Our Magic Box Treasure hunt


Research Says: The benefits of using games in the classroom are various. they “range from cognitive aspects of language learning to more cooperative group dynamics.” Games also lower the affective filter and encourage “creative and spontaneous use of language,” promote “communicative competence.” What’s more—games are fun.

Treasure hunts (aka scavenger hunts) can be arranged in a variety of ways, and so they are suitable for any level.

Here’s one of the things I do, with my junior classes  :

I bring a “Magic Box ” in class and ask my students to fill it in, with …”magic things”!

They make their own word cards, with their favorite “magic items ” on . They are asked to draw items, based on vocabulary studied.

I hide these  vocabulary cards around the room and use verbal, visual or audio clues, to direct the students to where the cards are. (They can only keep the card if they can name the item, or pronounce/spell what’s on the card correctly). I generally only let one student loose at a time to prevent scrapping !…

I love working on Treasure hunt games, with my junior classes, the most.

Of course, as the students progress we can make the treasure hunt (clues etc.) more difficult.




General intrsutions

How to Play

  1. Students are divided into groups.
  2. Each group has a list of items/cards to find.
  3. The rules are explained: Students are to find as many items as they can within an allotted time period. They can find the items in any order, but the team must stay together.
  4. Inform players of the area of the hunt.
  5. When the time limit is up, the teams meet at the designated spot.
  6. Each group responds with their card item spelling/definition/ etc.
  7. If they do it right, the team is awarded one point.
  8. The team with the most points wins.

How to Make It

  1. First, prepare the list or cards of items to find
  2. Make sure the items can be “found” in the area that you have the scavenger hunt.
  3. Select items based on vocabulary studied.


  1. Students can each submit a card/item to be found.
  2. With older students, you can use clues, with a certain part of speech (e.g., adjective or adverb).
  3. The game concludes after so many cards are found instead of being limited by a certain time frame.






The snowball throw Alphabet game and.. a Letter Monster!


Students love sports and any game that gives them the opportunity to throw or kick a ball at something is a win! This game, which I have come across on Pinterest, is a great way to bring winter fun indoors . Plus, it gives the students  a chance to burn off their energy when stuck inside. It reinforces letter/word recognition and letter sounds while also developing gross motor skills like coordination. It is so simple and easy to set up too!




Package of ping pong balls (affiliate) –You can also make a sticky tape ball or a simple paper ball.

ABC or vocabulary flashcards



A marker or other writing utensil


Once I have all the flashcards taped to the wall,or letters/words written on the board, I explain the game to the kids.

They work in two teams. I tell them that they have to throw snowballs at the letters/words – pretend snowballs! They need to hold on to a snowball and wait for me to call out a letter.. Afterward, they have to locate the letter on the wall and throw the snowball at it.

Then, they tell me what sound that letter makes or what words start with that letter or the name of the letter in the Alphabet…. If they are right, they win a point for their team.


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.

This is tons of fun! We have done most of the game variations above and my little ones enjoyed them all. Some of the letters were high up on the board, so he had the extra challenge of trying to hit those letters with the  ball.

I love it when my students are happy! Games, make them happy, for sure! I am sure, your students will enjoy this play-based literacy activity, too !



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

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.

Here’s the template.


This strategy is a fun way for students to get engaged. It teaches reading in a fun way. It helps students look at all the letters in a word one by one. This strategy also teaches blending. The students look at one letter at a time and blend them together to make a word. This strategy can be applied to all areas across the curriculum. Students will be assessed by using the letter monster swatter.




More ,start of the school year, fun!



Building a classroom community is very important and is an indicator of success. Icebreakers and other activities are important to implement during the first days of a new school year. It is important for all students to feel welcome and a part of their small community which actually a part of an even bigger one. Feeling comfortable will help create resilient learners that have confidence in sharing their ideas without fear of being judged.

Sharing some of my favourite activities, here, today…….

The ball game

Have all the kids stand up .  As a group think of 5 questions that they want to find out about each other such as:

What is your name?

When is your birthday?

What is your favorite color?

What is your favorite food?

Name something you are good at?

After you decide on the questions you can start the game.  Give one player the ball.  Have them throw the ball across the circle to another player.  Whoever catches it has to answer one of  the 5 questions- the one the person who has thrown the ball is asking him/her.  When they answer the questions they throw it to another player who then does the same .  To make sure everyone gets a turn make it a rule that you have to throw the ball to someone that didn’t already have a turn.

Variation: I ask them to say a reason they think they are special , each time they catch the ball or share a fact about them nobody in class knows …..

Words about me

I saw this one on Pinterest and thought it would be a great way to revise some vocabulary and boost their self-esteem, at the same time .  The students had to find at least 20 words that describe themselves. They had a great time working on this activity. This was also an encouragement to the students because they realized that they have some great qualities to share with the world.



With older students, we do ” I am special because..” They have to write as many reasons they can think of , why  they are special!I use the body template below… A great self-esteem booster, too.


Scavenger Hunt


Children are given a list of questions about their class and classroom to answer. First most accurate sheet wins. Some examples are: How many children are in this class, how many girls/boys are there, how many dictionaries are in the room,  where are the games kept….This activity helps the children get to know each other and their new classroom.


Students playing and having fun, while learning new languages!

Students playing and having fun, while learning new languages!


A ball of yarn

One of my favorite getting-to-know you activity is building a friendship web using a ball of yarn. We all sit in a circle and I start with a ball of yarn ( I say my name and something that makes me special and then throw the yarn to a friend. When my friend catches the yarn, he/she states his/her name and shares a reason he/she is special  and then throws it to another friend. It is a great way for everyone to get to know each other. I tell all the children we are building a friendship class web where we are always here to help each other. They really enjoy this activity and always ask to do it again!



Self portraits


Have students draw and color self-portraits on the first day of school. These self-portraits make great displays for back-to-school night and perfect keepsakes to pull out at the end of the year.This activity would be further enhanced by having students write an “I Am” poem. Each line of the list poem starts with the phrase, “I am”. You could also add other phrases such as ” I have..”, “I can…”, ” I like…” etc. Students brainstorm descriptive phrases about themselves to write their poems. Younger students could brainstorm a list of descriptors as a group and copy their ideas onto sentence strips to write a class poem

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Shhh Spray

I made up some “Quiet Spray!”  You spray the ROOM to signal children to get quiet.  Or you can just leave the bottle empty.  Mine love the mist in the air.  It is so funny!  {I do not condone spraying a child!  As much as you might want to!  Ha! ;)}

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Brain Sprinkles

1. To playfully encourage anxious kiddos during test time or challenging academic times throughout the year 2. To playfully encourage students to THINK or USE THEIR BRAINS when conflicts, problem-solving situations, anger-inducing situations, or social situations arise

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I took an empty spice container, created a cute label, then filled the container with beads and glitter. I shake the container over their heads, and…boom! They are revitalized. Sometimes I use them on myself. I love to give everyone brain sprinkles right before a test. Some even ask if I can shake a little extra sprinkles for them!

Name chant

This cute chant , is the way for my juniors to get to know each other’s names  , the very first day in our  English class! Sung to the tune of “Frere Jacques”.

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I am done Jar

I created an “I’m Done” jar for my fast finishers and it was seriously amazing! I always had students who finished their “must do’s” quickly. They just got it! When they came up to me and exclaimed, “Teacher! I’m done!” I generally would just tell them to go read a book/magazine . I wanted to figure out *more* ways to challenge and engage my students who finished quickly. So I complied a list of activities  that would be fun and meaningful for my students and stuck them in a jar. It worked wonders!


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Bulletin boards

I always create my class bulletin boards, before the school year starts!They help me improve effectiveness and enjoyment of lessons . They make my classroom visually appealing and stimulating to my  students

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 Fill in the funny blanks

Sometimes, I give them a sheet of paper with funny info about me and ask them to work in teams and correct the info which is not right, by guessing! They love this activity! They always guess wrong about my age!!….

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Our mail box

There is a mail box in class, where anybody who wishes to write me a letter can do so, any time they feel like it! The first letter I send them myself,  is at the beginning of each school year, welcoming them to our class  and I always ask them to write back sharing their hopes, fears, expectations, goals, feelings…..

Here are some of their letters , this year!

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Three truths and a lie

I play a game called 3 Truths and 1 Lie and have students tell their three most favourite things  and one  untrue fact. It is up to the class to guess which fact is untrue.

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All about me paper figures 

I provide each student with a small paper cutout in the shape of a human, or have students cut out their own paper figures. I ask each student to write his or her name on the cutout and all about him/her they would like us to know…

These cutouts make a beautiful classroom walls display!

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Posters  entitled ‘About Me’

They have  spaces for a photo of the child, likes and dislikes (foods, movies, books etc), about their family, what they like to do in their spare time,  what makes them special….

It’s a way for me to get to know the children and if the children are new to each other, its great for them to learn more about each other and find a new friend with similar or same interests.It is also a good self esteem booster!

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Cute selfies, on our classroom walls

Using  templates ( there are so many of them on Pinterest, eg https://www.pinterest.com/pin/248401735675011808/ ) , students draw their selfie (self portrait) onto a smart phone template handout. They then select from the variety of text message (writing prompts) and answer questions for back to school, Halloween, New Year’s or end of the year. This year, I have  decided to ask them to choose from alternative back-to-school  text message  topics:


  • What I DIDN’T DO this summer
  • A unique person I met this summer
  • My most memorable moment of the summer
  • One thing I learned this summer
  • The person I spent the most time with this summer
  • The best meal I ate this summer
  • Something educational I did this summer
  • Something I bought this summer
  • Something I made this summer


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Cute selfies, on our classroom walls!!

Cute selfies, on our classroom walls!!

Our birthday calendar


When it’s a student’s birthday, I give him/her a special birthday card and they have to wear their birthday hat , during the lesson! In the beginning of each school year, I ask them to use this calendar to mark their birthdays on.

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A class poster

A poster with their class photos, on their first day in class, is always a precious keepsake.

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Me in a Bag

I ask them to bring a bag to school on the first day with things –no more than 3 (objects, pictures, etc.) that tell about them, their family, and things they like. I start by sharing my bag and telling about myself and my family. After seeing what’s in my box and sharing my stories about each objects, students can’t wait to show their objects and talk about themselves. I learn a great deal about each child and their lives. This is also a great speaking activity! Classmates are given an opportunity to ask a question or share a compliment.





Time capsule

I make a Time Capsule every year with my students, as one of my first activities. It includes their goals for the new school year. One they have each completed one, they fold it up and seal it and it goes in a box that I have labeled Time Capsule. In May,they open the one from September and to much of their surprise many goals are NOT accomplished , over the course of eight months.  This activity is always a winner with my students. I have been doing it for years!

blogtime capsule

The first days of school, can be stressful for everyone, but these activities  will help you and your students get to know each other in a fun, interactive way to help build the classroom environment all year long!

What are your favorite first days activities?

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Selfies – a cool start-of-the-school-year activity

I really love this activity and my students seem to love it as much as I do!!

The classroom collection of these student selfies make for a great bulletin board display!!

Cute selfies, on our classroom walls!!

Cute selfies, on our classroom walls!!

Using  templates ( there are so many of them on Pinterest, eg https://www.pinterest.com/pin/248401735675011808/ ) , students draw their selfie (self portrait) onto a smart phone template handout. They then select from the variety of text message (writing prompts) and answer questions for back to school, Halloween, New Year’s or end of the year. This year, I have  decided to ask them to choose from alternative back-to-school  text message  topics:

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  • What I DIDN’T DO this summer
  • A unique person I met this summer
  • My most memorable moment of the summer
  • One thing I learned this summer
  • The person I spent the most time with this summer
  • The best meal I ate this summer
  • Something educational I did this summer
  • Something I bought this summer
  • Something I made this summer

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Idea:To start with, you can use  a Power Point presentation with examples of “famous selfies” using artists like Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Rembrandt and Van Gogh. Through this fun slide show students will get to see a modern twist on self-portraits as they commonly call them selfies.

Use this lesson to assess your students fine motor skills, drawing skills, creativity and overall willingness to put effort into their work. You can tell a lot about a child by their artwork–especialy their self portraits (err, I mean selfies). Most of all have some fun and let your students show off their creativity to you, practicing their English, at the same time!

This lesson is not a formal drawing lesson, however it could easily be combined with one.

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School Sports Day activities-Teaching kids about the Olympic values.

Creative writing

We love creative writing in my class!

Every year, we spend one day in Greek schools, to teach students the Olympic values and principles !There is a different topic every year…This time, we dealt with with the meanings of the Olympic values.

To start with , I  decided to have a discussion about all the Olympic values in class , before I used certain activities to help kids put theory into practice!

Those meanings we talked about were:


. sympathy

. empathy

. honesty

.mutual understanding

. compassion

. trust

. positive reciprocity

Proud medal holders!

Proud medal holders!

We also mentioned the Meanings of the Paralympic values


Believing in yourself to continue to do the best you can even if things are difficult.Making or arriving at a decision with purpose.


Everyone can be equal and receive the same treatment. This is the quality of being the same in quantity or measure, value or status. Ensuring fairness, equal treatment, opportunities, regardless of religion or race. This should be without:

. discrimination

. prejudice

. bias

. inequality


This is the link to the printables I used for some of the activities we did, later  : http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/themes/olympics/

First, we did some brainstorming about the Olympic ideals.

Brainstorming about the Olympic ideals

Brainstorming about the Olympic ideals

Later, we made medals with our favourite Olympic values words written  on them  , and had to wear them ,all day at school….!

Our medals!

Our medals!

With my older students, I decided to deal with storytelling and classroom theatre.

I used the ” Hare and the Tortoise”  Aesop  story, to investigate all serious issues: Justice, inequality, power, discrimination, censorship.

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We finally acted the story out in class and had much fun doing so!!

Time for a story!

Time for a story!

Sharing here, some more ideas about how to deal with the story with older students…..This is the list of tasks , I asked my 6th graders to choose from.

-Can you read / retell the original story of the Tortoise and the Hare?

-Retell the story from Hare’s point of view. Ask a friend to retell the story from Tortoise’s point of view. How are your

stories similar / different?

-Rewrite parts of the story in the form of a playscript (with stage directions).

-Think of captions for some of the illustrations in the book.

-Can you write your own retelling of the ‘Hare and the Tortoise’… or write an alternative version?

Writing stories , using our imagination ...

Writing stories , using our imagination …

I also thought, it would be nice to have my students do some creative writing , using their imagination and all the ideas and vocabulary,  we had talked about in class…Therefore, I handed them this worksheet as homework . Here are some awesome samples of their work !

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Some extra inspiring ideas  for this special day, I have found  on line:

-Read various books on the Olympics

-Have students write a poem about the Olympics

-Have students write a speech about winning the gold medal.

-If I were Olympic Athlete…

-Brainstorm ideas of what it takes to be an Olympic Athlete. Students list and illustrate the ideas.

-Put the sports names in ABC order.

-Write a news report.

-Take a picture of each students head. Have the student cut out their head and then draw the body of what sport they would like to compete in. Make sure they include an Olympic background behind their drawing. Below the drawing you could have student write about their time at the Olympics.

The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.

This is also, our goal as educators , isn’t it ?

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End-of-the-school-year fun activities!


Some people might think that, an “End-of-the-Year event” may seem unimportant, however it is  VERY IMPORTANT cause,…it’s the end of the school year! The positive memories have an effect on the children’s attitude and last forever!…

This is a time to look back and reflect –as well as a time to think ahead. Additionally, we should be sure to recognize our  graduating students ,in some way!

The ideas below,come from many different sources ! One I can recall   is  http://www.kidactivities.net/

I have tried too many such activities in my teaching career, so far! The ones I am sharing here, are the ones I used  last school year, with huge success! And as I often say, ” It has worked in my class; it might work in your class, too”!


END OF THE YEAR FUN IDEA for the little ones...

Two nice ideas for younger children

  1.  Hand each student a sheet of paper
  2.  Then have the children draw pictures and write words  of the things they would like to say “goodbye to” in your classroom.
  3.  It’s good “therapy” because we know how hard it can be to say goodbye to our familiar room and friends. When complete… bind it into a program book titled ‘GOODBYE ROOM’.

Grade —– (Or__________ ) HAS BEEN A BALL!

This is a fun and different way to have an autograph party as a remembrance of the time spent in class.

Beach balls are fairly inexpensive–order some from a novelty company-have children blow them up and then get autographs from each other on the balls!

For older students….



At your end-of-year lesson, give each child a slip of paper and invite him or her to write one goal for the future.

Have students slip the notes inside balloons and then inflate them. Later, have kids toss balloons (like graduation caps), keeping one to pop and share its (anonymously) written message aloud –with the rest of the group.

(Actually, work the last part out in a way that the majority of the group likes—read one message, several messages, or all or no messages)


THANKS FOR THE COMPLIMENT (A nice way to end the school year!)



Need: Paper, markers, tape

  1.  Everyone gets a piece of paper taped to their back. (Make sure their name is at the top of the paper.)
  2.  Each person is given a marker.
  3.  Each person in the group must walk around the room and write a compliment or positive remark about that person on their back….. NO PEEKING!
  4.  When everyone has written something positive on each others back, they return to their seat and read what was written.
  5.  With a smaller group, everyone exchanges papers without looking at their own. Each participant can take a turn at reading aloud from person’s list they have. . (Adjust for a larger group)

This is a great self-esteem booster! If some children still don’t know each other very well…they can write such things as: You have a great smile; You’re hair always looks nice; Great blue eyes; etc.



At the end of the year have each child make an autograph book. They pass around their books and get everyone’s signatures and friendly notes for a summer keepsake.

Variation:You can ask them to decorate  their own summer postcards and ask all their classmates to write a personal comment and sign on them.





One very favourite activity, I always do:

 TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS DURING THE YEAR and put together a slide show.

  1.   I  show this as PART OF A YEAR-END SCHOOL EVENT—but it would also be a wonderful “WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION to the new children we will have the next school year.
  2.  You could use it to show children and families some of the things you do-how they’re done–and what to expect! If you haven’t started, get your slides, videos, and activity scrapbooks going now!

Here’s the link to our last year’s slide show I have already posted about.






At the end of the school year, have students write themselves a letter. Tell them that no one but they will read this letter so they can say anything they want in it. However, part of that letter might include who their friends are, their current height and weight, favorite movies and music, and special things both good and bad that occurred during the year, summer plans…

Variation: Every year, i have  them write me letters, as well!










On another sheet of paper or the back of that sheet ask students to write ten goals they would like to accomplish by this time next year (or sooner). Students seal this letter in an envelope, self-address it, and give it to you. In a year (or sooner) mail (or return in person) the letters  to the students.

I loved this idea the very moment my NLP mentor Bonnie Tsai, asked us to do something similar in the end of our summer course at Pilgrim’s, Canterbury,  Kent, three years ago!









I always send letters to the parents in the end of each school year, both in Greek and in English.

This is the letter in English I sent them last school year.

“Dear Parents,

I give you back your child ~ the same child you confidently entrusted to my care last fall. I give him/her back pounds heavier, inches taller, months wiser, more responsible, and more mature then he was then.

Although he would have attained his growth in spite of me, it has been my pleasure and privilege to watch his personality unfold day by day and marvel at this splendid miracle of development.

Ten years from now if we met on the street, we’ll feel the bond of understanding once more, this bond we feel today.

We have lived, laughed, played, studied, learned, and enriched our lives together this year. I wish it could go on indefinitely, but give him/back I must. Take care of him, (or her) for he (she) is precious. I’ll always be interested in your child and his destiny, wherever he goes, whatever he does, whoever he becomes.”






On a nice day–take this activity outside!

Use paints, markers or colored chalk and invite children to create a mural illustrating the many wonderful things your group did, saw, and learned this year. It will be a great “advertisement” for next year’s program or class. (Don’t forget to hang it up when the new school year starts!) I personally, decided to do something alternative with it last school year: I used it to wrap up our class post box!!

As an extension, you can have your group write about the favorite memories they drew.




BONUS! The board is up and ready to go during the first week of school!

  • Remove what is currently on your Board such as art projects, etc. LEAVE UP Bulletin Board Backgrounds and Borders.
  • During the week BEFORE the last week of school, ask a talented student artist (or do this yourself!) to block letter the words: “HAVE A GREAT SUMMER!” on your bulletin board background paper.
  • Have several children color in the letters…
  • As the days get closer to the end, have youth autograph and write messages on the bulletin board paper.
  • With younger students, ask them to write words and draw pictures of what they have enjoyed the most during the school year!
  • Leave their NAMES AND MESSAGES up for everyone to appreciate.
  • When you return for the new school year you’ll be starting off with one area already decorated with POSSITIVE MESSAGES!
  • No bulletin board area? Get a long piece of butcher roll-paper and do the same…(Actually, this is what I did..)
  • The kids will like reading what they and others left a couple months back!



This activity is similar to this one…


Put up the caption in big letters on your bulletin board or butcher paper taped to the wall— and then have children “decorate” it by writing things that they enjoyed doing in your program the past year!



I just love lapbooks! You can read about my first lapbooks in this previous post:


Lapbooks are made of file folders that are folded into a shutter flap so it opens up. Inside you have mini booklets that have a question or theme and the answers are inside. There are a variety of ways a booklet can be folded to demonstrate a topic.

They are really fun and my visual learners love lapbooks since we were introduced to them last year.

There are loads of topics that you can cover in your summer lapbook. I find that because I want to cover a broad topic, it’s nice to take bits and pieces from different lapbooks or it may be easier to create your own.

If you have never completed a lapbook, I suggest doing a free one yourself , to see how you like it.

Make a list of what you would like to cover and teach. Ask your children what they would like to learn. This will get them more involved and excited about their project as well.




Last but not least: THE-END-OF-THE-SCHOOL-YEAR (graduating students) SHOW

I love staging mini-musicals at the end of each school year!

School Musicals

Enthusiastic audience!!

Enthusiastic audience!!

School musicals and music TV show parodies, offer a good chance to children to bring out their talent, build self confidence, and overcome all of their inhibitions. It has many benefits for children like development of right self-esteem, instilling interest for music and drama and more. School musicals, drama, and plays teach children to work in a team, develop organizational abilities, communication and more.

Taking part in a school musical or Tv parody  production, has many benefits for children – increased self-esteem, the development of their dramatic and musical talents, and the opportunity to learn about working together as part of a team.

I find ideas in our library English Readers or in different  books or sites such as


Here are some examples of what we have staged during the last few years!

Starting with this year’s TV talent show parody “The Voice”!


Our coaches and show presenters


My students seem to remember these end-of-the-year shows, for..ever!


Dancing, singing, improvisation ….all their talents in action!!

"The Wizard of Oz":School musicals offer a good chance to children to bring out their talent, build self confidence, and overcome all of their inhibitions

“The Wizard of Oz”:School musicals offer a good chance to children to bring out their talent, build self confidence, and overcome all of their inhibitions

" Alice in Wonderland":School musicals, drama, and plays teach children to work in a team, develop organizational abilities, communication and more.

” Alice in Wonderland”:School musicals, drama, and plays teach children to work in a team, develop organizational abilities, communication and more.

" The Wizard of Oz": A School musical, has many benefits for children like development of right self-esteem, instilling interest for music and drama and more.

” The Wizard of Oz”: A School musical, has many benefits for children like development of right self-esteem, instilling interest for music and drama and more.

Our sixth graders musical every year, is a huge success! Both the kids and their parents are looking so much forward to it!

Our sixth graders musical every year, is a huge success! Both the kids and their parents are looking so much forward to it!


"Your face sounds familiar- A concert": Music, is an essential part in musical performances! It helps my students reveal their inner talents!

“Your face sounds familiar- A concert”: Music, is an essential part in musical performances! It helps my students reveal their inner talents!


" Your face sounds familiar-A concert": The FUN element of ELT music shows, is is obvious in this photo!!

” Your face sounds familiar-A concert”: The FUN element of ELT music shows, is is obvious in this photo!!


" A Eurovision song contest parody": Here's an Improvisation end-of-the-school year concert which we all just LOVED! In the photo, Agathonas Iakovides and Coza Mostra in...Eurovision 2013!!

” A Eurovision song contest parody”: Here’s an Improvisation end-of-the-school year concert which we all just LOVED! In the photo, Agathonas Iakovides and Coza Mostra in…Eurovision 2013!!





Playing with a dice…..



Our huge class dice, on the teacher’s desk!

Some time ago, I read a post on Olha Madylus’ amazing blog www.olhamadylusblog.com about how to use a dice in the class, which I found very inspiring! I decided to give it a try, at once! I made  my class huge dice and used all the activities below -suggested by Olha in her post- along with some activities of my own….!

I have to admit, it was huge success!! My students loved the dice games and asked for it, every single day! I am grateful to Olha, once more for all her support and inspiration ! She has been my mentor and she knows it !

I am sharing Olha’s notes first and I am also adding a few of my own tips! They really worked in my class! Hope, they will work in your class, too!

As Olha says “Sometimes we don’t need or don’t have access to much in the way of sophisticated aids, materials, back-up in our classrooms. But what we do have is the most sophisticated tool ever created – the imagination to help us!”

 First things first….

Equip students either with dice or get them to make spinners (you can also make dice) and away we go…


Board games


Can be student-made and that’s all the better as students will get involved in making and shaping their own materials and get to practice even more language.


Below is a board game I made to practice sports and free time activities vocabulary. Children throw their dice in turns and when they land on a picture, they have to say what it is. It can be used for more complex language, too, e.g. when a child lands on a sport picture she can say ‘I like / I don’t like tennis ’, practicing the use of grammar  ; ‘My most favourite sport is tennis’, practicing descriptions etc.


Children can create their own board games by drawing pictures of vocabulary items they have learnt in English and challenging each other. If you laminate the board games and keep them in a box, they are great for fast finishers or as a filler in lessons.


Older students can create board games with questions in spaces to be answered when landed on e.g. What’s your greatest ambition? What sport would you like to be able to play but can’t?

My variation: I use this game mainly to teach vocabulary . First, my kids are  asked to make  their own board games working in teams to practice specific vocabulary related to ie- Christmas, Easter, the environment, geography etc -according to  the unit we were working on, each time.


Secret Questions


If producing a board game seems too fiddly or time-consuming, students can work in pairs (or individually) and write 6 questions (based on a previously taught unit in the course book e.g. if they are practicing the vocabulary of jobs a question could be – What do you call a person who takes care of our teeth? / dentist). They mingle around the class and when they meet another pair/student, they have to roll or spin and get asked the question which they have landed on.

My variation: I use the same procedure in the beginning of the school year, as an ice-breaker….My students are asked to write personal questions they would like to ask their classmates ie- ” Which  is your favourite cartoon character and why?” , “If you were an animal, what would you be and why?” or other type of  questions about ie- their summer holiday memories .




A fun game which revises lots of vocabulary and is great for older children and adults is practicing how many syllables words have. In groups one student at a time rolls the dice or spins the spinner. When it lands on a number that student has to say a word which has that number of syllables in it e.g. 4 = photographer. If they are correct they win a point. At the end of the game, points are counted up and a winner declared. This game is great for recalling vocabulary and hearing it inside our head.

My variation: Instead of words, my students are asked to say a sentence which has that number of words in it

eg 6= My favourite toy is my bike.




Students work in pairs and take it in turns to throw the dice / spin the spinner and have to produce an utterance with as many words as they have thrown. They have to conduct a whole conversation! You can assign topics beforehand. If you can record them it’s fun or have pairs doing their dialogues in front of the rest of the class, if they feel comfortable. This is great fun and encourages students to be very creative and meaningful, while producing often very short utterances.

My variation: I did that activity both in English and in Greek a few months ago -during our “Teachers4Europe” project. Teams had to use the dice and  creative writing  techniques, to produce their own short plays about the myth of Europe.Instead of conducting a conversation  , they had to  produce their own script, for the school sketch.


Whose turn is it?


Choosing who gets to answer questions or dealing with lots of hands up in the air can lead to accusations of unfairness. I group students in the class so that there are five or eleven groups, each group assigned a number. (I get a number, too) With the bigger class I use 2 dice or spinners. When it’s time for someone to answer a question I roll the dice / spin the spinner(s) and that group – or I – answer the question. Trust me – it’s fun and students never complain if they have to answer more or fewer questions than others as it’s just the luck of the draw.

My variation: I also use this game to decide about which team comes to the board first or next, in order to present their project to the rest of the class! I also use it to decide about who my helpers for certain tasks will  be. Or even to deal with seat arrangement !! Cool!

He is acting a word out...

He is acting a word out…

Points lottery


Normally whenever we play a game with students they win a point for a correct answer, but let’s bring an element of chance. For example they could be playing Hangman. Before they guess a letter they roll the dice or spin the spinner, whatever number they land on will be the amount of points they get if they are right. This adds that element of chance and daftness to the game. It is also great practice to add up points at the end together in English.

My variation:I haven’t  actually changed anything ,here! I use this lottery activity, a lot when we play  games in teams. Kids get so excited about throwing the dice to find out the amount of points their team gets !

I also use it with my 3rd graders when I teach them the numbers 1-6 . They have to throw the dice and say or write the number they have landed on. Later, when they know more numbers , I might ask them to throw the dice twice and write the number they get making basic  mathematical calculations .


Grammar Game


Another great game for teens / adults. Bring in an interesting picture with a lot happening in it or show a video clip from a film with lots of action but with the sound turned down. Assign each number a tense e.g. 1=simple present, 2=present continuous, 3=simple past etc. As students take turns rolling the dice they have to create a sentence about what they are seeing in that particular tense. Again students can work alone or in pairs. It’s challenging and yet very meaningful as the rest of the class must accept or reject the offerings.

My variation: I have created  a similar  activity   to revise  vocabulary ! Students, work in teams.I give individual students a word .

I assign each number a task  with the given word .

e.g. 1=Spell it, 2=write it down ,3=use it in a sentence, 4=draw it, 5=act it out, 6=translate it .

They get a point for their team , each time they succeed.


Making questions


Allocate each number to a question word – 1=who, 2=why, 3=where, 4=when, 5=what, 6=how. Decide on a topic – this is usually one studied recently. Students work in pairs or small groups. One at a time students roll or spin and as they land they have to make a question for their partner(s) on that topic using that question word. For example if they land on 4 and they topic is sport a question could be – When do you usually watch sport on TV? Making questions in English is tricky and it’s great to practice as well as to review language from earlier lessons.

My variation: It’s fun when I combine this activity with the “Bananas” wh- questions game! One student comes to the board , rolls the dice and has to answer  all his  classmates’ questions- which should start with the question word he has landed on-  without smiling or laughing!! If they smile, they are out and the person who has made them smile, takes their place ! For example if they land on 5, their classmates have to ask them  questions starting with “What” ie-What does your nose look like?, What’s your brother’s  name etc .Hilarious!!


Teachers4Europe project, 2014/2015

The books we used during the project

The books we used during the project

A few months ago, I decided to take part in an amazing European project called ” Teachers4Europe”. That project, was the best follow-up of the British Council project ” Life Skills” , which I had finished just a week before.

One of the activities , was actually about tolerance , acceptance and respect which  proved valuable when we decided to start working on this  new european project.

Τhe project idea,  presupposes the acceptance of certain values without which Europe cannot exist. These core values are Respect for Human Dignity, Equality and Respect for Human Rights, which, along with Democracy, Freedom and the Rule of Law, are the founding values of the European Union. The main goal of our  project was to help students enrich their knowledge about Europe in general and especially about the basic principles that permeate the family of countries which constitute the European Union. Another aim was to sensitize them to the notions of collaboration and supporting one another through group work, as these notions are also part of the essential European ideals that lie in the core of the Union itself. The project methodology was based on cross-curricular, experiential, cooperative, communicative and learning-through-playing approaches. By the end of the project the students had acquired a significant amount of knowledge as to how the European Union works. They developed an understanding of the basic values that bound the European countries together and the significant role they play in our lives. They understood the importance of notions such as “acceptance”, “collaboration”, “respect” and “equal opportunities for everyone”.


For more information about Teachers4Europe:

http://www.teachers4europe.gr/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=9 )

( teachers4Europe” http://www.teachers4europe.gr/newsite/ )



The project lasted about two months .

I decided to name it ” Our European House” . Actually, that was the name of one of the project activities, as well.

I wanted to emphasize the fact that, all Europeans live under the same ” roof” ! We are  European citizens , a characteristic which unites us all !

The class project activities ,were the following:



Warming-up activities


We spent about a week, playing team games , in order to get to know Europe better! We used the books ” Let’s discover Europe” and ” The European passport” as well as a map of Europe , to find information since, we don’t have a computer lab at school!


We played a guessing game about European monuments and  did a quiz on European flags and capital cities.




“ The story of a 50 Euros banknote”



Creative writing: a 50 E banknote travels from hand to hand and from country to country , around Europe

  1. Work on the myth: “ Europe’s kidnapping by Zeus”

Description of the tool

We work in 4 teams, 4-6 students each.

Two teams work on the first topic while the other two work on the second one.

The first two teams, write their own story using creative writing tools. The other two teams , receive a worksheet with the myth of  “ Europe’s kidnapping by Zeus”  and are asked to write their own short play about it!


Alternatively,  a representative of each team, picks up a card


with a word having to do with one form  of Art on it ( theatre, music, dancing, literature-poetry) and the team is asked to  compose a unique work of art either on the story of a 50 E note or on the myth of Europe and Zeus .



God Eros! lol!

God Eros! lol!


Later, they have to present their work , in class. There are four teams working on four different works of Art.

We give plenty of time both for the writing  and for the rehearsals.

A discussion follows about the whole experience, in class.




What is Europe for me? Our European house.


Getting to know one another and coming close to the topic of Europe

Description of the tool.



A topic is presented to the group through a question and/or a heading e.g.: “My house of Europe – what is Europe for me?”.

(Further variations: “My picture of Europe”, “I find this exciting about Europe?”, “I would like a Europe like this….” … )







What is Europe for you? A brainstorming group activity.


Small groups of 4-7 participants are divided between several rooms so as not to disturb each other. Each group gets a large sheet of paper and draws on it their outline of ‘A European House’ with foundations, a roof and as many rooms as there are participants in the small group. They can decide on the architecture of the house. In this way their drawing of the house (crooked or futuristic, strong etc) can also represent their ideas on Europe. Additional ‘extensions to the house’, as well as the environment the house stands in or the ‘surrounding weather conditions’ (sunny, stormy etc) can with other associations be integrated into the picture.



In one of the rooms the participants write down their personal associations and answers to the question ‘What is Europe for me?’ and then exchange opinions on these statements. The second stage is the group filtering out things they have in common. These things form the foundations. The roof is filled with the group’s shared visions for the future of Europe. The game leaders should make it clear that the small group must reach a consensus concerning the foundations and the visions for the future (30 – 45 mins).





The small groups present their ‘European House’ to the larger group and hang up their poster in the group room (30 mins). To conclude common factors and differences between the group posters should be discussed (15 mins).

The participants should recognise that the European Union grew out of a long line of ‘events’ and that this process has not finished; important events in this process should be found out and their chronological order.


Orangito, a flat puppet ambassador from our pen pals in Spain, took part in the project, as well!




We decided to build a 3D European house in class, as well!! We loved every minute doing so!






Story on a long line.


Description of the tool.

Preparation and procedure: select event and picture cards (possibly, look for picture cards at http://europa.eu.int/comm/mediatheque/photo). Form small groups of max. 6 people. The small groups each receive a set of event and picture cards as well as the corresponding dates, additional washing line and pegs and possibly glue.

The small groups should match the dates with the event and picture cards and then put them in the correct order attaching them to their washing line or prepared pinboards.


The washing lines or pinboards stay in the classroom.

Evaluation: The ‘story on a long line’ (time line) is designed as an introductory unit. The correct chronology is discussed and the results of the small groups’ work then correspondingly altered. The results will then subsequently be discussed and the participants’ questions addressed

Variations: The method can serve as a targeted introduction to a specific topic. The selection of event and picture cards should correspond accordingly

Event and date cards examples :

The beginning of the strike at the Lenin docks in Danzig

Greece joins the EC


Spain and Portugal join the EC

Turkey applies to join the EC

The fall of the Berlin Wall

The treaty of Maastricht comes into force

Austria, Sweden, and Finland join the EU

The treaty of Amsterdam comes into force


The EU and Morocco sign an association agreement

The beginning of economic and monetary union

Turkey gains the status of a pre-accession candidate

The Charta of basic rights is accepted

The treaty of Nice is agreed

The € is introduced as cash in 12 countries

The European Convention begins with its conferences

The draft constitution is presented



Name that european tradition.


Exercise that allows participants to reflect on European traditions in a fun way.

Aims of the tool

Reflect on which traditions/people we identify as “European”

Description of the tool.


The player has one minute to take a paper and explain to his partners what is on the paper without saying the word.

Participants take 3 slips of paper. On each paper they write a name of a person (historical or present) or something that they perceive as typical European. All things written down should be known by most European people.

  1. All papers are put in a hat.
  2. Participants are divided in pairs and sit in a circle whereby the members of the pair sit opposite of each other.
  3. The game has 3 rounds


  1. FIRST ROUND: The hat starts with one person. This person has one minute to take a paper and explain to his partner what is on the paper without saying the word. If his partner finds the correct answer the first person of the pair can take a new paper. S/he can continue until the minute is over. Then the person on the left has the chance. We continue until there are no more papers. In the end of the round the points are counted (1 point per guessed answer)
The hat

The hat

  1. SECOND ROUND: same as round 1 but you cannot speak only mimic the issues. The points of this round are added to the first round
  2. THIRD ROUND: same as round 1 but you can use only 1 word to describe it. The points of this round are counted to the other rounds


mos15lifeskillsactivity 4

After the exercise the facilitators make a small debriefing:

– Why did you pick the following issues related to Europe

– What determines why something is European

– Where do you make the border of Europe




First, we read the book " The Stars of Europe"

First, we read the book ” The Stars of Europe”


Description of the tool.

Creative writing: The students are given a several pictures that come from the book “ The Stars of Europe” – “Τ’ Αστέρια της Ευρώπης” .


They first read the book story and later decide about how they can adapt it or completely change it using any of the pictures given in any order they wish, to write their own stories about Europe.

Students work in groups of 4-5 .

Highly engaged teams of students, working on their comic strips stories!

Highly engaged teams of students, working on their comic strips stories!


Their story pages are put together and form their own creative writing storybook. They decide about the cover and about how to colour or decorate it inside.

Finally, all the storybooks are read by all different teams of students, in turns. The teams decide about which story liked best and why. A discussion about both stories and Europe follows.











A few days later, the Eurobooks were almost ready! My students amazed me, by asking me to let them work on their stories ,during all the breaks!! They were so excited and enganged!

I am really  thankful for the chance I have been given ,  to be a “Teacher4Europe” !














Looking forward to more such creative and engaging projects, in the near future!




Our first lapbook

mosaic lapbooksIt all actually started the day I attended  Despina Karamitsou’s presentation about lapbooks, in one of the Tesol Macedonia-Thrace- Northern Greece  conventions!( http://prezi.com/e_9ywrnysmzl/lapbooks-and-dioramas/ )

Despina, (https://www.facebook.com/despina.karamitsou.1?fref=ts  ) is an exceptional  colleague who  teaches in  greek state primary schools, doing amazing things with her students!


Her presentation , was really inspirational ! We had the chance to talk about her work in class  in detail, some time later and she insisted that I should try lapbooks  with my students, too ! To be honest with you, I had been as busy as a bee  during  the  last school year, therefore, I came up with the idea of using lapbooks with my afternoon classes only  ( fewer students, project work and games, no fixed curriculum) .

It was actually almost  the end of the school year, and that particular group of students, coming from the twin school next to mine, were not my class students ! They had not participated in any kind of project work with their english teacher before, they were not in  the same level in english, their average  english language level was pre-elementary,  although they were 5th graders , they were  reluctant to do any real class work at first and they all came from different social backgrouds being immigrants’ children from 3 different countries in the Balcans! Phew..!

Well, ignoring all the above , I decided to give it a try, considering working on that project  with such a  diverse group of  students, quite challenging!


Some basic info now,  for all of you who might never  heard of lapbooking before:

The term “Lap Book” was first coined by Tammy Duby, a homeschool mother and writer from Virginia, USA. She named it that because the whole project could fit into a “book” that fits in the child’s lap.

A lapbook is an inexpensive portfolio
or collection of mini-books, flaps, and folded display material,
that provides interactive space
for drawings, stories,
graphs, graphics, timelines, diagrams,
and written work,
from any topic, unit study, book you choose,
gathered, glued, and creatively displayed
in a coloured standard sized cardboard folder,
often folded in a “shutter-fold”  (though our family doesn’t),
that fits in your lap. <Johanna Whittaker (c) 2008>


Each lapbook is an original creation, will be different according to topic and creator, and will be a treasure for years to come. There is no right or wrong way to lapbook.

Lapbooking is a great vehicle to teach CONTENT and PROCESS.
The CONTENT comes from topics that interest the students [delight-driven] – this brings about more internal-based motivation and therefore greater learning from and ownership of the work.
The PROCESS is what will help the children through life – research, planning, creativity, presentation, evaluation .


Useful Equipment Supplies before you start :

* Card folders – buff or coloured, gloss or not, pastel or bold
– best the larger legal size A4 or taller.
– Extension pages for lapbooks – card, could use wallpaper.
* Good (construction, printer) paper – to make folds with, to write and print on. Card stock.
Adhesives – (invisible) sticky tape (Scotch, Sellotape), double-sided sticky tape, good quality dry glue stick.

* Variety of pens and pencils, colour or watercolour pencils, felts for borders or outlines, clear ruler.

Cutters – scissors, paper/print cutter

Topic-related (source) materials, brochures, handouts, postcards, pictures or graphics – info from internet or from library books. Using own  photos.
Realia – anything from the real world that can be added in like a shell, sand, handmade paper made by child, model of the real thing.
Useful extras – stencils, sticky velcro (for holding books and the folders themselves shut or making re-usable games, 3in1 psc (printer, scanner, copier), time and patience


When I started out lapbooking, I  (as teacher ) spent
a whole  day  online ,checking out websites with pictures showing folds, mini-books and lapbooks. I had  a pile of square and A4 scrap paper plus scissors beside me  at the computer. I did  prototypes of more than ten  mini-books, flapbooks etc,then spend some time on another day FOLDING with my  students showing them how and discussing possible uses for the different folds and minibooks.

The very next step was, to choose the  topic for our first lapbook.Time was short, therefore, I thought it would be a good idea for students to write about something familiar and motivating: themselves!

That  was  when our first lapbook got a name: ” All about me”!


To read the steps I took , you can have a look at  the following post


That  was my first experience with a “lap book”. The result was very cute and many teachers and parents alike had only great things to say. I did experience problems with it , though…

My major obstacle was the fact that, I didn’t teach the same group of students each week! It was the same class but different students attended each week, due to school  bureaucratic policy  reasons, I can’t explain here!  Secondly, I had the chance to see that class only once a week!

What is more,  this  mixed ability  class ,was definitely another  problem for me:  I practically had to help each student  individually !

On the other hand, one of the things I really like about lapbooks, is that I can keep work-time down to short sessions.Each teaching afternoon  session lasted only 35 minutes but, it was enough to finish with at least one part of our lapbook!

An extra benefit of this method is that the children love to show off their work. My students, were   proud of what they had done and would frequently review the books (which  helped them remember the information) – and  ‘narrated’ what they had  done to members of their  family.

At the end of the school year, I handed the finished lapbooks to my students to take home! I am sure , they will be a treasure for years to come and will remind them of our English afternoon class!

Useful tips

Before you start, you will especially  need to raid the websites and get a look at examples. Check out http://www.google.com and look in IMAGES for something like lapbook OR lapbooks OR lapbooking. Right click OPEN in new tab/window for pictures you want to see bigger. Also click on the flickr badge on sidebar.Or have a look at Pinterest .

The best advice I can give you for lapbooking is “Just Do It”!
No one will be grading you.
Get out your supplies, put on your thinking caps and have fun!
You will be amazed what you and your students can come up with together.

Proud lapbook owners!

Proud lapbook owners!

This first lapbook , was later followed by more ones of the same topic…here are some photos of them!






Happy students working creatively!

Happy students working creatively!

An amazing language exchange project, with Taiwan

Spelling in Greek! How cool is that?? Language ambassadors in action...

Spelling in Greek! How cool is that?? Language ambassadors in action…


Alexiana , holding her flashcards!

My daughter Alexiana , holding her flashcards!

When an English speaker doesn’t understand something, he would say “It’s all Greek to me.” But have you ever wondered about the origin of that phrase? Why Greek? Why not, say, Urdu or Aramaic?

I have looked it up in  a dictionary and found out that, it comes from the latin phrase Graecum est, non legitur or Graecum est, non potest legi (It is Greek; it cannot be read). Medieval Latin scribes in monasteries would write that phrase if they had trouble translatin

The Alphabet flashcards

The Alphabet flashcards


The phrase probably entered modern English usage when William Shakespeare used it in his 1599 play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Here it is in Act 1 Scene 2:

Cassius: Did Cicero say any thing?
Casca: Ay, he spoke Greek.
Cassius: To what effect?
Casca: Nay, an I tell you that, I’ll ne’er look you i’ the face again: but those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more news too: Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs off Caesar’s images, are put to silence. Fare you well. There was more foolery yet, if I could remember it.

Beautiful artwork!

Beautiful artwork!

In this context, an educated and wealthy aristocrat in the Roman Republic should be able to read and speak Greek. Casca, who speaks fluent Greek, is probably just playing dumb because he doesn’t want to repeat a remark that is unflattering to Caesar.

Obviously, when a Greek doesn’t understand something, he doesn’t say “It’s all Greek to Me.” Rather, he says, Αυτά μου φαίνονται κινέζικα, or “This strikes me as Chinese.”

mosaic taiwan greek2

Chinese is rated as one of the most difficult languages to learn.The Kangxi dictionary contains 47,035 characters!!!

Well, this language exchange  was Annie’s idea ,with which I agreed at once !   Annie and me thought that, we could both try to….help  solve this misunderstanding!! Or just, try to help our students get more familiar with another alphabet or characters which might have seemed weird to them till then…therefore, promote multilingualism and multiculturalism! mosaic taiwan greek4


To start with, Annie came up with the idea of using  flashcards, for our language exchange project! I asked my  students to produce the flash cards for me. I gave each one an item to draw. I also asked them to make a second flashcard with the one letter of the Greek Alphabet and a third one with the word of the item they had drawn on their first card, in greek !They were all  later mounted on card to make the set. There were  3 different piles: one with the alphabet , 24 letters, one with the words only and a third one with the words in picture cards, both in Greek and English.

mosaic taiwan greek6

We also, decided to send our partners in Taiwan ,one of the books teachers use to teach Greek  language to the first graders in all Greek schools..she was asked to  show it to her  students and tell them it was  our first graders greek language book!

Word flashcards

Word flashcards

My partner teacher in Taiwan, Annie Tsai did something similar: She asked her students to make flashcards of some basic/interesting Chinese characters and they ‘ve recorded a few simple greeting language video clips. They also created beautiful and very artistic picture  flashcards , and a sepearate pile of word flashcards for each one of the picture flashcards!The words on them, were written both in mandarin and english!

The activities we did in my class using the mandarin flashcards, were the following:

mosaic taiwan greek8

Memory Activities

Memory Tester

I placed a selection of  word flash cards on the floor in a circle.

Students had five  minutes to memorise the cards.

In groups, they had two minutes to write as many of the names  they could  remember as possible , on the board.Too hard to do  for most of my students…but, working in teams, made it easier!

mosaic taiwan greek12

Matching Game ( old time classic) 

I spreaded  all the cards ( both picture and word cards ) on the floor .  Students took  turns flipping two cards and calling out the cards that they flipped ( in english) .  If  it was  a pair then they kept  it and got  a point.  If they didn’t  call out the card then they couldn’t  keep it.

mosaic taiwan greek3

TPR activities

Point or race to the flash cards

I stack  picture  flash cards around the class.

I showed  their word flashcard match    and students pointed  or raced  to the right picture card.

Again, we played this game, in teams.

mosaic taiwan greek11

Bring me 

I placed a selection of  picture cards and word on the floor  at the far end of the class. Students stood  behind a line at the other end. I shouted, ‘Bring me a shirt- one of the  flashcards words, which was both written in English and in Mandarin!’ The first student who handed  in both the word and the picture shirt flashcards,  won  the cards.

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Search Game

I gave all students a word card. Then, I hid  the picture cards around the classroom, on things, under things, and in things.  I had the students look around the room for one or two minutes to find the word card that matched their picture card! I awarded stickers to all students who finally managed to do so. I made sure, the fastest students got bigger stickers…

This is what our friends sent us as their language delegates! Cute!

This is what our friends sent us as their language delegates! Cute!

Spelling activities

Spelling Game

That was the last activity we did, on day two. I asked the students to take one pair of flashcards ( word card and its matching picture card ) at home.

They had to try to learn the mandarin spelling of that word and recall it, the very next day we had a lesson. In turns, students had to come to the board and try to write that word in mandarin without looking at their flashcards!

That was a team game , too! They got so excited that they asked me to play it , again and again…! Teams , were awared points and both winners and…not winners,  special stickers!

Amazing delegates! My students, took them home! They were so excited!

Amazing delegates! My students, took them home! They were so excited!

Checking spelling...

Checking spelling…

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The Search Game

The Matching Game..

The Matching Game..

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The Matching Game..


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The Matching Game..

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The Point or race to the flash cards game

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The Point or race to the flash cards game

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Spelling Game

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Spelling Game

Happy his spelling was right!

Happy his spelling was right!

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Spelling Game


The Matching Game


The Bring me game


Spelling Game


The Memory Tester game


Now, I’d like you to have a look at some of the photos from Annie’s class which show   similar activities she did with her students, using our own  flashcards!   These photos say it all…I’ll ask Annie to comment on them later….

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Our flashcards in Annie’s class! Soime of them are placed upside down!! They were as familiar with our alphabet as we were with their mandarin characters!..

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Our partners’ first effort to put our letters flashcards in alphabetical order!

They sent us these photos to help them solve the...mystery concerning these particular letters which seemed confusing to them!

They sent us these photos to help them solve the…mystery concerning these particular letters which seemed confusing to them!

Their effort to spell in Greek! This is touching, isn't it?

Their effort to spell in Greek! This is touching, isn’t it?

One more photo where they seem to say " It's all greek to us"!! haha

One more photo where they seem to say ” It’s all greek to us”!! haha

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Our Greek Language book, in Taiwan!

One of Annie's students flashcard! Amazing !

One of Annie’s students flashcard! Amazing !

A gift spinner- which I later used in my class to teach feelings- and some of the delegates which Annie sent to my students!

A gift spinner- which I later used in my class to teach feelings- and some of the delegates which Annie sent to my students!

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