My Pilgrims Diary (Part 1)

I have taken my second Pilgrims course this year. Last year, the topic was ‘Creative Methodology for the Classroom’  and this year’s topic was ‘Reading’, it was like a mixture of some of the courses that Pilgrims has on their lists. Every year, the trainers amaze me, how come they know that much stuff, not only methodology but so many interesting activities to apply in the classroom.

Here on this blog entry, I would like to share some of the activities with you.

* This is a concentration game. In pairs, students face each other and one by one, they count to three and repeat the three numbers without a pause. (1st pair: one / 2nd pair: two/ 1st pair: three/ 2nd pair: one /1st pair :two…) It may seem very easy to do it but once you do it fast, it’s really difficult to concentrate to count.

*Let’s extend the activity above. When the pairs say number ‘2’, they have to clap their hands.

* We can do the same activity with letters A-B-C, or V1,V2 and V3. (1st pair: clean/ 2nd pair:cleaned/ 1st pair:cleaned/2nd pair: break/1st pair: broke ….).

* We can ask our students to do three word sentences. (1st pair: watch /2nd pair: a /1st pair: film /2nd pair: drive/1st pair: a /2nd pair: car …)

* This activity can be done as a whole class activity. We really enjoyed while we were playing this. Teacher says a word that is going to be the first word of a sentence and each student has to repeat the words that is said and add one more word to continue to build a meaningful sentence/s and a story at the end. Our sentences are ‘Last (this was the word that trainer gave us to start) summer, I went to Bodrum andI saw my best friend at the hotel andwe started to fight loudly about Helen.’ When you finish the activity, we ask the students to write the sentences down. After they write the sentences down, they can expand the story or they can delete some of the words that won’t change the meaning of the sentences once they are deleted. 

*I always like picture dictations, you can even do it with young and very young learners. On this activity, you describe a town and students draw what they have heard. When it’s finished, you ask them to draw themselves on the picture doing something. Students swap their pictures and write what the other students is doing on the picture. They give the pictures back and talk about if their guesses were true or not. To extend this activity, we can divide the classroom into two big groups and ask the first group what they can do in this town if they go there in summer time and the other group write about what they can do when they go there in winter time.

* You give a blank paper to each student and ask them to write their names on the top of the paper and you collect the papers back and hand the paper out randomly. You give written questions to the students and ask them to write the answers of the questions as if they were the person whose name they have been given. The questions can be :

  • Where do you live?
  • How did you come to class today?
  • What did you have for breakfast today?
  • Where did you go for your last holiday?
  • What books do you like to read?
  • What films do you like to watch?
  • What food do you like to eat?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What do you hope for future?

The questions can be more or less difficult according to the level of the students . When finished, students give the papers back to the students whose names written on the paper. They can talk about which guesses are true.

* Teacher reads out some sentences and if the sentences are true for themselves, students write them down on their notebooks.

* Students write four true and one false sentences about their last holiday/weekend. They swap their papers and they try to guess and underline the wrong sentence of the other pair. Each student can read out the true or the wrong sentences.

* You divide the class into four groups. You give each group a paper that’s written one sentence of a story on it. Each group has to come up with words that can be in the story. When they finish, you give the students the original story and they scan the story and underline the words they have written if they are in the story.

* You write six or more words on the board and ask the students to make a meaningful story out of the words you have written. Our words were shepherd-fox-stomach-hollow-starved-oak tree. What is your story out of these words?

* Running dictation is one of my favourite activities. If it is the first time that you are going to read about it, I’m sure you and your students will love it. It’s a great activity to enliven a tired classroom. You divide the class into groups. Each group has to choose a writer and a leader or leaders can change. You hang a text on the board. Each leader has to run, read the sentences committing them to memory. When they think they can remember, they go back to the group and repeat to them what it said. The writer writes down the story as it is dictated. (or you can cut the text into sentences and place them on the board. Leaders can run and memorize the sentences and go back to their groups to retell it. You can put even some obstacles on the leaders way to make it more fun. When they finish the running dictation, they can put the sentences in correct order.)

* You give a picture of the scene of the story. Students label 6 pictures on the paper and sawp their pictures.

* Students write in bubbles what the characters are saying in that scene and share it with the rest of the class.

* In pairs, students retell the story to each other. When the teacher says ‘STOP’, the other pair has to retell the rest of the story.

This is the first part of My Pilgrims Diary. I will write the second part soon…  


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