So that time of year is approaching again. Back to school! As classes will be starting very soon I want to talk about innovative and easy to prepare activities that can be used in any classroom regardless of lack of resources such as smart boards, projectors or even internet access. It is fantastic to have a wealth of resources and it is certainly a benefit for the student and the teacher as they allow us to save time when preparing a lesson, but the cruel reality is that in the majority of language schools we don´t have a large amount of resources that deviates from the basic whiteboard, sound equipment and (course) books (see Quick warm up activities for ESL teachers and language learners).
How do we as teachers create engaging lessons that cover all of the necessary learning skills (reading, phonics, writing, listening, individual tasks, paired work, group projects) without spending a fortune? I personally have my own special ´little book of ideas´, which I always have on hand during class time or while preparing lessons. This book contains an extensive bank of tried and tested activities that can be adapted to almost any (grammar or vocabulary) unit of study. I suggest doing this as a why of keeping note of useful activities that can be used as time fillers or as a way of creating classroom activities to fulfil learning objectives.
From now on our team will be uploading one of these activities daily so that you too can begin your very own little book of ideas. But for now we will pass on a link to ESL SPEAKING, a website with some great ideas for icebreakers and speaking.
Teaching tip: buy a decent notebook and use it. Keep a note of all the activities that do or don’t work.