Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January in Brazil

In Brazil, January is usually a period for vacationing. After New Year's Day though, many people continue working normally. School term, however, only starts in February. This year in particular, because the World Cup will be held here, school term will start late January. Apart from New Year's Day and Peace Day, both on January 1st, there are no other significant celebrations this month.  

Monday, January 13, 2014

Happy Birthday!

After being introduced to vocabulary related to birthdays (gifts, party, cake, balloons, and names of toys) my students also learned to congratulate someone for their birthday and how to ask Yes/No questions with the verb TO BE.

S1: Happy Birthday!
S2: Thanks.
S1: This is for you. (a gift)
S2: Thank you very much! Is it a …….?
S1: Yes, it is.

S1: Happy Birthday!
S2: Thanks.
S1: This is for you. (a gift)
S2: Thank you very much! Is it a …….?
S1: No, it isn't. It's a ………

After being presented to the dialog and practicing for a while, my students were given a sheet in blank.

1) They folded their sheet in two.

2) They drew and colored ( ON THE INSIDE) a gift they would like to get for their birthday or a gift they have received for their birthday.

3) Then, they drew a gift like picture ON THE OUTSIDE of the paper. (wrapping paper patterned and a ribbon)

4) Monitor students, so you have an idea of the gifts there are because later on, they will exchange their gifts. Thus, it's important to mentally arrange them in pairs in a way everyone receives an appropriate gift.

5) After that, I chose the pairs and called them out and two by two, they acted out the conversation above and exchanged their gifts. Remember that during the dialog, they have to guess what the gift is by asking "Is it a ….?" In case the student doesn't guess it at all, you can encourage students to ask "What is it?" In my class, there was one student alone, so I participated by drawing one gift myself. During the dialog, students exchanged their gifts and sat down.

6) In the end, they glued their gift drawing to their notebooks and wrote a thank you letter.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Benefits of Drawing

Check this out!

Let's go to the zoo

My students learned how to describe animals' physical characteristics and abilities. The structure  learned here was the verbs HAVE and BE. Among other words, they learned MANE, STRIPES, SPOTS, FEATHERS, TAIL, SCALES, FINS, HORNS, FUR, WHISKERS, TRUNK, WINGS,TEETH. Here is a fun task designed to consolidate the structure and vocabulary: 

1) Students drew, colored and cut out their favorite animal. (In order to prevent too many students from drawing the same animal, which is likely to happen, you can write the animals' names in slips and have students to draw one. That would also prevent arguments among them.) 

2) After they finished their animals, they taped them to brown pieces of paper and taped them to the board. 

3) We played a game.

Option 1- Q/A Practice: Students individually go to the board, point at an animal and asks a peer "What DO lions look like?" or "What DOES a lion look like?" or "What does THIS butterfly look like?" Yes/No questions can also be practiced such as "Do lions have a long tail?" 

Option 2 - Hot Potato: Students sit in a circle. When the music stops, the student with the ball answers a question based on the cut outs. There can also be two balls, one for the question and one for the answer. (Another option is to simply say a sentence such as "Lions have… or Lions are… or Lions can...". ) 

Option 3 - The Wacky Race

Friday, January 10, 2014

What's there in your island?

After learning the verb THERE TO BE, my students drew an island and described it by using the vocabulary learned (Volcano/ Forest/River/Waterfall/Beach/Valley/Mountain/Lake)

OPTION 2: The Island Song 

Super Duper Worth it

Boo hoo! Vacation is over and we're on our way back to Brazil. Although many people think traveling is more exhausting than relaxing, I think otherwise. Traveling and being able to meet different people  and see different places is totally worth it! It's worth the twelve-hour flight and other little inconveniences such as the freezing weather.  I'll have wonderful memories and stories to tell.

The activities below have as a final outcome 'writing about your last vacation'. 
Suggestions for Activities

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Super Duper Bummer!

Nooooo!!! Time flies when you're having fun. It's a bummer that we're leaving tomorrow. There's still so much to be seen and done! Today, we went to  MANITOU SPRINGS. We went hiking exploring, shopping and, of course,  we grabbed a bite to eat. A great place to spend some time in and shop for souvenirs.  The weather was about 8o C in the afternoon, hotter than the previous days but still cold, compared to Brasilia. The houses built there are magnificent. I only wanted to take pictures of them.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Super Duper Close

We had tons of fun today. Five minutes away from our hotel, OLD COLORADO CITY is a place full of galleries, specialty shops, boutiques and restaurants with live music.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Super Duper Awesome

Going to Colorado and not going skiing is like going to Brazil and not eating feijoada or having a caipirinha (a local food and drink). We would have loved to go to Aspen but it was a four-hour trip, so we chose to go to ARAPAHOE BASIN, a ski resort which is known for having one of the longest ski seasons in North America (often from mid-October to early June) and is only two hours away from our hotel. Needless to say it was totally AWESOME!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Super Duper Family Fun

Colorado Springs today was beautiful. Let's face it! I love my hometown, Brasilia, but snow is something I will never see there as long as I live. Therefore, I'm enjoying every minute of this fantastic trip. Despite the temperature, which was -5o C, we didn't have any snow. We had the sun and a few clouds, though. PIKES PEAK is one hour and ten minutes away from our hotel. We left the hotel in the morning, so we could enjoy our visit as much as possible. We've been to GARDEN OF THE GODS, too, where we have exhibits, walks, hikes and tours. Never before had I seen such beauty. I'm delighted by it's uniqueness and breathtaking views!

We've been to CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN ZOO, where we tried delicious food, visited and fed the animals and watched the Animal Show.

What do they look like?

After my students learned how to describe themselves and their peers, we did a wrap up coloring activity. Each student was given a piece of brown paper, colored pencils and markers. First, they drew and colored themselves. After that, as they taped their drawings to the board, they described themselves using the structure learned, which is "I am… / I have….". During their description, make any necessary corrections in pronunciation. Then, they played a guessing game. I arranged them in two groups (boys X girls) and allowed them to practice the structure by referring to the drawings. For instance, a student from the boys' group said to a student in the girls' group "This student is.../has…, who is that?" After discussing with her team, if the girl answers the question correctly, the girls get the point. They take turns for awhile until they have practiced enough. The team with more points is the winner. Students can also ask "What does ____ look like?" (Make sure that they answer the questions by using "He is.../He has…")

 Optional: Tic Tac Toe

In case there are 9 students or more, tape their drawings on the board as in a tic tac toe grid (three columns of three drawings each). As students describe the drawings correctly, tape cut outs of Xs or Os on them. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Super Duper Cold

We got here yesterday. It's 9:34 now. This is the Broadmoore Hotel here in Colorado Springs. It's -12o C. SUPER DUPER FREEZING!!!! Mom and dad are inside having breakfast. Despite the cold weather, which I love, I can't wait to go sightseeing and make some memories. I'll keep you guys posted!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Drawing Dictation

Age: Children
Focus: Vocabulary Practice

This is a super simple activity. I usually do it as a warm up after students have practiced ANY vocabulary presented. It consists in dictating the words and having students draw them. They have a laugh! As they draw them, you can tell whether they understand the vocabulary or not. Another option here is to have students draw them in their notebooks instead. You can also dictate the colors. For instance: "Draw a ladybug and color it red and black" (to make the task more fun, you can say different colors, instead.)


Thursday, January 2, 2014

At Last: My Well Deserved Vacation

 My parents and I have just finished packing. We finally have everything prepared for our next vacation.  We're not going to Europe though. We're flying to Sao Paulo and there, we're taking a plane to Colorado. We're going to stay at a hotel. My parents get bored very easily, so we're going to stay there for just a week. If I'm lucky, I'll talk them into staying longer. 

 It's gonna be an eleven-hour flight from Sao Paulo to our destination but it's fine by me! I'm so excited, I just can't keep still. Bye!