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Cambridge English Teaching activities for September - Back to school!

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Cambridge English Teaching activities for September - Back to school!

  1. 1. 1 September – Back to School! It’s September again and we’re back with a selection of activities for the first few weeks of school. In this issue of Enseñamos Juntos, we have a couple of ideas that will help you kick-start the new school year. First, we’ve put together a few getting to know you activities to encourage your students to start up a conversation with each other. There are also a couple of warm-up games, a newspaper project and a reading challenge. Are you ready? New school year, here we go … ! Contents 1. Two truths and a lie – All levels ..........................................................................................................2 2. Stolen secrets – All levels....................................................................................................................2 3. A twist in the tale – B1+ → B2..............................................................................................................2 4. Roll the dice! – B1 → B2......................................................................................................................3 5. Find someone who… – All levels.........................................................................................................4 6. Reading challenge for 2016 – 2017 – All levels..................................................................................5 7. Holiday Fun - Newspaper project – B1+ → B2......................................................................................5 8. Circles and lines – All levels.................................................................................................................6 9. Bananas – All levels.............................................................................................................................6
  2. 2. 2 1. Two truths and a lie – All levels Hand out small pieces of paper to your students and ask them to write down three to five sentences about themselves. Some of these sentences will be true, and others will be false. Give them a few minutes to think about what they want to write down. Then, ask them to read out loud their sentences and have the rest of the class guess which sentence is false. Variation: Ask your students to sit in a circle. Each student should tell the rest of the class what he/she did this summer. Can the class tell whether their description is true or false? 2. Stolen secrets – All levels Make sure you have a stack of post-it notes ready for this activity. Hand out one post-it note to every student and ask them to write down something about themselves that nobody else in the classroom knows. The “secrets” can be very basic, such as I drink hot chocolate every day for breakfast, but can also be unique, creative or even bizarre, e.g. I’ve travelled to five different countries; In Primary School my lunch box used to be pink and green; When I grow up, I’d like to be an astronaut. It all depends on the ideas your pupils have. After you have given them the time to create their sentences, ask them to stick their post-it note somewhere on the wall or on a piece of furniture around them. Then, each student should stand up and choose one post-it out of all the others that have been placed around the classroom (except the one that they know is theirs!) and sit down again at their desks. Can they guess whose secret they have “stolen”? 3. A twist in the tale – B1+ → B2 In this activity, students have the opportunity to create a story in groups. Hand out to each group a slip of paper with one sentence that is to be the beginning of their story. You can use the following link if you need interesting ideas for “story starters”: http://www.thestorystarter.com/jr.htm, or simply make up your own. In groups, every student should create at least one sentence and write it down on a piece of paper, e.g. Story starter: It was a dark, cold night, and Peter was walking home alone through a dense forest. Student A: He was walking as quickly as he could because the darkness scared him. Student B: “I wish I had stayed the night at my Grandma’s place!” He thought, looking around and checking whether someone or something was watching him. Student C: Suddenly, he heard footsteps behind him. He turned around but couldn’t see anything. “Who’s there?” he called. Once your pupils have written down their stories, ask each group to share it with the rest of the classroom. Then, right down different writing genres on the board: horror, thriller, comedy, fantasy, science-fiction, etc. Which story belongs to which genre? This is also a great opportunity for you to talk to your students about different types of fiction and analyse their similarities and differences.
  3. 3. 3 4. Roll the dice! – B1 → B2 This is a fun conversation game that your students can play in groups of four to six. Each group should have two dice. If you happen to have different coloured dice, one can be for the horizontal numbers and the other for the vertical numbers. If not, let your students decide. Hand out one worksheet to each group and make sure that every student gets their turn in throwing the dice. Encourage your students to give full, detailed answered. Please note that the below table is only an example, feel free to prepare your own! 1 2 3 4 1 Tell us about your best friend. What’s your favourite sport? Why? What did you do over the summer? What’s your favourite animal and why? 2 What’s your favourite school subject? Talk about your favourite book. What would your perfect day be like? What did you do last weekend? 3 Tell us about your dream holiday! What is one thing you’re really good at? What’s your favourite film and why? What would you do if you won the lottery? 4 If you had one superpower, what would it be and why? Tell us about an interesting hobby you have! What’s your favourite book character and why? If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be and why?
  4. 4. 4 5. Find someone who… – All levels This is a great icebreaker where children can ask questions about one another and get to know each other better. Hand out the below worksheet to each student and ask them to walk around the classroom and talk to their classmates. Can they answer all the questions? Find someone who… 1 has travelled by airplane before. 2 has a cat. 3 has a dog. 4 has a sister. 5 has a brother. 6 walks to school. 7 takes the bus to school. 8 like reading. 9 is left-handed. 10 speaks two languages. 11 has lived in a different country. 12 plays the piano. 13 can ride a horse. 14 draws beautiful pictures. 15 can sing very well. 16 likes playing board games. 17 plays the guitar. 18 is very good at sports. 19 writes amazing stories. 20 likes math.
  5. 5. 5 6. Reading challenge for 2016 – 2017 – All levels Looking for different ways to encourage your students to read in English? Try giving them a reading challenge. Tell them that their goal is to read a total of five books throughout the whole school year (the number of books should vary, depending on your students’ level of English, overall workload, etc.). You can either choose the title of the books for them, or they can choose themselves. Prepare for each student a table like the one below where they can introduce the details of the book they are reading. When they have finished a book, ask your students to write “yes” in the “finished?” column, or stick a sticker to show that they are finished, etc. Nº Book title Author Finished? 1 The Snowman Raymond Briggs 2 The Sheep-Pig Dick King-Smith 3 Milo and the Magical Stones Marcus Pfister 4 Truckers Terry Pratchett 5 Mandy Julie Andrews Congratulations! You have successfully completed this year’s Reading Challenge! Go to Ms. Pérez to find out what your prize is…  7. Holiday Fun - Newspaper project – B1+ → B2 This is a fun activity that can be extended into a project that your students would work on both at school and at home. Your students have just returned from the summer holidays and have plenty of stories to tell for sure. Ask them to tell their classroom friends about their favourite adventure from the summer holidays. Then, tell them that they are journalists and that they are writing for the Classroom Paper. The topic of this month´s issue is Holiday Fun. Each student should prepare their own newspaper in which they can include the highlights from their holidays. Make sure that each newspaper entry they decide to include has a proper journalistic format: it can be an article, a photographic report, a review of a film they saw or of the hotel they stayed at, an interview with a new friend or other interesting person they met during their time away from school, etc. Remind them that each entry should have a proper heading written in journalistic style, for e.g. “Family spots dolphin while on ferry trip”, or “Exclusive interview with a true New Yorker”. This is a good opportunity to introduce new vocabulary and teach them how to report facts in an objective style. Make sure your students are as creative as possible: they can include photos to illustrate each entry or even their own drawings if they want to.
  6. 6. 6 8. Circles and lines – All levels This is an entertaining icebreaker that will help your students realise all the things they have in common! Children are asked to line up in a certain order, previously specified by the teacher, or to gather in a group or “blob”, based on something they have in common. Here are some examples:  Gather with people who have the same hair colour as you  Gather with people who have the same eye colour as you  Gather in two groups: those who are wearing jeans and those who aren’t  Gather in two groups: those who are wearing trainers and those who aren’t  Line up in order of your birthdays  Line up in alphabetical order by your names  Gather with people whose clothes are the same colour as yours 9. Bananas – All levels This game is suitable for all levels, and is a great way for children to practice forming questions in English. Additionally, it is a lot of fun and you can use it as a warm-up exercise. Choose one student to sit down on a chair in front of the whole classroom to be “it”. The rest of the children are to ask him/her questions, but “it” can only answer by saying “bananas” and try to keep a straight face. When “it” laughs, randomly choose someone else to replace them.

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