Pair Interview Activity and Worksheet

Spring Break has come and gone, but has given students a lot to talk about.  For the first lesson after the break, I like to do an interview and presentation activity to get my students back into English mode.

We begin with a simple greeting and question activity using follow-up questions to elicit more information after a simple yes/no question.  From there, we work through the question words on the worksheet and make four questions to use in our interviews.

Students then form pairs and are given 5 to 10 minutes to interview their partners about what they did over the break.  They use that information to make a short paragraph about their partner’s activities.  When the time limit is up, one of the students from each pair stands up and presents the paragraph they have prepared to the rest of the class.  When the presentations are finished, students find a new partner and repeat as before, this time the students who didn’t present in round one present their prepared paragraphs.

It’s a fun and simple activity that allows students to exchange information and support each other while shaking off some of the rust that invariably accrues over a long vacation.  It also works well for mixed level classes, where more advanced students can assist the lower level learners.

Pair Interview Worksheet

Winter Break Questions

Winter break has come and gone, and everyone is back in study mode.  Here is a worksheet I made up to help students talk about their winter break experiences in English.

It is a fairly easy task that can spark some interesting discussions.  First, using the question words at the top of the page, students make 5 questions to ask others.  The question words and verbs are mixed up, students should pay attention to which verbs they are using with the various question words.

Once the questions are written in the provided spaces, students make pairs and ask and answer one question each about their winter break, writing their partner’s answer in beneath the question.

What did you eat over winter break?

Billy ate fried chicken over winter break.

– or simply –

Billy ate fried chicken.

 

For more advanced students, encourage (or require) them to ask at least one follow up question before changing partners.

 

 
winterbreak_questions worksheet

Because after a while… more time expressions

Here is a worksheet for practicing time prepositions and to get a little more experience thinking in English.  The goal of this worksheet is for students to complete the sentences with content they think of on their own.

The plan is fairly simple.  First, review the vocabulary, and let students write the meaning of the words in the box on the lines provided so as to minimize confusion.  Next, have the students look over the worksheet and make sure that the task is clear and there are no other grammar or vocabulary questions. Once everyone understands the task, let them have at it.

More advanced learners should be able to complete the worksheet by themselves, making original sentences.  For lower ability students, working to complete the task in pairs or small groups may be more effective.  If students are still having difficulties, the task can be completed as a class. When the worksheet is finished, students can share their original sentences with a partner.afterwhile_wksht

Classroom Games For Larger Classes

It dawned on me that I’ve never talked about the classroom games I use.
Here’s where I fix that.

I use several janken (rock-scissors-paper) games on a regular basis in my
classes. They are a fun and easy way to drill vocabulary and let off steam at
the same time.

 

Janken Stations

I use this game frequently with the phonics flashcards. How it works is
simple. I put five (or so) flashcards on the board. Then I choose one
student to stand in front of each card, manning the station. The other
students form lines in front of each station. The student at the front of the
line greets the student manning the flashcard, then they both say the word or phrase on the card. The two then do rock-scissors-paper. The winner mans the station and the loser joins another line to try again. There is no real “end” to this game, so I usually set a time limit and whoever is manning the stations at the end can be considered the winners.

 

Janken Race

This game is a good lively vocabulary drill game. First, make row of
flashcards across the blackboard. I usually use eight cards depending on the
difficulty of the vocabulary and the size of the blackboard. Split the class
into two teams and have them line up at opposite ends of the blackboard. The
first students in line each point at the flashcard on their end of the row and
say the word or phrase on the card. They then proceed to the next card, say
the word, proceed to the next card, and so on. The two players will meet
somewhere in the middle and do rock-scissors-paper. The winner continues
forward, while the loser goes to the end of their team’s line and the next
player starts. If a player makes it all the way to the other end of the row
of cards, that player’s team gets a point. Whichever team scores the most
points wins!

 

Friend Catcher Janken

This game is another good vocabulary drill game. Divide the class into two
teams and have them line up opposite each other. The teacher stands at the
front of the two lines and holds up a flashcard. The students at the front of
the line each say the word or phrase on the card then do rock-scissors-paper.
The student that loses is “caught” by the winning student. The winner leads
the loser to the back of the winner’s team’s line and the next two students
play. At the end of the game the biggest team wins. I usually determine the length of the game by how many times I want to cycle through the flashcards I’m using.

 

 

I’ve used other games over the years, but these three are the ones I keep
coming back to. They are easy to play, require little or no explanation,
and my elementary school students really enjoy them.

Hi Friends 1 Lesson 2 “How are you?”

Hi Friends 1 Lesson 2 is a scant two pages, covering a topic most students already have a fairly good handle on.  The “How are you?  I’m fine thank you.” call and response is fairly entrenched in most Japanese learners of English.  I like to take this opportunity to break students out of the “I’m fine thank you” habit and teach them some other expressions and feelings.

 

To that end, I have created a set of feelings flash cards that can be found here.

Also, to make a more meaty lesson, there is an interview worksheet available here.

 

Even with the extra material, this lesson really only requires one class period to complete.  I have some supplemental materials that I use at this time which I will post in a few days.

Simply put, the plan for this lesson is:

1- Greeting

2- present vocabulary (cards)

3- Listening in book (page 8)

4- present Interview task

5- do Interview activity, glue finished interview sheets on p.9

6- Finish

 

Pretty smooth, don’t you think?

Hi Friends 2 Race to 100

Hi Friends 2 starts out with a wildly disjointed unit which begins with counting, using “How many…?”.  From there the unit shifts focus to the alphabet and lower-case letters and the “Do you have a …?” structure.

To impose some order on this mess, I try to keep the focus on counting and numbers to 100.  Drilling numbers gets dull quickly though, so I’ve come up with a little challenge to spice up the task.

The Race to 100 team challenge is really quite simple.  Students sit in a circle and pass a baton or ball while saying a number.  The first student starts at 1, the next student says 2, and so on, passing the baton until they’ve arrived at 100.  Using a stopwatch, time how long it takes each class to make it to 100, and make it a competition.

I’ve prepared a scorecard for keeping track of class times.  If you only have one group of 6th graders, try breaking up the class into smaller groups and running them off against each other.  It’s a good team building exercise.  I usually run off two or three attempts at the beginning of class, then transition to an easy game using the alphabet cards in the text.

Give it a try and share your results in the IRC chat!

2013_RaceTo100_chart

Teaching in Japan Chat

In celebration of the end of the school year and in anticipation of the next,

Hiconic Image is proud to present the Teaching in Japan Chat Room.

All you need to do to participate is enter a chat nickname, no password necessary.

Join the chat to share thoughts and ideas, ask questions, or just blow off

steam.  Please mind your manners, tho.

You can connect through HiconicImage at the link above,

or if you prefer to use your own chat client, point it to

irc.geekshed.net  #teachinginjapan

English or Japanese, either one is welcome!