|More photos on our Top Secret Website.|
1) Invisible ink: This kind of 'magic pen', which can easily and cheaply be found on many online markets, can turn every seemingly tedious language lesson into real fun: it allows the teacher to exchange 'secret' messages with the students, who are also convinced that they are well- equipped spies! Quite unexpectedly, this activity encourages all types of writing (usually shorter ones, such as a note) and adds the desired bit of laughter into the classroom.
|Some students' projects can be seen here.|
2) Real-life writing: Writing can be much more enticing if it resembles real-life one. Therefore, writing a text for a postcard on an actual postcard (or a self-made one) is far more interesting than a text on a mere piece of paper. Student creativity can be further enhanced by displaying the writing projects on the school walls/ newspaper/ website/ blogs or, even better, by fulfilling the purpose this text would have in real life. In other words, sending the postcard/ letter/ email to a receiver who speaks the language would enable intercultural communication, thus revealing one of the functionalities this language can have to the budding users of English. This is exactly what we are trying to achieve with our e-pal project. Not to be forgotten, there will soon be a post on this blog exclusively dedicated to teaching writing.
|More photos of junior games here.|
|See also: GAMES WITH MR FLEXIBLE|
3) Board games, puppets, flashcards: These are just a few of the ways almost all teachers attempt to actively engage their students in the lesson. My only piece of advice here is to use each game with a clear learning goal in mind; purposefully speaking English while also playing makes learning experiential and effective, since the production of the language gradually becomes automatised.
|Learning language functions through drawing.|
4) Drawing and painting: These can be gravely underestimated practices in the foreign language classroom, as they allow the young mind to associate an image to a newly-learnt vocabulary item or language function. As long as the time devoted to it is proportionate to its purpose, this activity will certainly aid learners to boost their visual and/or kinaesthetic intelligence. (Read all about multiple intelligences and ways to develop them in a very well-written article on Earlychildhood NEWS.)
Do pay a visit to Vicky Loras' blog to read my guest post there on two extra ideas: