View Full Version : Your best and worst lessons, ever.

September 21st, 2008, 00:48
So, have done a few lessons (well, games) so far for my various SHS classes and aside from one epic fail, they have all gone decently. Am expected to make most from scratch and teach full lessons. So wondering; what worked for you? what didn't?
Please also mention whether you are teaching elementary, JHS or SHS.

T/F question based gambling game with small prizes students could buy with the 'money' they won. Only did/doing this for my best classes though as it would be too expensive otherwise.

Attempted pictionary with a low level class. Most students barely tried to draw and just told their groups the word in japanese when I wasn't looking. Tried it again but had students draw on the board, which was sheer unproductive bedlam.

September 22nd, 2008, 13:33
I have done the same with Pictionary. In one of my lower level classes, or not jus tlow level, but with students who are very unmotivated, it bombed.

I did the same game in my best class and it was a blast; all the students got into it.

September 23rd, 2008, 00:41
My shittiest lesson was also pictionary, in the 3nensei elective class (I work in JHS). The JTE was convinced that they would be thrilled with it, but the kids could hardly be bothered to raise their heads off the desks, let alone go up and draw something.

Best lesson was probably with my high level 3nensei class. Spent about 40 minutes teaching them about global poverty issues. I handed out a set of 10 pictures to each group, read 10 descriptions of the pictures and they had to match them up, then match up the countries with the countries they came from. I didn't tell them the point of the lesson at first, but had them tell me what all the countries had in common that we just talked about, which then led to a discussion of global income inequality. Wasn't the most genki lesson, but a lot of the kids were really enlightened by it. Most of them honestly had no idea that many countries in mainland asia suffer so much and a few actually started a collection drive, which was nice.

September 23rd, 2008, 05:31
I'll concentrate on ALT lessons rather than those done here or Australia.
Best was a speaking activity where each student had a card with a picture of a person and some other personal details. The cards were in pairs, so even though many of the pictures on them looked identical the details were different (age, hobbies, height etc.) The students loved it and I ended up doing it for a demo lesson, handing out card sets to other ALTs who wanted them. It can be adapted for a low or high level class fairly easily. PM me if you want it with your email address.

Another good one was a lesson on adverbs of frequency where, after teaching the target words and having students answer some simple questions by interviewing each other ("How often do you ride a bicycle to school?" "I rarely ride a bicycle to school" etc.) I then had a cloze exercise (fill-in-the-blanks) for students to listen for key words only and write them down. The CD I made was a series of 12 snippets from various songs including "Home on the Range" ('where seldom is heard...') and "You can't always get what you want" (or whatever that Stones' song is called). Low-level kids ate it up.

Worst was my first lesson in the new you-beaut purpose-built "Computer aided language (CALL) Centre" when the technology completely failed but owing to the Head of English's faith in it, the JTE and I had been admonished about even thinking of creating a Plan B. Utter chaos for about 10 minutes whilst I thought of something else to do.

Worst one that was my fault was my second lesson at my first (very low level) school in Osaka. I completely overestimated the pupils' ability, based on how well they did during my self-intro lesson. So they got de-motivated very quickly and I had to rewrite most of what I was doing on the spot. There was no JTE present (I believe he'd gone for a coffee. Or a wank. He always left class and never told me where he was going).