Friday, April 14, 2017

#ELT Book Challenge: 50 activities for the first day of School by Walton Burns

I would characterise myself as a list person. I love making lists. I love reading lists. I love collecting lists. I also love teaching so what better combination could I find than a book about teaching with a list of activities?
I recently read (and took lots of notes from) "50 activities for the first day of school" by Walton Burns, which contains 50 detailed activities and wonderful ideas about what you can do on the beginning of the school year and not only.
I would say that most of them are wonderful ice-breakers for the rest of the year as well. Especially when you work with beginners, you can use some of these activities to teach them how to spell their names, how to talk about themselves, personal pronouns, adjectives and so much more.
I particularly liked all the kinaesthetic activities like "Simon says", "Pantomime" "Scavenger Hunt" , "Toss a ball", "Snowball texting" which I frequently use in my classes, especially with my younger students. Children just love movement and they are always willing to try out new things.
Drawing is also something I would use - children like talking about themselves anyway, so the joining of the two is a big success in the class. My students were so enthusiastic about depicting their families, their homes and it was really fun when they tried to use English to describe what they had drawn.
With older students I have tried "Study Habits Myths" and "Sharing Tips", especially this time of the year, when the exams are approaching. It was a great way to have students talking in English trying to help their classmates with their tips and advice in a playful way.
What I really liked the most, though was the"Time Capsule' idea. I can't wait for end of the year. This shows all the progress the students have made and makes them proud of themselves.
All in all I enjoyed reading and using this ebook and I believe it will be a great reference in my classes and lesson plans.

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