσουν  σωστά , με πρότυπο τον χάρτη του Ευρωπαικού τους Διαβατηρίου, όσο πιο γρήγορα γίνεται! Η καλή συνεργασία, φέρνει και το καλύτερο δυνατό αποτέλεσμα!
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γ) Κατασκευάζουνε, συνεργαζόμενοι, το βασικό αξιοθέατο της κάθε χώρας που έχουν αναλάβει ως ομάδα, σε χαρτί και χαρτόνι. Διαβάζουνε σχετικά με αυτό στο Ευρωπαικό μας διαβατήριο και γράφουμε βασικές πληροφορίες από πίσω από κάθε αξιοθέατο.
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δ) Οι ομάδες, συνεργαζόμενες δημιουργούν σε χαρτί και χαρτόνι, κατασκευές που αναπαριστούν, στοιχεία σημαντικά από κάθε χωρα: το νόμισμα, κάποιες φράσεις στην γλώσσα της χώρας αυτής, συνταγές που έχουνε βρεί στο Διαβατήριο ή στο διαδίκτυο στο σπίτι τους  κτλ
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ε) Τους ζητείται, να φέρουν σε επόμενο μάθημα από το σπίτι τους, αφού ψάξουν και  ρωτήσουν στο φιλικό κι οικογενειακό τους περιβάλλον, τυχόν αντικείμενα, που προέρχονται από αυτή τη χώρα : souvenirs, μία κάρτα, ένα γραμματόσημο, νομίσματα, εικόνες διάσημων ανθρώπων από κάθε χώρα αλλά και  Cds μουσικής  γνωστών μουσικών , ταινίες , βιβλία, φωτογραφίες, δώρα, περιοδικά με σχετικές δημοσιεύσεις, ακόμη και είδη διατροφής, εάν υπάρξουν…οτιδήποτε θελήσουν να φέρουν στη τάξη!
Επίσης, τους ζητείται να φέρουν ένα κουτί παπουτσιών για κάθε μία από τις 7 χώρες της ομάδας τους.
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ζ) Τέλος, εργαζόμενοι σε ζευγάρια, μέσα σε κάθε ομάδα, στολίζουν με τις σημαίες των χωρών, κάθε κουτί παπουτσιών που έχουν φέρει από το σπίτι, και τοποθετούν μέσα σε αυτό, όσους μικρούς “ θησαυρούς”, έχουν καταφέρει να συγκεντρώσουν και να κατασκευάσουν στην τάξη!
Συζητούν σχετικά με τον τρόπο που επιθυμούν να παρουσιάσουν το υλικό τους και όλα όσα θα ήθελαν να μοιραστούν με τις άλλες ομάδες σχετικά με την κάθε χώρα!
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ACTIVITY 4
ΠΑΡΟΥΣΙΑΣΗ ΧΩΡΩΝ :EUROPE IN A BOX
Οι κάθε ομάδα, χωρίζεται σε  ζευγάρια, τα  οποία παρουσιάζουν το περιέχόμενο των κουτιών τους στους συμμαθητές τους, με τον τρόπο που επιθυμούν! Ακολουθούν διευκρινιστικές ερωτήσεις από την τάξη, σε κάθε ομάδα.
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ACTIVITY 5
ΑΝΑΤΡΟΦΟΔΟΤΗΣΗ-ΣΥΖΗΤΗΣΗ-ΕΝΤΥΠΩΣΕΙΣ
Ακολουθεί συζήτηση, σχολιασμός της όλης εμπειρίας, μοίρασμα συναισθημάτων και σκέψεων, γνώμες και εντυπώσεις.

ACTIVITY 6
ΠΑΙΧΝΙΔΙΑ ΕΜΠΕΔΩΣΗΣ 

α)TIC-TAK BOOM
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Χρησιμοποιούμε ως βάση το γνωστό παιχνίδι Tic-tak boom!
Ένας παίκτης από κάθε ομάδα, έρχεται στον πίνακα ,φορά ένα καπέλο με το όνομα μίας από τις Ευρωπαικές χώρες  και οι συμπαίκτες του στην ομάδα, του δίνουν όσες περισσότερες πληροφορίες μπορούν γι’ αυτή τη χώρα, μέσα σε ορισμένο χρόνο -ώσπου να..σκασει η  “ βομβα” του χρονόμετρου!
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Χρησιμοποιούν το Ευρωπαικό μας  Διαβατήριο για πληροφορίες .
Εάν ο παίκτης, καταφέρει πριν τη λήξη του χρόνου, να βρει το όνομα της χώρας που υπάρχει στο καπέλλο του, κερδίζει ένα βαθμό για την ομάδα του!
Το παιχνίδι ολοκληρώνεται, όταν παίξουν όλα τα μέλη και των 4 ομάδων.
Οι νικητές , παίρνουν μικρά αυτοκόλλητα με ευρωπαικές σημαίες!
β) TWISTER
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Βάση μας, το γνωστό παιχνίδι Twister.
Ένας παίκτης από κάθε μία από τις 4 ομάδες μας, εκπροσωπεί την ομάδα του σε κάθε γύρο του παιχνιδιού.
Σε κάθε έναν από τους χρωματιστούς κύκλους της βάσης του παιχνιδιού, τοποθετείται μία πλαστικοποιημένη Ευρωπαική σημαία.
Η εκπαιδευτικός, γυρνά το spinner και οι 4 μαθητές , πρέπει να τοποθετούν τα χέρια ή τα πόδια τους κάθε φορά στο σωστό κύκλο.
‘Οποιος κάνει λαθος, βγαίνει απο το παιχνίδι και νικητής σε κάθε γύρο είναι αυτος που μένει τελευταίος, κερδίζοντας ένα βαθμό για την ομάδα του.
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Το παιχνίδι ολοκληρώνεται, όταν παίξουν όλα τα μέλη και των 4 ομάδων.
Οι νικητές , παίρνουν μικρά αυτοκόλλητα με ευρωπαικές σημαίες!
γ) Το Euro-καπελοπαιχνίδι
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Ένας παίκτης από κάθε ομάδα, έρχεται κάθε φορα στον πίνακα, κρατώντας από μία σημαία από αυτές που είχανε κατασκευάσει οι ομάδες σε προηγούμενο στάδιο, πίσω από τις οποίες , αναγράφονται δύο ερωτήσεις σχετικές με την χώρα.
Ο παίκτης, διαβάζει δυνατά, μία απο τις ερωτήσεις πάνω στη σημαία του, και οι άλλες ομάδες ΠΛΗΝ της δικής του, προσπαθούν συνεργαζόμενες κι ανατρέχοντας στο μικρο Ευρωπαικό μας Διαβατήριο, να βρούνε την απάντηση πρώτες, πριν τις υπόλοιπες ομάδες.
Το παιχνίδι ολοκληρώνεται, όταν παίξουν όλα τα μέλη και των 4 ομάδων
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Η πρώτη ομάδα, σε ταχύτητα και αποτελεσματική συνεργασία , μετά την ολοκλήρωση του παιχνιδιού, κερδίζει πάλι, σημαίες σε αυτοκόλλητα!
δ) MEMORY GAME
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Πρώτο Στάδιο:
‘Ολες οι σημαίες των χωρών, όλων των ομάδων , τοποθετούνται στο πάτωμα . Επίσης, στο πάτωμα τοποθετούνται χαρτάκια στο μέγεθος των σημαιών, με τα ονόματα των Ευρωπαικών χωρών.
Ένας παίκτης κάθε φορά, εκπροσωπώντας την ομάδα του, πρέπει να ταιριάξει ένα όνομα και την αντίστοιχη σημαία με επιτυχία! Εάν τα καταφέρει, κερδίζει τη σημαία. Εάν όχι, την αφήνει στο ίδιο σημείο και επόμενος παίκτης, επόμενης ομάδας ακολουθεί.
Η ομάδα με τις περισσότερες σημαίες στην κατοχή της, είναι η νικήτρια ομάδα!
Παραλαγή -Αντί για σημαίες, μπορούμε να εργαστούμε με χαρτάκια πάνω στα οποία υπάρχουν οι λέξεις-χαιρετσμοί σε κάθε γλώσσα, τις οποίες πρέπει να τις ταιριάξουν με τα ονόματα των χωρών με τον ίδιο τρόπο.
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Δεύτερο Στάδιο:
Διαφορετικοί Χαιρετισμοί
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Εξηγούμε στα παιδιά ότι συχνά οι άνθρωποι χαιρετιούνται από τόπο σε τόπο με διαφορετικό τρόπο στην Ευρώπη. Έτσι, τους προτείνουμε να χωριστούν σε ζευγάρια και να δικομάσουμε διαφορετικούς τρόπους χαιρετισμού: π.χ. Ελλάδα, Αλβανία, Ιταλία, Σουηδία, Γερμανία, Γαλλία, Ισπανία.
Όσο διαρκεί η μουσική χορεύουν , όταν σταματά πρέπει να βρουν κάποιον και να τον χαιρετίσουν ανάλογα με την εντολή μας.
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ACTIVITY 7
H ΣΗΜΑΙΑ ΤΩΝ ΑΣΤΕΡΙΩΝ
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α)Διαβάζουμε το βιβλίο “ Τα Αστέρια της Ευρώπης”.
Στη διάρκεια της ανάγνωσης, οι ομάδες κρατάνε σημειώσεις και γράφουν ιδέες οι οποίες τους άρεσαν στην ιστορία.
Κατόπι, συζητάμε όλοι μαζί στην τάξη, για όλα όσα κατέγραψαν.
Τονίζονται οι ιδέες που αφορούν τις θεμελιώδεις Ευρωπαικές αξίες όπως η Αλληλεγγύη και η Ειρήνη!
Καταγράφουμε τις σημαντικότερες ιδέες,  στον πίνακα .
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Δίνεται σε κάθε ομάδα, ένα χαρτί Α3 στο οποίο καλούνται όλοι να αντιγράψουν  τις 12 σημαντικότερες -κατά την ομάδα τους – Ευρωπαικές αξίες, σε κάθε ένα από τα 12 αστέρια της Ευρωπαικής Σημαίας.
Στο τελευταίο στάδιο, οι ομάδες, πάλι συνεργαζόμενες, χρωματίζουν τη σημαία τους!
Όλες οι Σημαίες των Αστεριών, στολίζουν τους τοίχους της τάξης!
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β) Ετοιμάζουμε το δικό μας μικρό θεατρικό, βασιζόμενο στην ιστορία.
Οι μαθητές, εργαζόμενοι σε ομάδες των 5-6 ατόμων, γράφουν το δικό τους μικρό θεατρικό δρώμενο με ηρωίδα  την Ευρώπη,  και το παρουσιάζουν στην τάξη αργότερα, για τους συμμαθητές τους.
Χρησιμοποιούν τη φαντασία τους δημιουργικά, στη διάρκεια της συγγραφής και ενθαρρύνονται να αυτοσχεδιάσουν στη διάρκεια της μικρής τους παράστασης.
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FINAL -OPTIONAL-ACTIVITY
Με το τέλος της σχολικής χρονιάς και την ολοκλήρωση του project, στόχος μας είναι να μπορέσουμε σε συνεργασία με το Σύλλογο γονέων, είτε να αγοράσουμε permanent markers και να ζωγραφίσουμε σε λευκά μπλουζάκια την Ευρωπαικη σημαία, είτε να παραγγείλουμε σε κατάστημα την εκτύπωση των Σημαιών των Αστεριών μας, σε μπλουζάκια μέσω επεξεργασίας σε υπολογιστή.
(An English version, will follow soon…Stay tuned!)

 Mini Europe in a box: Teachers4Europe 30 State Primary School of Larissa 2015-16 on PhotoPeach

http://photopeach.com/embed/18ny1lj

Our slideshow on Smilebox

April Fool’s Day pranks for students!

DSCN0090This year , I decided to have  some  April Fool’s Day fun in class !I celebrated April Fools’ Day with several well  chosen tricks,  that kept my students giggling ,all day long.

I looked for ideas on line and I tried the ones below, with huge success, with 4 different classes. ( 2nd-6th graders)

With my 2nd graders, whom I teach Art,  I just did the following ( which reaaaly worked!): I told them that we were all going on a field trip to someplace fun, at the end of the day. I  asked them to use their imagination and DRAW that place and finally see if they were  right! I promised lollipops, to the ones who might guess right! Their drawings were fantastic! Most of them drew the nearby park or the nearest burger house – When it got to be almost the end of the day,I told  them that the ‘fun’ place was actually their… homes! Zing!

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With my 3rd graders, I decided to begin the lesson of the day, with my mouth moving but, no sound coming out !! That REALLY freaked them out!! The funniest thing was that, most of them could actually read my lips and respond to what I asked them to do or say, naturally!!

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With my 4th graders, I decided to write a special ” Truths and Lies about my English Teacher ” worksheet and have them work in groups, to figure out how much information was true  and suggest alternatives for points which they considered as …lies!

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With my 5th and 6th graders, I used two hilarious activities I had found on www.busyteacher.org !

A grammar-of-the-day  worksheet went out to the class, and in minutes, we were all dumbfounded. The questions were incomprehensible, written in complete gibberish. I went along with the joke. They  had 20 minutes to finish it, and it was going to be worth a substantial amount of points. The different tasks, were also fun!

eg Draw and write about your Teacher’s life in the future or write about your next week’s plans on the Moon!

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I don’t remember how long the gag lasted exactly, but I do remember all of them sitting there, mouths agape, wondering if the assignment was serious. Then, once they had  all thrown their hands up, I let them in on the joke: “April Fool’s!”

 

The second worksheet, was a TEST! The test was worth…100 points! It was a test to see how well they could follow instructions! If they could not finish the test in time, they would lose ..300 points! They only had ..10 minutes to finish the Test! That freaked them out!

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Some task examples: Write your name backwards 5 times, Write the names of ten colors, Tap the person sitting closest to you 5 times on the right shoulder etc

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If I had older students, I would definitely use these amazing British Council lesson plans !

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April Fool’s Day is the perfect time to play some light-hearted pranks on our friends, family, and co-workers; and if you’re a teacher, pulling an unexpected fast one on your students can be entertaining — and memorable — for everyone. So if you’re  hoping to bring a humor lesson into the classroom, this is the right day to do it! Enjoy! We did!

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HERE ARE A FEW OF THE ACTIVITIES SUGGESTED ABOVE, IDEAL FOR ONLINE TEACHING/LEARNING!

Mardi Gras: fun class games

 

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Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” in French. It is a celebration full of feasting and merriment just before Lent is ushered in for the 40 days of “self denial” leading up to Easter. Mardi Gras is the time to march in parades, eat treats, sing and dance, and generally celebrate good times.

This is a great opportunity to have a fabulous party for our students in the English class, too!

Here are some game ideas, I use in my class…..

We play classic children’s games with a Mardi Gras twist, such as musical chairs.

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Instructions:

I set up chairs in a tight circle, with the seats facing outward. We should have one less chair than you have children participating. I place a Mardi Gras mask underneath each chair. I play some Latin  music. When the music starts, the kids must walk around the chairs. When the music stops, they must quickly find a seat and put the masks to their faces. The child who doesn’t have a seat is out. I take away another chair for the next round. The game continues in the same manner until only two kids are battling over one chair.

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For a version of “Simon Says,” have the kids play “Mardi Gras King or Queen Says.”

Instructions:

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The leader might say, “Mardi Gras Queen says march in place,” and the kids must follow. However, if the leader gives a command and doesn’t say “Mardi Gras Queen says,” the kids are not to follow the command. Anyone who does is out.

Scavenger Hunt Games

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I sometimes, scatter the Mardi Gras bead or Pasta (!)  necklaces my students have made at home, following written instructions, all over the classroom area for the kids to find and put around their necks. The person with the most necklaces , wins.

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I also, hide a special Mardi Gras necklace, which an American friend who had been in New Orleans, sent me some years ago…. The child who finds that necklace ,earns a special prize.

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This year, we had  a scavenger hunt with carnival masks and other party stuff. I put them all in a…treasure  box. I gave  the kids a clue each time ,as to the location of the next clue card. I put the children in pairs to figure the clues to find the Treasure Box. The winners are the first children to bring back all the clue cards, in order.

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Contests

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I ask the  students, to come to the lesson  dressed  in their best or most creative Mardi Gras gear. The outfits can be anything with the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold,  or not….For example, some of my students, this year have decided to improvise and wear their own clothes, upside down!!. Students, vote for the best costume. They cannot vote for themselves. The most fun thing is, that I have the students  do a …Catwalk Mardi Gras Best Costume competition! We have to describe what students who take part  are wearing , before we vote! Great order of adjectives, practice!

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For a mask contest, I give each of my younger students, an undecorated paper Mardi Gras mask. The children must decorate their masks using any art and craft items you have on hand such as glitter, paint, feathers and stickers. Each child will get to stand up and present her mask to the group. The children then vote — by secret ballot — for their favorite mask.

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With my very young learners, we played ” Carnival dictation ” on the board.

Instructions:

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1.I draw about 6-8 masks on the one side of the board and the same number of Masks on the other.

2.Assign the kids to either Carnival King or Carnival Queen  teams

3.I ask a player from each team in turns, to come to the board and write a word they are given, on one of their team Masks.

4.   If they are correct they move to the next ,mask  towards the finish.

5.If one student is not correct, their team miss a turn. If both players are not correct, the next two players proceed!

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We also did an “Orange dance” with Carnival music! A dance which requires  collaboration between the partners and is so much fun!!

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Finally, we love playing “ Mardi Gras whispers“!

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Similar to ” Chinese Whispers” , but this time, we use Mardi Gras and Carnival vocabulary! It’s a fun way to revise new words! I always ask the last person in the row, to come and WRITE the word on the board! This way, we practice spelling, too! They get a point for their team if they get it right!

We love Mardi Gras in class! What about you?…..

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Teaching Grammar, the fun way!

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I have moved away from the traditional methods of teaching English grammar through writing, rewriting and worksheets to using a more active approach through games.

Why I teach grammar with games?

Arif Saricoban and Esen Metin, authors of “Songs, Verse and Games for Teaching Grammar” explain how and why games work for teaching grammar in an ESL classroom. They say, “Games and problem-solving activities, which are task-based and have a purpose beyond the production of correct speech, are the examples of the most preferable communicative activities.” They go on to explain that grammar games help children not only gain knowledge but be able to apply and use that learning.

Additionally, games have the advantage of allowing the students to “practice and internalize vocabulary, grammar and structures extensively.” They can do this because students are often more motivated to play games than they are to do desk work. Plus, during the game, the students are focused on the activity and end up absorbing the language subconsciously. One can also add that fun learning games usually contain repetition, which allows the language to stick.

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Also,  we can use games to add excitement through competition or games which create bonding among students and teacher.

The theory of intrinsic motivation also gives some insight as to why teaching grammar through games actually works. Intrinsic motivation refers to the internal factors that encourage us to do something. Most young learners will not internally decide that they want to learn grammar. They don’t yet understand the concepts of why it’s important to know proper grammar, so these external factors won’t affect them much either. Instead, intrinsic motivation can lead encourage them to play games. If these games are good then they will be learning while they are playing.

Using some movement is crucial because movement helps activate the students’ mental capacities and stimulate neural networks, thus promoting learning and retention. If you have a large class with no space you still have options. Children can stand up, sit down, move various body parts and pass things around to each other. Movement does not only mean children tearing around the playground.

Here are just few , of my favourite grammar games…(to be continued……)

PRESENT PERFECT

Find someone who

A set of cards each of which has a task on it beginning :” Find someone who” plus the present perfect. For example, ” Find someone who has been to Disneyland”.There should be about 10 different tasks each one duplicated 3-4 times.I usually start by asking the students questions eg ” Have you ever ridden an elephant”? until I find someone who has or until it is apparent that nobody has. I write on the board ” Maria, has ridden an elephant” or ” None in the class has ever ridden an elephant”.

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“Find someone who…”

Then, I tell them to take a card each, and try to find someone in the class who has done the action indicated on it, by going round asking each other questions . They should then note down the result in a full sentence, like the one I wrote on the board and take a new card. How many answers can  they find and write down? This is a competition, so they are not to give away the answers to each other as they find them out! I check the answers at the end, by asking publicly for an answer to each task.

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Participants, get one point for each acceptable answer. Anyone who writes for any item that nobody has ever done it, when in fact there is somebody in the class who has, loses a point.

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Accounting for moods

Materials: A set of pictures showing people in different moods: individual copies .

I go  through the pictures with the students defining with them the apparent feelings of the person depicted ( worried…surprised….exhausted )-you may have several possibilities for each picture. Then , I take one picture, and ask them what they think has happened to make the person feel this way.

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“She is worried because her younger son has not come home, yet and it’s very late”

I write up a few suggestions on the board. Then, I let hem do the same for the other pictures , working individually or in pairs.

Then, we hear and discuss results.

The same, may be done in writing for homework.

Oh!

I give the students a series of exclamations (Oh!, Ah!, Great! , Oh, dear!, Cheers!, Damn!, Yes!, Yes?, Rubbish!, Thank goodness!  etc) and ask them what they think has happened to make the speaker say them. For example, ” Oh!” might mean that ” She has had a surprise” or ” She has remembered something”.

They may brainstorm their ideas orally, or write them down. They can even mime their ideas  for the class to guess!

PAST TENSE -for narrative

A story

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I tell the students a story- improvising from skeleton notes or reading out from a text ( Two of my most  favourite FUN  stories , come from my mentor Olha Madulus! I first heard  them,  in one of  her inspiring “Tesol Greece Convention” presentations, a few years ago….

The story should have plenty of action and be easily comprehensible to the students. As you can see in the photo below, I use pictures and hand-made flashcards, to help the students recall the events…

I get them to keep notes if they wish and focus on past forms, by asking occasionally for a translation of an irregular form, or by stopping and getting them to supply the verb-but not so often as to interfere with overall “pace” or comprehensibility. After I have finished, I ask them to recall some of the sentences in the past that were mentioned in the story- using one-word ” cues” to jog their memories.

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“A story “

MODALS

Guessing my abilities

The students are asked to demonstrate something they are very good at, some special ability or a special talent they have!

The class, guesses by asking questions. ” Can you …”?

I help them with vocabulary when necessary.The first student who guesses right, comes to the board and shows the class what he/she can do really well, in turn !

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What’s interesting here is, the fact that I challenge  the guessers, to try and do the same action they have witnessed, in front of the whole class!  This way, they see for themselves how difficult it may be! This activity is a great self-esteem booster, too!

Here are some more photos, of my highly talented students!

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Mystery box

This is an awesome guessing activity!The“Mystery Box” – a type of prediction game that you can create with simple items that you have in class.

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Find a box, such as a shoe box, or any other kind of container which kids can’t see through, such as a cookie tin. Introduce the empty box or tin and discuss how the mystery box game will be played. Outside of the children’s view, place an item inside the box or tin. Ask the children to predict what is inside. If you want, you can let the children hold the box, to see how heavy it is or if it makes any noise bouncing around the box or tin.

Give the children one clue as to what is inside the box. For instance, if you have a teddy bear inside, you can say, “It’s soft.” After the first clue is given, ask the children to guess what might be inside. Repeat the process by giving a second clue, such as, “It’s brown” and then ask the children to guess again.

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They have to guess, by using different modals such as “it must be..”, ” it can’t be..”, “it may be..” etc

All the students who guess right, are given special stickers! If only one student guesses right , she/he is given the item in the mystery box, to take home , as a present.

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After showing the kids how to play the game, I ask the children to bring their own  mystery boxes  from home,  the next day, with an item inside the box for their classmates  to guess what it is.

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PRESENT PROGRESSIVE

Guessing mimes

Materials: Simple sentences for guessing, using the Present Progressive. eg ” You are watching a comedy on TV”

Alternatively, similar situations depicted in drawings.

In this activity, I work with groups of students. It’s more fun!

Students are given a cue-card and mime the content for the rest of the class to guess. “Are you holding something”?

The students are encouraged to keep guessing during the mime.

This activity, is a common one , but can be hilarious!

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Guessing mimes

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Guessing mimes

The fairytale  group mime

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First , I  read them Aesop’s ” The Hare and the Tortoise”.  They are  encouraged to take notes, while listening . Then, I ask some volunteer students to come to the board and , in collaboration, start miming scenes of the story for they classmates to guess what’s happening using the Present Progressive. eg ” The Hare is sleeping under the tree”

You can do the same with any story you like.

An alternative activity is to start  reading  the class any story in Present Progressive and later have groups of students stand up,  and mime what I am  reading!

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This is an example of such a story ..

“……….Now the children are at school. Amy is sewing. She is practicing. She is sitting on a bench. She is sitting near Timmy. Timmy is at school too. Timmy is studying. He is sitting behind his desk. He wishes he could play with the other children. John and Susan are also at school. They are playing outside. They are picking flowers for their teacher. John is carrying his hat. Susan is wearing a bonnet. At this moment, Sarah is walking by the door. She is helping the teacher. She is carrying textbooks to the shelf….”

And this is another one..

“…Today, Abby is visiting her grandparents. She loves her grandparents. At this moment, she is sitting on her grandfather’s knee. She is listening to a story. She is smiling. She loves her grandfather’s stories. Jacob is Abby’s grandfather. He loves his granddaughter. Right now, he is telling her a story. He is holding her on his knee. He is holding her hands. They are sitting in the living room. Sarah is Abby’s grandmother. At this moment, Sarah is standing in the kitchen. She is baking cookies for Jacob and Abby. She is also listening to Jacob’s story. ….”

It works better with funny stories, though…

Acting the story out!

Acting the story out!

NONCOUNT NOUNS

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When you are teaching noncount nouns, you will find that many of them fall into the category of food . Rice, milk, coffee, jelly and peanut butter are just a few of the noncount nouns one might find at a picnic. Playing this game will challenge our students’ memories while also reviewing count and noncount nouns. I arrange my  class in a circle. Then start the game by saying, “I’m going on a picnic, and I’m bringing a ________” filling in the blank with a food item, either count or noncount. The student to my left continues, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing a…” He then chooses his food item and repeats my food item. The third person in the circle chooses a food item and repeats the other two. Play continues around the circle until it has reached me once again, and I face the big challenge of remembering what everyone is bringing on the picnic! As play moves around the circle, I make  sure  sure to correct my students if they make an error with count and noncount nouns. For example, if someone says I am bringing a juice, I  should remind him or her to say a bottle of juice.

A fun homework I give them is, to go home, open all their kitchen cupboards and the fridge and write a list of all the food items they find there! I am  sure, mothers are not very happy with this kind of homework! haha…

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PRESENT SIMPLE

Guess my Summer routines

I ask them to  briefly discuss  activities they do, as part of their Summer routines .I supply new vocabulary as needed.

eg ” I play beach soccer with my friends, every day”.

I give them 5 minutes to write down as many of their own routines they can think of.

In groups, they read out their lists to one another and delete anything they have written down which someone else has as well. So that at the end, each student has only his/her special Summer routines , that no one else has. Later, a representative from each group, describes these special routines in the third person. eg ” Paul, eats 5 ice-creams  every day”

Some of these routines, may rise to interesting questions and answers-also in the Present Simple.

A fun variation  I  tried this year ,was  to have them bring items in class from home, which we used to guess about their Summer habits and special routines . eg, ” Do you listen to music, during your summer holidays”?

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Can you guess what his favourite Summer routine is??

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What about her favourite Summer pastime?…

ARTICLES

Stations

Students listen to a word or sentence and react one way if “an” is needed and a different way if “a” is needed. Possibilities include running and slapping opposite walls of the room, jumping either side of a line, slapping two pieces of paper on their table, and pretending to shoot pieces of paper on different walls. The same game can also be played with “a” and “the”, but it is quite difficult to choose sentences that are only possible with one of the two.

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A variation
Another way of using Stations, and one that it is easier to bring “the” into, is to have students do the two reactions depending on whether what you said was right or wrong (grammatically, factually or logically).

 

EXTRA: I have recently read this amazing blog, by the teacher and blogger Claudio Azevedo, which is about movie segments to Assess Grammar Goals .

It contains a series of movie segments and activities to assess or practice grammar points through fun, challenging exercises. Here you will find the movie segments, the lesson plans, printable worksheets with answer key for each activity, and the tips to develop your own grammar activities with the DVDs you have at home. New activities are posted regularly. Teaching grammar with movie segments is inspiring and highly motivating.

Please, visit and I’m sure you’ll find loads of inspiring ideas !

Now, you can stop the eye-rolling and complaining from your students when you even THINK about teaching them a grammar lesson, and have some productive fun!

NEW favourite Christmas games and activities

 

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Well, every last week  before our Christmas school break, we  ALWAYS leave the course books aside and start….enjoying Christmas !

Actually, it all starts much earlier…..about a month before Christmas, I put up  our Advent calendars, full of surprises inside…! This is when all  the fun starts! We continue with our 4th graders  short Christmas plays rehearsals and our  artistic Christmas cards ( to be offered to our Christmas show guests ) and we conclude with the Christmas games and activities week!!

I’m sharing some NEW ideas and  games that have really worked with my students, this year!

An Alternative Advent calendar

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I just love Advent calendars and I use different ones, each year in class! This year, we had  an alternative advent calendar, where we all had to do an act of kindness, each day. I found the idea on http://www.muminthemadhouse.com/

Kindness can cost nothing and I want to teach my students to be kinder than they need to be and feel that focusing on acts of kindness during Advent , will be a great learning experience and also spread some joy.

Our kindness mission statement:

  • Spread the word – encourage other people to join in and become happiness heroes
  • Have fun and enjoy making other people happy
  • To be kinder than you need to be

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I loved this  idea! We should remind  kids that, it’s more about the giving than the receiving. It is so easy to lose track of it in all the dazzle and ads and gifts and lights outside. It all becomes about the gifts and not the meaning and spirit of the holiday.

I used an old Advent calendar I had  at home, but you can also use the classroom  wall, as the ideal place to display the Advent trees. You can simply blue tac’d them to the wall.  This would work well on any surface and be topped  with a lovely star decoration.

Another idea is a hanging Advent Calendar . You can use small pegs, but strung them on to cord and then hung the trees  on the wall.

Some acts of kindness ideas for your own  Advent Calendar!

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  1. Donate a coat or jumper to charity (leaving a happy note in the pocket)
  2. Donate to the local food bank
  3. Make christmas cards for your neighbours
  4. Leave change in the vending machine
  5. Sort through your toys and donate any that you no longer play with to charity or your local church
  6. Leave chalk messages around where you live
  7. Sharpen all the pencils in the classroom at breaktime
  8. Write a letter to your sibling telling them why you love them
  9. Leave a beautiful homemade bookmark in your library book and give one to the Librarian
  10. Leave the pound in the shopping trolley next time you go to the supermarket
  11. Deliver cookies to your neighbours
  12. Tidy your bedroom
  13. Write a note and mail them to the houses with great christmas lights saying thank you for lighting up their house for you to see
  14. Sit next to someone you normally don’t at the lunch table and be nice to them
  15. Be a holiday helper – volunteer to deliver local christmas cards
  16. Make a bird feeder
  17. Send a care package to someone in the military
  18. Find three of your toys to give to the local childrens hospital
  19. Pass on some of your books to friends
  20. Give a lottery ticket to a stranger
  21. Donate books to your school library
  22. Leave out water for the birds
  23. Write thank you cards for your teacher, coach, Cubs leader or people that have influenced you in a positive way
  24. Clean up the area where you live by picking up litter.  Make sure you wear gloves and do it with an adult.
  25. Help round the house without being asked to
  26. Donate pet food to a local shelter
  27. Put together a shoebox for your local church
  28. Write a thank you note for the bin collectors and post person
  29. Wash your parents car
  30. Give a homeless person a blanket
  31. Deice your neighbours windshields in the morning
  32. Take everyone in your class a candy cane or cookie
  33. Take poinsettias to your nearest nursing home
  34. Make a christmas card for the school receptionist
  35. Offer to help an elderly friend or neighbour with their christmas decorations
  36. Make christmas flowers for the reception at school
  37. Make a thank you card for the school crossing staff
  38. Cook dinner for your family
  39. Offer to pack the shopping bags of the person in front of you and behind you at the supermarket
  40. Invite a new friend for a play date or out to play
  41. Walk someone elses dog
  42. Give out a complement
  43. Give out free hugs today
  44. Hold the door open for people all day
  45. Smile all day
  46. Let someone go in front of you in a queue
  47. Introduce yourself to someone new at school and chat with them
  48. Ring an elderly relative and have a nice chat to them

My super power

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I ask my student to imagine that , from 1/1/201…, all of them possess a super power that no one else knows about. The reason they were given these powers is so that they can use them to become better people and change the World!

I ask them to create the superhero version of themselves and explain why this superpower is important and what is the thing they can change about themselves or the World!

 

New Year acrostic poem

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Each student should refer to something they would like to achieve/change/have or not have for this year.

eg This year I’d like to have

2 large pieces of chocolate cake every day

0 worries and problems

1 big brown bookcase

6 months of vacation

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My 201…infographic

I ask my students to create their infographics about their hopes or ambitions. Found the idea on http://www.easel.ly

 

Fortune teller

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I ask them to write down 3 new things they would like to try this year and test whether their wishes ill come true afterwards…A great warming-up, too.

Year in review

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This is a nice activity for older students. I ask them to write short paragraphs about the things that made last year special/difficult/challenging for them. It can be done with or without a photos collage.

My New Year message to the world

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I ask them to imagine that, their words of hope and prayers for the New Year ,might reach the troubled young people either here or in distant war-torn countries.

Then I write this question on the board:

What would your message say, and to whom would you send it?

The elf poem

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This is an amazing activity which I learned about in one of the Tesol Macedonia/Thrace/Northern Greece Christmas events, a couple of years ago….I think, the activity was presented to us by Katerina Kyriakidou.

I tell my kids that, they are going to hear a poem twice. After each dictation they have to write down as much as they can remember from the poem.

We can give them any poem.Then, the class dictates the poem back to the teacher.This poem below, was written by Linda Brown.

” I saw an elf, all dressed in green

The cutest elf I’ve ever seen

I said:  like your turned-up toes

He wrinkled up his elfin nose

I said: I like your nice green beard

He blushed and smiled

then, disappeared!”

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My variation to this activity was to ask them write their own similar poems, as homework!

The plate drawing game

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This is one old-time-classic game, we all love!

This year, I could not afford to buy paper plates for all my students, therefore we used A4 sheets of paper to draw on….

Students, place their plates on top of their heads and are given the directions below:

  1. Draw a line for a floor
  2. Draw a Christmas tree . Add decorations of your choice.
  3. Draw a star on top of the tree
  4. Draw a fireplace with a mantel next to the tree
  5. Draw a present under the tree
  6. Draw a stocking hanging from the mantel of the fireplace.Add something IN it, if possible.

Winner: the player with the most points

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Points

2 points if the tree touches the floor

2 points if the stocking is touching the mantel

1 point if the star is above the tree

1 point if the star touches the tree

1 point if the fireplace doesn’t touch he tree

1 point if you draw something in the stocking

2 points, if the present is under the tree.

An alternative letter to Santa

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I ask  the older students to write a letter to Santa asking for a present for someone ELSE!

I begin by bringing a homemade present I received or made for someone.

What makes that present special? Does it reflect the personality of the giver?

I then invite my students to tell about presents they have made for others. Why are such presents so remembered?I even have them ask their parents about special presents they have given and received.

Presents from the Heart

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I ask students to think of presents from the heart and tell or write about them ( preferably, on festive paper) starting out like this:

The gift I would most want to have two years from now is………

The gift you most often give to me, maybe without even knowing is…….

If I had only one wish to wish you, I would wish you………….

Thank you for all the gifts you give to me, especially………………………

Story or class discussion starters

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Why do you think being an elf is a “toyriffic” job?

With so much work to be done, when do you think Santa’s elves get a chance to celebrate?

How are they getting ready for Christmas?

What would an elf want for Christmas?

What elf jobs would you like to do?

How do you think the workshop and elf jobs will be different in 2020?

Musical Xmas

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I first read about this activity in the ELTNews newspaper , November 2010 issue . It was one of the inspiring ideas shared there, by Akis Davanelos , a Greek teacher trainer and publisher.If you manage to find that issue and read the whole article about how to             ” Practice GRAMMAR before Christmas”, on page 10, you’ll be surprised by his amazing ideas!

Akis, suggests that we could use the following songs to practice various grammar points:

Past tenses:

Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer

Frosty the Snowman

Prepositions

Jingle Bells

The Christmas song ( Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…)

Pronunciation points ( Rhyming words)

Frosty the Snowman

Jingle bell rock

Let it snow

Rocking around the Christmas tree

The Christmas song

Winter Wonderland

Away in a Manger

We Three Kings

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We can also, ask our students to write their own versions based on well known Xmas tunes.

The twelve days of Christmas

The Christmas song

The Christmas story book game

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A game I ..invented this year and my students simply loved!  I read them a story about Christmas customs and traditions in other countries. Each time they heard the name of a country, they had to pass a little notebook mosa15christmasgames (768x1024) to the person on their right! The last student, could take it home!They really loved it, and it was the perfect motivator for them , to get focused on the story !

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Christmas Charades

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A traditional game with a Christmas twist…

Put the class into two teams.

Give each team a set of cards.

Explain the rules: One person from each team starts. He/she will select a card. on each card is written the name of a song, book or film (with a Christmas link). He/she must then mime what is said on the card to the rest of his/her group. No speaking is allowed.

First, we should mime the category, ie song-open hands around mouth, book- open hands in a book reading pose and projector-like pose for a film.

Star wars!

Star wars!

Also, explain symbols for “little words” eg T shape for “the”, thumb and forehead together for “little word” etc.

When the team guesses the first one, the second person can take a card and so on.

The winners are the first team to mime and guess all their cards correctly.

The “Thank you” game

You need a pen and a piece of paper for each player.

In every turn, each player has to write one line on the piece of paper in their hand, fold it over so that the next player can’t see what has been written and pass it on to the player on their left.

In order, each payer has to write:

  1. The name of the person receiving the letter-someone famous is best.
  2. Thanks for a particular present.
  3. A line describing the present or what is good about it.
  4. A line saying what the present is going to be used for.
  5. A closing sentence.

When you have finished, take turns to read the hilarious results!

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For more Christmas fun ideas, you should read my last year post: Our English class favourite Christmas games

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Halloween fun is on!

What is it about Halloween that I love so much ? It’s its  FUN element, I guess….

I decided to try and bring some Halloween spirit to my class  this year, too. I attempted to teach my  students Halloween themed lessons, and to  elicit some  excitement from them. I feel that I at least paid Halloween  a pretty good tribute.

I have written about our class Halloween activities in a couple of older posts, too. Today, I wish to share some favourite Halloween links  with amazing Halloween ESL activities !

http://busyteacher.org/3523-spooky-halloween-fun-for-your-esl-class.html

http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/halloween

http://www.eslkidstuff.com/HalloweenGames.htm#.VkUKVdIrLIU

http://www.esolcourses.com/links/halloween-resources.html

http://oupeltglobalblog.com/2014/10/23/efl-classroom-activities-and-resources-for-halloween/

http://genkienglish.net/halloween.htm

 

Why I like Halloween ESL lessons so much??

Halloween lessons evoke the spirit of the holiday. Whether we  teach in an English-speaking country or not, Halloween is a perfect period to have fun while providing learning opportunities for our students.

Halloween lessons are a marvelous way to bridge a few cultural gaps. Most likely, our  students have had some type of exposure to Halloween—whether through movies, cartoons or the internet. This is your opportunity to fill any gaps and share a bit of another culture with our students.

Holiday-themed lessons play a vital role in switching up the hum-drum of a normal day’s routine. Holidays offer excellent opportunities for our students to learn new cultural themes and new vocabulary  all while having fun.

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Playing with the alphabet, on Halloween day!

 

 

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Playing an alphabet “Trick or Treat”!

 

 

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