The other day I stumbled across The Big ESOL Challenge which a local college is using for CPD. The guy who runs the blog, Sam, was on my teacher training course in 2006 and was the source of much inspiration to me then in many ways for example a great half hour when he showed me all sorts of ideas and ways to use the IWB.
I think this blog is a fab idea! Not only are the challenges good but reading how people met them is incredibly inspiring. I got a great idea from this description of how someone did a materials lite session.
It sparked off an idea of how to do a similar unplugged adjectives session with my E1s as a follow up to the Village Elders lesson where we had began to think about describing words.
So the only resources I had for the class were the following
First we had a quick recap of describing words... then I gave them the postits and asked them to label everything in the class room with adjectives... one adjective per post it. They could label objects and people and they could label someone or something as many times as they liked so long as it was a different adjective!
It took a while for them to get into it... "this is really hard" was the initial response but they did start to enjoy it. They were nervous about sticking adjectives on eachother so I got quite a few stuck to me before they plucked up more courage. (Incidentally the idea for sticking adjectives to people came from Cecilia's lesson found here)
I also needed to encourage them to use different categories of adjectives as we started off with a lot of colours! I finally had to forbid them using colours so we got a bit more variety.
Next we put up some categories of adjectives on the board and they brought the postits and stuck them in the appropriate categories. The board ended up a bit messy but I think they got the general idea. If they had been a higher level or I'd been feeling braver I might have got them to figure out the categories for themselves.
Then they each had to pick five adjectives from different categories and say them. The other members of the class had to guess the person or object being referred to. This was a little slow... and perhaps I should have let them give full sentence descriptions rather than limiting them to the single words.
After that they wrote short descriptions of people / objects in the classroom and then we took it in turns to pull them out of a hat, read them and guess who it referred to. (They were written on white sticky labels so I was planning to get them to stick them to the person or object but I decided that was too repetitive.)
My overall impression of the lesson was good but tiring. I kind of knew where I was going but not having the security of a pile of photocopying there was hard. Also, whilst the language did come from them it was still quite teacher led. Anyway... I also want to write about the language follow up we did but I'll save it for the next post.
Any thoughts on how I could improve this most welcome :-)