End of the School Year fun ideas, for YL

Each June, my students and me, get to celebrate all of the learning, hard work, and progress that we have made with end of the year  activities, in class.

After a long school year, creating and planning activities for an end of the year celebration is the last thing on my mind. There are always end-of-year assessments, data entry, deadlines, assemblies, and the usual chaos that stands at the forefront, but I still want to do some special activities with my classes.  I have tried several awesome activities that work, all these years! I save time by providing end-of-year activities for my students that are ready to decorate! Sharing here, some exciting ideas that double as great keepsakes:

Most of these ideas, which I have tested in class, with huge success, come from this site.

BALLOON TOSS: GOALS FOR THE FUTURE

I give each of my older students, a slip of paper and invite him or her to write one goal for the future.
I have students slip the notes inside balloons and then inflate them. Later, I have them toss balloons (like graduation caps), keeping one to pop and share its (anonymously) written message aloud –with the rest of the class.
(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)

My 6th graders, simply love this activity! Alternatively, you could try the…

“Fortune Cookie” Balloon Toss    
I have a brainstorming session with students about the adventures of summer and all of the good things that might happen. I have every student write one positive “fortune” on a pre-cut slip of paper such as “You will go on a marvelous adventure,” “You will achieve your goals,” “You will make a new friend,” etc. Each student will put his or her slip into a balloon, inflate it and tie it off. We make a large circle and play a song. I have students toss balloons around until the music stops. Each student should end up with one balloon. Using whatever means they like (sitting on it, using a sharp pencil, hair clip, etc.),  students pop their balloons and read their fortunes. I go around the circle and have each student share his or her fortune aloud.

THANKS FOR THE COMPLIMENT

(A nice way to end the school year! Especially with older students or the ones who graduate)
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.

This is a great self-esteem booster for kids! 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.

AUTOGRAPH BOOK

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

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

1.  Of course we can 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.  We could use it to show children and families some of the things we do-how they’re done–and what to expect!

I do it, every single  year! Both parents and students, appreciate it!

‘Indoor or Outdoor FIELD DAY’ ideas 

All children love playground games and some movement is crucial, when it comes to young learners. I usually, pre-teach the instructions and basic English games vocabulary in class, before we move out to play.

  • Potato Sack Races (using old pillow cases or sacks purchased from Oriental Trading or similar supplier)
  • Shoe Mix-Up: Have children take off their shoes and mix up the whole pile; have them race to put the shoes back on.
  • Tug of War: Using a huge rope have Kids vs. Kids and then play with Kids vs. Adults (They’ll like that one!)
  • Sock Throw: Put a tennis ball into a long sock and have kids throw it to see who can throw it the furthest!
  • How about the games played in ‘Summer Olympic Games’ such as:SOFTBALL, FOOTBALL, BASKETBALL, HANDBALL, HOCKEY, TENNIS OR VOLLEYBALL? They’re all Summer Olympic Games!!!

A LETTER TO PARENTS AT THE END OF THE YEAR…

This letter below, is just one example. It’s a tradition for me, to write a letter to all parents, both at the beginning and at the end of each school year! I include all our goals and achievements. It works well, so far.

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.

Program/Class AWARDS

 

This school year, I made  up some fun and unique awards for my older students. Together with the students in class, we found  something unique about EACH CHILD and recognized them for that unique quality.I created the awards myself on a PC but you can also download a template from the internet.

A suggestion I have found  here and we loved, in class:
We made up awards to match candy bars (I personally, adapted the names a bit…Had to match candy bars, we can buy in Greece ). Here are the names, in the original post :

  • ALMOND JOY AWARD: For the person who is always happy
  • BIT-O-HONEY AWARD: For someone very sweet
  • BUTTERFINGER AWARD: For the person who broke the most things
    accidentally
  • DOVE AWARD: For the program/class peacemaker
  • GUMMY BEARS AWARD: For a very lovable child, who is always laughing
  • JOLLY RANCHER AWARD: For the person always telling jokes
  • KIT KAT AWARD: For the student always at the teacher’s side
  • LAFFY TAFFY AWARD: For someone with a sweet disposition
  • LIFESAVERS AWARD: For the person, who is always helping someone in need
  • MILKY WAY AWARD: For the group daydreamer
  • MR. GOODBAR AWARD: For the student who exhibits the good qualities of friendship
  • NESTLE CRUNCH AWARD: An alternative to pencil chewing
  • NUTRAGEOUS AWARD: For an outstanding personality
  • NUTRAGEOUS AWARD: for the wild and crazy person in class
  • SKOR AWARD: For athletes in the class
  • SNICKERS AWARD: For having an outstanding sense of humor
  • SWEET TARTS AWARD: For a sweet girl/boy
  • SYMPHONY AWARD: For anyone musical
  • TEDDY GRAHAMS AWARD: For the most huggable
  • THREE MUSKETEERS AWARD: For the one always with the group
  • WHOPPERS AWARD: For the best storytelling
  • ZERO MATH AWARD: For outstanding performance in Math

etc

End-of-Year Charades

I have each student write out one memorable moment from the school year on a slip of paper. I collect all the slips in a bag, hat, etc. I divide kids into teams and have them come up one team at a time, choose a slip and act out the memory for the group. No need to keep score—the goal is just to relive all the happy memories from the year and…use their English , of course…

Alternatively, I have them write their “End of School Year Reflections”-my own favourite end-of-school-year read!

“I Remember When …” Mural 


This is a great activity when we have a few extra minutes to fill or when kids need a short brain break. I always use it ,on the very last day in class. I decorate the top of a long piece of butcher paper with the words “I Remember When …” -older students – or ” I want to say goodbye to…” -younger students- in large print.  I allow students to write and draw favorite memories from the school year until all the space is filled. We display our banner proudly in our classroom or out in the hall for others to enjoy.

 

 

 

The benefits of using drama, in the EFL- YL class

William Shakespeare claimed that

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
As You Like It Act 2, scene 7, 139–143

We all realize that,teaching in the primary classroom, is very different from teaching teens or adults, because of the amount of energy children have! Knowing how to channel this energy, will help us achieve balanced lessons without children becoming over-excited on the one hand or bored on the other.

One tool to manage this is, Drama/acting out.

As an English teacher, I have often been amazed at how effective drama is to capture the attention of the students in the EFL classroom.   We cannot only teach grammar and phonetics with drama ,but also it has the power to transform the student-actors ,as well as the audience.  Therefore, we shouldn’t underestimate this powerful teaching tool, to reach our students.

I personally love the use of masks and puppets, in my YL classes!
Puppets or masks can really bring alive a dialogue, role-play or story.

My suggestions?

Make simple masks out of paper plates for main characters. Bring in realia and props for children to use for acting out e.g. some real money and a bag for shopping. Have a dressing up box of simple props such as hats, glasses etc. Puppets or finger puppets can be used to liven up even the most boring dialogue, especially when accompanied by funny voices!

 

In my classes, puppetry works like this: using various odds and ends (paper, glue, cotton, wool etc), each child makes a simple puppet and describes its character to the rest of the class. When several puppets have been described in this way, the children work together in groups to produce a scene using the characters. They could alternatively make puppets of characters in their (course book) -one word-and enact dialogues from the book. (Hand puppets can be made using old socks, stick puppets with ice-cream  sticks.)

 

Generally taking, I firmly believe that, we need to use drama more in the schools.   The language can be used in context and makes it come to life.  Drama has the potential of making the learning experience fun for the students and even memorable because it is interactive and visual.

The personal nature of improvisation, provides many outlets for self-expression. We all know that, children need to play as an important developmental process.

What is more, drama puts the teacher in the role of supporter in the learning process and the students can take more responsibility for their own learning.

The play acting can help to relieve the tension of learning in a second language.

The shyness and fear of using English, very often blocks learning. When the students are having fun, they tend to relax and stop blocking out the new language.

Role-playing is a powerful tool,too.  It teaches cooperation, empathy for others, decision making skills and encourages an exchange of knowledge between the students.  These aspects alone make role-playing beneficial because the students are learning from each other.   Apart from the obvious development of communication skills, it encourages leadership, team work, compromise, authentic listening skills .

The benefits of drama to develop the imagination should not be undervalued.  In our rote school routines of memorization and compulsory subject matter, we sometimes do not spend enough time on encouraging our students to use their imagination.

We need imagination to make a better world. In order to accomplish anything worthwhile, we first need to imagine and dream it.  I always emphasize my students that fact!

I also tell them that, in life, we are all playing many roles, therefore, we are wearing many masks.Older students,easily  understand this.

Few tested methods for incorporating Drama in the EFL class , summarised

Act out the Dialogue

One of the easiest ways to incorporate drama in the classroom is to have students act out the dialogue from their textbooks. Simply pair them up, have them choose roles, then work together to act out the dialogue, figuring out for themselves the “blocking,” or stage movements.

Perform Reader’s Theater

Another good beginning exercise is to do Reader’s Theater. Hand out copies of a short or one-act play, have students choose roles, and then read the play from their seats without acting it out. However, do encourage them to read dramatically, modeling as necessary.It’s an alternative and fun way of practicing reading aloud, as well!

Act out the Story

This is particularly effective with “short-shorts”: brief, one-scene stories with limited characters.

Write the Dialogue for a Scene

Watch a brief clip of a cartoon movie without the sound on. Have older students write a simple dialogue for it and act it out.

Act out and Put Words to an Emotion

Give students an emotion, such as “anger” or “fear”. Have students, either singly or in groups, first act out that emotion then put words to the emotion.

Give “Voice” to an Inanimate Object

 

What would a stapler say if it could talk? Or an apple? Have students write monologues with inanimate objects as the character. Hamlet’s “To Be or Not to Be” soliloquy might also be termed a monologue, for example.

After writing them, students can read the monologues aloud.

Create a Character

Have students develop a character, writing a one-page profile on the character’s background, appearance, personality, etc. Have them introduce the character to the class, explaining what interests them about their character.

Write a Monologue

Using the character they’ve already developed, have students write a monologue for that character then perform it.

Mime 

Have students act out short scenes without dialogue. The rest of the class then supplies the dialogue, developing the “script.”

In role playing, the participants are assigned roles which they act out in a given scenario.

Improvise

Put students in groups of two or three, and assign the characters and the situation to the groups.Students create the dialogue and movement themselves.

With careful planning, use of drama enhances our English classroom curriculum and adds fun in our teaching!

Drama encourages adaptability, fluency, and communicative competence .

“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.

” Interviewing….Barbie”: ‘Pretend games’ are a central part of a child’seducation.
When they dress up as a princess,they become a princess.

I always encourage my students to use short plays, skits or other drama activities to present their projects in class.  Here,….. Hurem, Sultan Suleiman’s wife is being interviewed about her life in the harem !! Improvisation works miracles! Kids, decide about their costumes and they write their own lines…..

Note:Ideas, first found and later tried out in class, on  https://busyteacher.org 

Carnival fun in class: when improvisation rules!

mos15carnivalskitspuppets2

William Shakespeare claimed that

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
As You Like It Act 2, scene 7, 139–143
mos15carnivalskits
In theory, drama puts the teacher in the role of supporter in the learning process and the students can take more responsibility for their own learning.  Ideally, the teacher will take a less dominant role in the language class and let the students explore the language activities.  In the student centered classroom, every student is a potential teacher for the group.
Drama for second language learners can provide an opportunity to develop the imagination of the students. The students can go beyond the here and now and even ‘walk in the shoes’ of another. It provides an opportunity for independent thinking.
mos15carnivalskits11
When the students are having fun, they let their second language guard down and become less inhibited.  The student will tend to relax and stop blocking out the new language.
In the ESL/EFL classroom, role-playing is a powerful tool.  It teaches cooperation, empathy for others, decision making skills and encourages an exchange of knowledge between the students.
mos15carnivalskits9
The benefits of drama to develop the imagination should not be undervalued.  In our rote school routines of memorization and compulsory subject matter, we sometimes do not spend enough time on encouraging our students to use their imagination.  It is the spark that makes the ordinary into something incredible.  Imagination is the magic force that is beyond facts, figures and techniques which can inspire new ideas.  It is with imagination that the ordinary is transformed into something significant.
mos15carnivalskits10
We shouldn’t underestimate this powerful teaching tool to reach our students.

Having all the above in mind, I decided to have my students use their carnival accessories and costumes, as their inspiration to create their own skits, working  in groups! It was actually the day, the school Carnival party would take place during the last two teaching hours, therefore all the kids were in the spirit of  Carnival fun and came to class wearing Carnival masks and costumes ! It was difficult to have a..proper english lesson under the circumstances, therefore, I decided to ask them to use their costumes and masks as realia and write and act out their own skits, working in groups! The outcome, was amazing! It was hilarious! I love it when my students become creative!

mos15carnivalskits8

Although, my students used their own scenarios , I also asked them to play one  favourite drama game  :

“Scene from real life” 

Procedure:

1.  Divide the class into groups of 3-4 students each.

2.  One member of the group must tell the others a true story about an event in his/her life.  Encourage him/her to describe it in as much detail as possible.  This person becomes the “director”.

3.  The director then chooses members of the group to play the various characters involved in the scene (including him/herself).

4.  The actors then improvise the scene in front of the director.

5.  After each run-through, the director should give notes. Then the group improvises the scene again.  The goal of the director is to make the scene as believable as possible.

mos15carnivalskits5

6.  Once the directors of each group are satisfied with their scenes, have the groups share in front of each other.

With my very young learners, we tried several Carnival fun games such as ” The Carnival King says…”

"The Carnival King says..."

“The Carnival King says…”

or many Carnival-themed vocabulary games such as the one shown in the photo below, called” The Carnival masks dictation”  , played in teams!

"Carival Masks Dictation"

“Carival Masks Dictation”

I also, had my afternoon students make these special LEG puppets

Leg puppets

Leg puppets

and use them to play ” Musical chairs” or ” Freeze”! I finally asked my older students to use the leg puppets in order to act their own puppet shows!

DSCN1668

Improvisation , was the key issue in that, too!

mos15carnivalskits2

Working in teams to create the story!

 

That was an alternative english lesson, which we all enjoyed , as you can see in the photos!

Highly recommended to all teachers!

Class theatre- an adaptation of Midsummer night’s dream

mosaic skets sheak 3Shakespeare is for everybody—and that includes elementary school students! Many performance-based teaching strategies work very successfully with younger students.

Since my university years,  “Midsummer night’s dream”  has been one of my most favourite   Shakespeare’s stories!

With my own experience of getting to know Shakespeare as a young woman, I was grabbed by the stories first of all. Then you grow up and become engaged by the language. But it’s more than just good stories and nice language. It’s about ethics and morality.

I therefore, wanted my students to get to know and like  Shakespeare , too! To be able to understand the difference between appearance and reality!…

Luckily, our school 6th grade english  book, offers an adaptation of my most favourite story…. !mosaic skets sheakspeare

You probably already know a few things about the play:

Lysander and Hermia are in love but they flee Athens because Hermia’s father wants her to marry Demetrius.mosaic skets sheak 8

Helena is in love with Demetrius so tells him of the flight to win favour. Both follow the lovers into the forest where Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of the Fairies, are feuding.mosaic skets sheak 16

Oberon orders Puck to use a love potion on Demetrius so that he will fall in love with Helena but Puck mistakenly anoints Lysander’s and Demetrius’ eyes and both fall in love with Helena. Meanwhile, in another part of the wood, craftsmen are rehearsing a play and Puck fixes an ass’s head on one named Bottom with whom Titania, under the influence of the potion, falls in love.mosaic skets sheak 15

After much confusion harmony is restored, and the play is performed at the multiple wedding of the Duke and the four young lovers.mosaic skets sheak 6

Lesson plans and  several teaching ideas can be found  here : http://www.webenglishteacher.com/midsummer.html 

or here: http://thehipp.org/uploads/files/education/A%20Midsummer%20Night’s%20Dream_Hippodrome_Elementary.pdf

mosaic skets sheak 14

I personally, use only the book text, and my students’ imagination and improvisation skills! I want them to have real fun, performing! I have noticed that, even shy students, open up on stage and are willing to learn and join the fun!mosaic skets sheak 9 A typical example is Armelido, whose parents are immigrants from Albania. He  could hardly communicate in english at the beginning of the school year but,  was finally  able to learn all Demetrius’ lines by heart and perform with huge success!mosaic skets sheak 13

When “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is first introduced, I  give students a short introduction about the play. After researching Shakespeare’s life from several resources, I show them a poster I have in class with the major events of his life.

We brainstorm pairs of characters (e.g.  Demetrius-Hermia).

We think about props or   costumes for different characters.mosaic skets sheak 12

Then, we listen to the story adaptation and I divide them in groups. I ask them to decide about the roles they prefer.I assign parts …mosaic skets sheak 7

Later, they have to  work together as a group and decide about the details. They have a week to do so before they perform in class…collaboration is the key word here!mosaic skets sheak 11

In class, we have a competition for the best group performance of each  adapted part! My students get really excited with that! It’s  a really fun experience for all!

If you want, you can have your students perform the adapted play for the whole school , in the end-of-the-year school show! I am thinking about doing so this year…

mosaic skets sheak 10

By exploring the text through voice and movement activities, I believe my students will become more aware of themselves as whole people.  By placing theatre at the center of education, and by creating a “schoolhome” atmosphere, students will have the opportunity to make the connection between mind and body.mosaic skets sheak 5 They will be allowed to use all that they are–mind, body, emotion–to learn and grow. And that is what school is all about–educating the whole person.mosaic skets sheak 4

 

The “Ten second object” and the ” Essence machines”

I'll let you guess about this one...what do you think the object is??

I’ll let you guess about this one…what do you think the object is??

This is a very popular drama game and a useful technique which can be developed easily towards improvisation or physical theatre. It’s also highly accessible and great fun!

Divide everyone into small groups (4-6). Call out the name of an object and all the groups have to make the shape of that object out of their own bodies, joining together in different ways while you count down slowly from ten to zero. Usually every group will find a different way of forming the object. Examples could be: a car, a fried breakfast, a clock, a washing machine, a fire.

In the photos below, you can view only FEW of the objects the students were asked to make the shape of…

A tree

A tree

The Star shining

The Star shining

A hot-air balloon

A hot-air balloon

An airplane

An airplane

Full moon

Full moon

A desk and chair

A desk and chair

Books on a bookshelf

Books on a bookshelf

An umbrella

An umbrella

I often combine this drama activity with one other old-time favourite…the Essence machines!

This activity provides a useful technique for generating physical and aural ideas around a theme. Explain that the group is going to create a “machine” out of themselves. Name a topic and give the participants a few moments to think of a repeating sound and action linked to that theme. For example, if the theme was “shopping” a participant could mime taking money out of a purse to give to a shopkeeper, whilst saying “I’ll have two of those, please.”

As soon as someone has an idea, ask them to step into the centre of a circle to begin their repeating sound and movement. Ask if somebody else can think of a suitable way to add in their own idea. Gradually, more and more people join in the activity. Some may be linked to existing parts of the “machine”, whilst others may be separate. To continue the example above, someone could join the action by becoming the shopkeeper and saying “Shall I wrap them for you?”, whilst somebody else could be a cleaner in the shopping mall.

Essence machines: at the gym

Essence machines: at the gym

A bus

A bus

A fireplace

A fireplace

Another version of the airplane

Another version of the airplane

A river

A river

Another version of the Sun!

Another version of the Sun!

A new vesrion of a tree

A new vesrion of a tree

A vase full of flowers

A vase full of flowers

A bike!!

A bike!!

 

Learning english the RIGHT way, can be so much FUN!

Learning english the RIGHT way, can be so much FUN!

 

 

 

 

 

Drama improvisation ELT games

Ten second object: a bookshelf

Ten second object: a bookshelf

A quick warm up and getting to know you game. Everyone in the room must shake hands with, say “hello” and their name to everybody else within thirty seconds.

As a variation, give a signal for the class to switch between normal and slow motion movement and speech and back again.

Ten Second Object

This is a very popular drama game and a useful technique which can be developed easily towards improvisation or physical theatre. It’s also highly accessible and great fun!

Divide everyone into small groups (4-6). Call out the name of an object and all the groups have to make the shape of that object out of their own bodies, joining together in different ways while you count down slowly from ten to zero. Usually every group will find a different way of forming the object. Examples could be: a car, a fried breakfast, a clock, a washing machine, a fire.

Essence Machines

This activity provides a useful technique for generating physical and aural ideas around a theme. Explain that the group is going to create a “machine” out of themselves. Name a topic and give the participants a few moments to think of a repeating sound and action linked to that theme. For example, if the theme was “shopping” a participant could mime taking money out of a purse to give to a shopkeeper, whilst saying “I’ll have two of those, please.”

Essence machines: at the gym

Essence machines: at the gym

As soon as someone has an idea, ask them to step into the centre of a circle to begin their repeating sound and movement. Ask if somebody else can think of a suitable way to add in their own idea. Gradually, more and more people join in the activity. Some may be linked to existing parts of the “machine”, whilst others may be separate. To continue the example above, someone could join the action by becoming the shopkeeper and saying “Shall I wrap them for you?”, whilst somebody else could be a cleaner in the shopping mall.

You may find that everybody wants to join in the activity, although be careful not to let it go on for too long or get too unwieldy. Once it is set up, the machine can be frozen, then played back at twice or half the “normal” speed. Themes could include: a football match, a meal in a restaurant, folk tales, Halloween. You could have a machine that actually makes something, like chocolate biscuits, school dinners or weather conditions.

  • If using this for language teaching, encourage the use of single words or short phrases instead of a sound

Alphabet Conversation

Have a conversation where each sentence begins with the next letter of the alphabet. This may seem difficult at first, but improves with practice. If you get stuck, you can also use sounds to start a sentence, for example ‘Mmmm’ or ‘tut-tut’. Here is an example:

A: Anyone seen my cat?

B: Black one, with funny eyes?

A: Can’t say I remember.

B: Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten what it looks like?

A: Every cat looks the same to me.

B: Fortunately, I found one yesterday

A: Gee, that’s great!

  • You could also try beginning somewhere in the middle of the alphabet. Then when you reach ‘Z’, return to ‘A’ until you arrive back where you started

  • Try setting the scene or location before you start

  • It’s great for car journeys too!

Catch My Name

A fun way of learning names. The group stands in a circle and begins by throwing a beanbag or bouncing a medium-sized ball, such as a children’s football, across the circle from one person to another. Make sure people are ready to throw and ready to catch. Eye contact is important.

Now, introduce yourself as you throw or bounce the ball across the circle – ‘Hi, I’m Robert’. Once everybody has had a go at that, continue the game but this time say the name of the person that you are throwing to – ‘Jessica to Kelvin’. The group should ensure that everybody receives the ball. One way of doing this is for everybody to hold one hand up until they have caught the ball, or each person folds their arms when they have thrown it.

  • As a variation, the catcher can call out the name of the thrower

  • Ask everybody to call out the name of the thrower

  • More balls can be added in so that it develops into a Group Juggle.

  • Don’t make name games into an actual test – people are less likely to learn names if they feel pressurised. Keep it light and enjoyable

  • A useful adaptation for language learners – use word categories so that each person throwing the ball must say a word in the named category.

Two Truths, One Lie

Highly recommended for getting to know each other in a new group. Tell your partner three things about yourself – two of which are true and one of which is a lie. For example, you might tell your partner about your hobbies, your work, where you live, your family or where you have travelled. Afterwards, your partner tries to guess which was the lie. You might choose to tell three everyday facts or three more unusual things – but remember – only one of them should be a lie. Make sure each person listens carefully to what their partner says!

  • Now introduce your partner to the rest of the group and see if they can guess which was the lie.

  • Alternatively, tell your partner three true things about yourself and then swap over. Now the whole group makes a circle. Each partner introduces their friend to the group – they tell the group two of the true things and make up one lie about their partner.

There Is Only One Liar

A psychological but fun group dynamics game from Augusto Boal. There should be no talking until the exercise is over. The group sits or stands in a circle and closes their eyes. The leader tells them that one person will be selected by a tap on the shoulder. The leader walks around the whole circle, then asks the group to open their eyes. The group members must look around and try to guess who was chosen. They are asked to remember who they decided upon but not to reveal it at this point.

The game is repeated. When everybody has finished looking round, the leader asks them, on the count of three, without talking, to point at the person they thought was chosen the first time. Everybody points. Now, they do the same again for the second time.

Afterwards, members are asked what it was that led them to choose a particular person, for example, the facial expression that person had. Then, on a signal, they are asked to put up their hands if they were touched the first time. They discover that no one was touched the first time. They are asked to do the same for the second time. The group discover that they were all touched the second time. There is only one liar – the workshop leader!

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Drama in our english class

" Interviewing the ...greek Prime Minister":I use improvisation activities a lot. My role is to provide the context and the students act out their roles spontaneously without any planning.

” Interviewing the …greek Prime Minister”:I use improvisation activities a lot. My role is to provide the context and the students act out their roles spontaneously without any planning.

Language teachers have to face two difficulties in their classrooms. On the one hand they need to change the naturally exuberant imaginative energy of the children into activity which is not merely enjoyable but which also has a language pay-off. On the other, they need to develop a repertoire of concrete activities which appeal to children to do as well to avoid chaos and boredom.

" Interviewing....Virgin Mary":The classroom game of pretending to interact in English is a rehearsal for future interactions in English.

” Interviewing….Virgin Mary”:The classroom game of
pretending to interact in English is a rehearsal
for future interactions in English.

Just a few drama activities can bring an EFL/ESL classroom to life. The trends in English Language Teaching (ELT) lean heavily toward communicative and authentic language use. Drama provides lots of immediate resources and is fun for teacher and students alike.

I mainly use Drama in class Projects presentations !Also, I love staging mini-musicals at the end of each school year!

School Musicals

Enthusiastic audience!!

Enthusiastic audience!!

School musicals 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 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

http://www.childrenstheatreplays.com/schoolplays.htm

The main points concerning drama, which  I have in mind ,when I ask my students to get involved in such  activities ,are:

"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

Suspension of disbelief
When we watch a film or a play on television
or in the theatre, we ignore the fact that the
actors are not actually, detectives, doctors or
murderers. We engage in the drama because
we are able to suspend our disbelief, we are
able to pretend that the actors are the
characters they portray that the locations are
not stage sets or studios and the words spoken
by the actors are a prepared script, not the
spontaneous thoughts of the characters.

" 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!

Students in an ELT classroom also need to
suspend disbelief, otherwise they would be
endlessly frustrated by the fact that the
teacher does not speak in the mother tongue
she shares with her students.
Drama and Games
‘Pretend games’ are a central part of a child’s
education. When they dress up as a princess,
they become a princess. Their toys are not
painted pieces of metal, wood or plastic, they
are cars, guns, space rockets. Their toys get
sick, recover, get angry and feel emotions.
The ELT classroom is a ‘pretend game’ in
exactly the same way.
Preparation for real life
Few of our students will become princesses
or astronauts, but all of them will become
English language users. The classroom game of
pretending to interact in English is a rehearsal
for future interactions in English.

"The Wizard of Oz": At the beginning students will be hesitant and shy to participate in the activities, but after a few sessions they will become more enthusiastic and there will be a phenomenal improvement in their confidence level.

“The Wizard of Oz”: At the beginning students will be hesitant and shy to participate in the activities, but after a few sessions they will become more enthusiastic and there will be a phenomenal improvement in their confidence level.

Most actors would agree that rehearsals are a
time for hard work, careful listening and
intense performance but they are also an
enjoyable experience. They are a time for
experimenting and having fun before the real
audience arrives.

Students and teachers need to adopt the same
attitude to their language classes.

Drama or dramatic activities I use in my classes

Mime

Drama encourages adaptability, fluency, and communicative competence .

Drama encourages adaptability, fluency, and communicative competence .

Mime helps develop students’ power of imagination and observation and can also be quite simply ” a source of great enjoyment” with students tending “to be very enthusiastic about this aspect of drama”, (Hayes, 1984)

"The Wizard of Oz": The main benefit of role play from the point of view of language teaching is that it enables a flow of language to be produced that might be otherwise difficult or impossible to create

“The Wizard of Oz”: The main benefit of role play from the point of view of language
teaching is that it enables a flow of language to be produced that might be otherwise difficult or impossible to create

Its strength lies in that although no language is used during
the mime, the mime itself can act as a catalyst to generate and elicit language before, during and after the activity.

Role Play

In role play the participants are assigned roles which they act out in a given scenario.

"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!

The main benefit of role play from the point of view of language
teaching is that it enables a flow of language to be produced that might be otherwise difficult or impossible to create. Role play can also help recreate the language students used in different situation, the sort of language students are likely to need outside the classroom

Simulation

" 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!!

My students have roles, functions, duties ,
and responsibilities within a structured situation involving problem solving.
Simulations are generally held to be a structured set of circumstances’ that mirror real life and in which participants act as instructed.

A simulation activity is one where the students  discuss a problem within a defined setting, In simulation activities, the students are either playing themselves or someone else.

" 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!!

A simulation activity provides a specific situation within which students can practice various communication skills like asserting oneself, expressing opinions, convincing others, arguing eliciting opinions, group-problems-solving, analyzing situations and so on…

Improvisation

Improvisation is an excellent technique to use in the FL/L2 classroom as it motivates the learners to be active participants in authentic situations thereby reducing their self consciousness. At the beginning students will be hesitant and shy to participate in the activities, but after a few sessions they will become more enthusiastic and there will be a phenomenal improvement in their confidence level.

Christmas sketses , are a good chance for my youngest learners, to use their english for the first time, in front of a real audience!

Christmas sketses , are a good chance for my youngest learners, to use their english for the first time, in front of a real audience!

I use it a great deal in my lessons!

"Alice and Peter Pan ": Using puppets in my ELT class, has been really beneficial for my youngest students! Even the most shy ones, want to take part!

“Alice and Peter Pan “: Using puppets in my ELT class, has been really beneficial for my youngest students! Even the most shy ones, want to take part!

Improvisation exercises could involve an entire class of learners or smaller groups.
Once the context has been provided the learners will participate spontaneously in the exercise.

A whole class improvisation exercise could eg  involve the students at a market where some are the buyers and others the sellers. My role is to provide the context and the participants act out their roles spontaneously without any planning.

Puppet theatre

At the mini market: sketses can prove to be valuable in TEFL! Great fun!

At the mini market: sketses can prove to be valuable in TEFL! Great fun!

I often use finger play activities, chants and actions songs to help make transitions in the junior class more effective, settling everyone down so that I’ve got all of the children’s attention and also, help them learn in the most enjoyable way!

Puppets can be used in an English class:

  • to teach greetings
  • to teach prepositions
  • to teach comparatives and superlatives
  • to dramatize dialogues
  • in word games
  • to present facts about nutrition
  • in rhythm studies
  • in biographies
  • in sketches
In role play the participants are assigned roles which they act out in a given scenario.

In role play the participants are assigned roles which they act out in a given scenario.

Puppetry is of special benefit to shy and nervous children and also gives the feeling of involvement and participation to the entire class. Our puppet shows give a sense of relief from the tension of classroom teaching and add variety to the lesson.

Role play can also help recreate the language students used in different situation, the sort of language students are likely to need outside the classroom

Role play can also help recreate the language students used in different situation, the sort of language students are likely to need outside the classroom

Therefore, a puppet theatre can be an excellent piece of equipment in a second language classroom….trust me!

In general, Drama  activities facilitate the type of language behaviour that should lead to fluency, and if it is accepted that the learners want to learn a language in order to make themselves understood in the target language, then drama does indeed further this end.

” Why use drama in the EFL classroom?” We can create desirable conditions for learning and teaching in our EFL classes using drama activities and it is very enjoyable for both students and teachers!

” Why use drama in the EFL classroom?” We can create desirable conditions for learning and teaching in our EFL classes using drama activities and it is very enjoyable for both students and teachers!

" Interviewing....Barbie": ‘Pretend games’ are a central part of a child’seducation. When they dress up as a princess,they become a princess.

” Interviewing….Barbie”: ‘Pretend games’ are a central part of a child’seducation.
When they dress up as a princess,they become a princess.

The advantages to be gained from the use of drama is that students become more confident in their use of English by experiencing the language in operation. Drama in the English language classroom is ultimately indispensable because it gives learners the chance to use their own personalities. It draws upon students’ natural abilities to imitate and express themselves, and if well-handled should arouse interest and imagination. Drama encourages adaptability, fluency, and communicative competence . It puts language into context, and by giving learners experience of success in real-life situations it should arm them with confidence for tackling the world outside the classroom.

To summarise…

I want to stress that, children learn languages actively seeking to interpret meaning from context ,making creative use of language they know, using an instinct for talking and interacting and indirect learning e.g. through games and songs.a capacity to find fun ,an ability to use fantasy and imagination.

And also it is very important to keep in mind that learning and teaching is a very complicated process.

mosaic skets triti 2

“…we discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being. It is not acquired by listening to words, but in virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his environment. The teacher’s task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives for cultural activity in a special environment made for the child. “ Dr. Maria Montessori

" Interviewing ....Hurem, Suleiman's Sultana": Children learn languages actively seeking to interpret meaning from context ,making creative use of language they know, using an instinct for talking and interacting and indirect learning e.g. through games and songs.a capacity to find fun ,an ability to use fantasy and imagination.

” Interviewing ….Hurem, Suleiman’s Sultana”: Children learn languages actively seeking to interpret meaning from context ,making creative use of language they know, using an instinct for talking and interacting and indirect learning e.g. through games and songs.a capacity to find fun ,an ability to use fantasy and imagination.

The mime itself can act as a catalyst to generate and elicit language before, during and after the activity.

The mime itself can act as a catalyst to generate and elicit language before, during and after the activity.

And so: ” Why use drama in the EFL classroom?” We can create desirable conditions for learning and teaching in our EFL classes using drama activities and it is very enjoyable for both students and teachers!

Useful Bibliography

Charlyn Wessel , 1987, Drama ,Oxford; OUP, Resource Books for Teachers.

Jill Hadfield , 1992, Classroom Dynamics , Oxford; OUP Resource Books for Teachers.

Sarah Phillips, 2003,Drama with Chidren, Oxford; OUP, Resource Books for Teachers.

S. Halliwell, 1995, Teaching English in the Primary Classroom ,Oxford; OUP, Resource Books for Teachers.

mosaic skets sheak 13

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