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Thread: Big class ideas?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tyr's Avatar
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    Default Big class ideas?

    I've got two lessons left of this school year (weird spring timetable...), both of which are to be with classes of 40 rather than my usual 20.
    They're pretty high level generally- as high level goes with first year high school students anyway, more like lower intermediate/upper beginner- as such this class is just an added extra and not something too important.

    However....

    I cant think of much to do in it.

    I've thought of a few little activities to fill some of the time and sitting them in front of a movie is not a good idea but I'm trying to find some more little ideas or the one good one.

    Any ideas any one?

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    Default Re: Big class ideas?

    I was put in a situation very similar to yours for one lesson at my visit school. The only difference is that I always teach 40 students per class.

    I ended up doing a lesson on different varieties of English around the world. This is one of the activities for this lesson, and should take about 25-30 minutes.

    First of all, I gave all the students little pieces of paper with the name of an English-speaking country on it (in a class of 40, that would be 8 different countries x 5 sheets). I then asked them to form their own teams by asking other students where they were from (e.g. 'Are you from....'/'Yes/No'). They then congregate eventually into teams. Once they were grouped off, I drew a diagram on the board and asked them to sit in various parts of the classroom.

    The next bit required a bit of preparation, but the students enjoyed it a lot and it's not too serious. I downloaded a bunch of files from the internet, including a few from Speech Accent Archive (you have to have QuickTime Pro and 'save as'), and set them questions on what they heard. An example might be -

    Listen to the following clip. <play clip> Where is this person from?
    A) UK, B) Australia, C) Canada

    The teams have 20 seconds per question and then one person holds up a scorecard, given in advance. Your JTE can count scores. You can mix the questions up and do True or False, or first hand up, and so on, just to keep the kids on their toes. As a prize I gave the winning team a little bag of sweets.

    If you do the accent thing, I highly recommend getting hold of some very difficult accent files from the web. I used Geordie (an accent from Northern England) and Nigerian English, and merely asked the students whether or not it was English (A for yes, B for no).

    This is a bit technology-dependent. I found it impossible to burn the files I downloaded onto CD, so I had to connect my laptop up to speakers. You may be more technologically able than me, though.
    Last edited by OdysseyOfNoises; March 14th, 2012 at 13:19.

  3. #3

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    scattergories or goldenbell?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tyr's Avatar
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    Default

    The accents idea sounds like it has potential for a little activity. That site's examples though all sound so similar, nothing particularly weird and wacky- The Glaswegians are trying to affect a posh accent and I can't find any Geordies.


    I thought of some sort of quiz but just can't see a way of doing it well with quite so many kids.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwkelley View Post
    scattergories or goldenbell?
    What are they?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyr View Post
    The accents idea sounds like it has potential for a little activity. That site's examples though all sound so similar, nothing particularly weird and wacky- The Glaswegians are trying to affect a posh accent and I can't find any Geordies.


    I thought of some sort of quiz but just can't see a way of doing it well with quite so many kids.
    40 kids is a challenge, but when I've done it it's been successful, so maybe take heart from that. If it works for me, it'll probably work even better for other people. Just make sure there's a strict time limit for checking with their team, and when they hold their cards up, make a covert note of which team has the right answers. This stops any chaos when you reveal the answer (and any cheating).

    Re: the website. I downloaded a good Irish, South African, Singaporean and Indian one from that site, so there should be enough material to work from for a few questions. For regional accents of the UK it's not as good, so apologies for that.

    A good link for a Geordie one is Accents and dialects of the UK. That website in general is excellent. I just played 20 seconds or so, and asked the kids whether it was English or not. It sounds a bit facile but it really went down well. Kids here don't know how much variety there is in the language.
    Last edited by OdysseyOfNoises; March 14th, 2012 at 18:04.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Big class ideas?

    Both are not nearly as cool as the accent idea, but work if you want to be really lazy. If you have the time maybe steal some sound clips from movies.

    Golden Bell: (this is for large groups, there is a different version if you google it)

    1:Put the students into teams and give each team a white board.
    2:Write 6 topics on the board and number them.
    3:Have a kid a come up and roll a dice. Then give a question related to the topic of whatever number the die landed on.
    4:The groups will have 2-3 minutes to write answers.

    Its good to ask questions with many answers to keep the kids working the whole time.
    Example: Write 6 cities which begin with the letter B. Each city gets 1 point.

    scattergories.
    Again give each team a whiteboard.
    Put 4 subjects on the board. (place, something in the room, people, animals)
    Then give the kids a letter. (A)
    The kids then have to write 1 word for each subject. (Canada, calender, Cat woman, Cat)
    Keep repeating this till the kids get bored or you run out of time. You can also add and change up the categories to keep things interesting.

    Another option is a movie quiz. It has a similar whiteboard group format to the ones above but you show movie clips and ask questions about them.
    Last edited by jwkelley; March 14th, 2012 at 23:24.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Big class ideas?

    With large classes, I've had success playing Crossfire!

    Everybody starts off standing. You ask questions. If they answer, they can sit down, and they choose a row ("down") or column ("cross") to sit down with them. The last person or last few people standing do a punishment game. The punishment depends on your kids - make them count from 1 to 50, sing/recite the ABCs, give a simple self-introduction, whatever you think they can handle.

    You can also include diagonal ("fire") as an option, although sometimes that gets more confusing than it's worth. You can generally play for about 20 minutes or so before the kids lose interest. I like to ask hard questions first so I don't get 40 hands going up at once, then move to easier questions as the last few standing need the confidence boost.

    edit:

    For the Crossfire! questions, besides your typical English questions, you can do random fun challenges: Trivia - ask about baseball stats, geography, characters from mario, etc. Word scramble - write a jumbled word on the board, see who can unscramble it first. Count the triangles - draw a figure and ask how many triangles. For example, a five-pointed star with lines between the points has 10. Make sure you can point them all out yourself! Teach them simple math words and ask them problems. ("What's eleven times eleven?")
    Last edited by agrilledfish; March 15th, 2012 at 14:57.

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    ::Link is broken::

    Crossfire - Full Commercial - YouTube

    here is a video of the game hes talking about.

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    Senior Member Tyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Big class ideas?

    thanks for the help.
    My teacher had an actual teaching idea for half of the class then we had the dice rolling quiz thingy going.

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    Quote Originally Posted by agrilledfish View Post
    With large classes, I've had success playing Crossfire!

    Everybody starts off standing. You ask questions. If they answer, they can sit down, and they choose a row ("down") or column ("cross") to sit down with them. The last person or last few people standing do a punishment game. The punishment depends on your kids - make them count from 1 to 50, sing/recite the ABCs, give a simple self-introduction, whatever you think they can handle.

    You can also include diagonal ("fire") as an option, although sometimes that gets more confusing than it's worth. You can generally play for about 20 minutes or so before the kids lose interest. I like to ask hard questions first so I don't get 40 hands going up at once, then move to easier questions as the last few standing need the confidence boost.

    edit:

    For the Crossfire! questions, besides your typical English questions, you can do random fun challenges: Trivia - ask about baseball stats, geography, characters from mario, etc. Word scramble - write a jumbled word on the board, see who can unscramble it first. Count the triangles - draw a figure and ask how many triangles. For example, a five-pointed star with lines between the points has 10. Make sure you can point them all out yourself! Teach them simple math words and ask them problems. ("What's eleven times eleven?")
    Crossfire is great as a quick warm-up to a class as well. I often use it to do a quick revision of the previous lesson. If your kids get used to it you can play it in 5 minutes or less.

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