Thursday, 5 January 2012

A Few Fun Lesson Ideas with Images and a Blog, Starring Fluffy - The Blogging Mega Star!

Insert a picture of yourself or a pet into the Gallery section of a photo editing site such as Tuxpi, Photofunia, and then ask this question:

How did X get to be exhibited at the National Gallery, London?

Set a time limit of 5 minutes for students to come up with an inventive story either written or orally. The class gets to choose which story they like the best.
This is a fun activity and works well as a filler / warmer /
Invite students to photo edit a photo of theirs and get the class to imagine how they came to be in the particular situation. An example is below:

Fluffy has become a world-famous feline mega star after her Storybird Fluffy The Mouse Catcher sold millions of copies around the world! Her portrait is now hanging in the National Gallery and thousands of visitors are flocking to view it.
Fluffy purrs contentedly when she explains her newly acquired superstar status: "I always knew it would happen one day!"

You can do the same sort of activity with a billboard poster:

Victoria - The Reclusive English Moggy

Image above edited with Dumpr and then screenshot taken.

Lesson Idea to practise Idioms / Expressions
Write a paragraph based on an image of your choice such as the one above of Victoria, Fluffy's house-mate, and create a Wordle by copy pasting your paragraph. Try to include a few examples of idiomatic expressions as a review. Ask students to predict the main content of the short paragraph.

Can you guess some of the content from the words in the Wordle? Sample paragraph is below.

Sadly our English moggy Victoria has been completely overwhelmed by the presence of 5 Italian felines, which include the mischievous Fluffy, and she keeps them all at arms's length. She eats separately from the gang, and keeps herself to herself during the day. Whenever a little mischievous kitten approaches her to try to make friends, she stiffens, hisses and gives it a wide berth.

Victoria's Daily Routine
Ask your students to imagine the daily routine of their favourite pet or animal. Get them to write a few sentences using the present simple. In the past I have used the example below with beginners to practise present simple, and adverbs of frequency. Using images of animals is just a change from always using images of famous people. Young learners in particular find this activity fun.

Fluffy's Blog - World Premiere!!!
Fluffy has agreed to star in her very own blog, which has been set up on Posterous Spaces. The title of her blog is The Hectic Life of a Fluffy Kitten. She may decide to change the name of the blog, so watch this space! It's been kept private for a few weeks while she got a feel for the blog space, but now she feels comfortable with it and I am delighted to feature it here on Janet's Abruzzo Edublog.

She has an "About" page, and also a special page dedicated to Fluffy Idioms!!!

The very first post is entitled "Welcome to Fluffy's World!". I hope you enjoy following her adventures in Abruzzo.

Why set up a blog for Fluffy?
Well, it is to showcase what can be done with a blog, and also to encourage all age groups from young learners to adults to see how much fun it can be to play around with a theme that you are passionate about. It improves literacy skills and writing skills and practises web tools in a fun context!!

I hope these ideas inspire you to try out some of the activities and have fun with editing your images!!

English Raven's Blogging Tips
I have been following Jason Renshaw's fantastic posts on why blog with students, and the posts offer a more in-depth analytical argument for starting a blog. I hope you will be inspired to get your students to write a blog!

Blogging with students (1): Why get them blogging?
Blogging with students (2): Choosing a blogging platform


Sharon said...

Great idea. I think I'll have them bring their own pictures and try it. It might be fun to see if I have any budding photographers in class.

Janet Bianchini said...

Hi Sharon

Thanks for popping by. I'm glad you found this post useful. It's a great idea to get students to take their own photos and then do some of these activities.

Please do pop back to let me know how you got on :-)