Zero preparation, fun revision

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1 Zero preparation, fun revision Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty. Albert EINSTEIN, scientist Try this brief test to find out if the following article is useful for you.. Learning with fun is the best kind of learning.. I think that CLIL classes should be about co-operative learning.. I want my students to be more autonomous.. In CLIL classes systematic content revision is essential.. My students sometimes perceive revision as testing and they feel pressured. 6. My students forget words from class to class. 7. Some of my students know the meaning of a word and use it in English, but don t know the equivalent in their mother tongue. 8. Extra revision exercises mean more preparation time for teachers. YES NO If you answered yes! to at least out of 8 statements, have a look at the proposed fun-forstudents, easy-for-the teacher activities. They put students at the heart of the learning process and encourage their autonomy as learners. They also require zero or almost zero preparation for the teacher! Jumping words Put 0 wordcards or flashcards high on the board, randomly, in any order. Divide your students into small groups and tell them to choose a captain. Say one of the words on the board in the students mother tongue. Captains run to the board, jump and take the correct word. For each correctly taken word the group gets a point. When you finish with the 0 words and start the next round, tell your students to change the captain so that everybody can participate. Classroom management tips Instead of using the students mother tongue, you can give your learners a description of the vocabulary item in English. Another excellent idea is to choose a group of three students who act as word describers. The describers describe the word, without actually saying it. 7

2 It's where worms live! It's brown, it's like earth! It's where you put plants! Back-to-board This is one of the most fun activities for children and it requires no planning for teachers. It can create a bit of chaos in the classroom, so we suggest you use it only on special occasions, for example as an extra award after a successfully learnt lesson. Divide your class into or groups and tell each group to choose their captain. Tell the captains to turn their back to the board. Write a word on the board. Group members explain the word to their captain without actually saying it. Scrambled letters, missing letters. Choose a word, e.g. electric and write it on the board omitting several letters: E L C R I C Tell your students to guess the word.. Now, choose a word related to it, e.g. power, and write it scrambled on the board: WOREP Again ask your students to guess it. Underline the first letter if necessary.. Provide another example of related words, e.g. write hydroelectric plant as: H D R E E C T I C NLAPT to make sure everybody understands.. Now ask every student to invent a similar exercise and only after that divide them into groups to dicuss their fun words together.. Call the captains to the front to share one of his/her group s secret words with the rest of the class. Other groups guess the word. 6. The group which guesses the most words is the winner. The first captain to shout the correct answer scores a point for his/her group. 76

3 Zero preparation, fun revision One Minute Heads Together Version : Change the name of the game Put your students in groups of and tell each student to choose one number from to. The group members put their heads together and decide on the answer. Ask a content related question and give the groups one minute to answer it. Call a number. All students with that number stand up and answer the question. When your students become familiar with One Minute Heads Together, provide more challenging questions. Ask your students if they need more time to think. Let them change the name of the activity as they wish: Two, Three or Four Minutes Heads Together. This will give your learners a sense of being appreciated and listened to. Version : Use fun riddles You can use the Heads Together activity to revise content with fun riddles. If the topic you are teaching is plants or animals, here are some readymade riddles. If you prefer a calmer type of revision, give each group a photocopiable sheet with riddles to complete. Praise correct responses, but show interest in incorrect ones, as well. Always ask how they came up with their answers. To bring more diversity into your classroom, you can present the same activity in different forms: Version : Substitute numbers with words Instead of calling numbers, give your learners a word card, a flashcard or a magazine clip representing the content you want to revise. Tell students to choose one image from those on offer, for example: Starfish, clown fish, trout, shark. Monkey, lion, whale, deer. Ladybird, mosquito, fly, bee. Sponge, mussel, butterfly, snail. Now, ask the students which animal group they represent (-fish, -mammals, -insects, -invertebrates). When calling students, instead of numbers call for fish, mammals, insects or invertebrates. etc. When they guess, continue with other questions. Photocopiable Activity Key (next page): Plant riddles. a plant /. roots /. a leaf /. a seed. germinate / 6. a stem / 7. water and minerals; from roots to leaves / 8. a trunk / 9. on branches, on twigs / 0. a photosynthesis Animal riddles. an amphibian /. an omnivore /. invertebrates. fish /. an arachnid / 6. a scorpion / 7. a whale 8. a worm / 9. a jellyfish / 0. a penguin Note: these riddles are suitable for rd grade Primary. 77

4 Plant riddles. I am a living being, but I cannot run, jump, or move around.. Plants and flowers have me, but you cannot see me.. I can be wide or thin like a needle. I can be big or small. Usually I am green, but in autumn I sometimes change my colour.. I am very, very small. But give me some soil and water, and you will be surprised!. You discovered me in riddle. If you give me light, water, air, soil and minerals I will do an action. What will I do? 6. I am green and upright. I transport nutrients. Who I am? 7. Now that you know me, tell me what I transport and from where to where? 8. I am similar to my friend in riddle 6, but I am much bigger. Trees have me. 9. I am a tree. I have roots, trunk and leaves. Where can you see my leaves? EDELVIVES Photocopiable sheet 0. I am a process. I transform different elements into energy to make plants grow. What is my scientific name? 78

5 Animal riddles. I am cold-blooded, but I am not a reptile and I am not a fish.. I am not choosy about food. I eat everything: plants and animals.. We represent 98% of all animals on Earth. Who are we?. Birds and amphibians produce eggs. But I produce even more eggs then them!. I look like an insect, but I can t fly. Insects have six legs and I have eight. 6. I am one of the creatures in riddle. I live in deserts and I can be poisonous. 7. I look like a fish, but I m not a fish. And I am really, really big. 8. I am slimy and moist. I work underground and I don t have a backbone. 9. I live in the sea and I am almost transparent. That s because my tissues are 9% water. Don t touch me! 0. I am a bird. I have a beak and wings, but I cannot fly. I am a good swimmer. I live in the North, where it s very cold. EDELVIVES Photocopiable sheet 79

6 I LEARNED THREE NEW WORDS LAST WEEK! REALLY? ME TOO! I LEARNED GAS, SOLID AND LIQUID. I LOVE THE WORD PRECIPITATION! PRECIPITATION? SOUNDS FUN! WHAT DOES THATMEAN? MY FAVOURITE WORD IS COLLECTION. I LIKE SOLIDIFICATION! DO YOU KNOW SOLIDIFICATION? Old friends, new words Wordsearch At the beginning of the week ask students to write down words they learned last week and that sound nice in English. Tell your students to choose 0 vocabulary items on two related but different topics to revise. Tell them to walk around, pretending to be friends who haven t seen each other for a long time and who now have many things to say to each other. Put the students in pairs and give each student a grid of x (use the photocopiable sheet at the end of this article). Introduce phrases like: Do you know that last week I learnt new words? ; Oh, really, that s interesting. And what does that word mean? ; I also learnt new words. Do you want to know my words? Act out the dialogue with one of the students before doing the activity as a class. Tell students to fill in the 0 words in the word square. The words can be written horizontally, diagonally and vertically. Tell your students to fill the remaining fields with just any letters. At the end of the activity ask students to get back to their desk and write sentences with the words their old friends told them. The students swap the grids in pairs and circle the 0 words. 6 The students check their answers in pairs. 80

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