Inside my classroom: Halloween video comprehension

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Time for another halloween themed video lesson with this short film:

Play the clip to students, then hand out a comprehension sheet and play it again (I find I have to let them watch first without having 30 pieces of paper flapping in people’s hands).

The language is really simple and has handy subtitles so you could easily adapt your questions to suit any ability.

Here are some example questions to get you started:

What date is halloween?
What vegetable are they carving into a lantern?
What are they carving the pumpkin into?
What do they put inside the pumpkin?
What does fancy dress mean?
What is the boy dressing up as?
What is the girl dressing up as?
What time do they get changed into their outfits?
What other outfits can you see at the party?
What fruit did they play games with?
What is apple bobbing?
Who comes to the door?
What do the trick or treaters say?
What do they give the trick or treaters?

Depending on the level of the class you could choose to use multiple choice questions, open questions or a mixture of both.  With lower ability classes I often go through the video and pause it at specific points to give the students a chance to read the subtitles fully.  If you make sure that your questions run in chronological order you can pause the video as each answer crops up to make it even less challenging.

A further activity that you can do for advanced students with any video comprehension lesson is to have them write their own questions for a partner – students love to play teacher every now and then!

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Inside my classroom: Halloween creative writing

inside my classroom halloween lesson ideas

With Halloween just around the corner why not incorporate some spookiness into your lessons?

Here are some short films that are excellent prompts for a goulish creative writing lesson;

Take a trip with a young boy to the museum to look at the dinosaurs where things aren’t quite right.  What happens next..?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WXXsdGWPEM

Venture inside a spooky cave, what will you find inside?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3l4q8HdRcA

Journey through an old graveyard, where ghosts and ghouls lay behind the gravestones…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmN_He6e-AA

As the videos have no spoken language in them they can act as inspiration for all abilities and incorporating any vocabulary or writing techniques that you have been teaching.  None of them are overly scary, most of the spookiness is up to your imagination, so they are fine to use with younger children.

Students can be shown a film and create a story board, rewrite what they saw, predict what happens next or make an alternative ending.

More Halloween themed lesson ideas:

Halloween video comprehension

In my classroom: Onomatopoeia part 2 – Fireworks

Looking for Halloween lesson ideas?  Click here!

In the previous lesson I introduced the concept of onomatopoeia and we looked at examples of sound words and their uses.  In this lesson I wanted the students to apply the new words that they had learned.

To start the lesson I played the audio only of the video below.  I didn’t tell them any information about the video, just asking them to listen carefully and think about what they can hear.

We listened to it another time, and this time I encouraged the students to think about what sound words could be used to describe the sounds we could hear.

Some sound words suggested included;

bang        pop           whoosh

crackle         crack         snap

fizz          hiss         boom

We then listened for a third and final time, followed by a brainstorm on the board about what the students thought they could hear.

Some things that the students thought that they could hear included;

balloon exploding        war       plastic bag

frying         cashier       snakes

tearing      velcro     fireworks

far away guns

After a good discussion about the sounds that we could hear and what they might be, I finally played the video on the projector screen for all to see.  The students were really excited to find out what the sounds were and they were surprised to find that they were all different types of fireworks.  As we watched the video I pointed out the different sound words as they appeared.

I then handed out this worksheet where students needed to think about sound words (onomatopoeia), action words (verbs) and adjectives that could be used to describe the fireworks in the video.

I then asked students to come up with five descriptive sentences using the words on their worksheet.  For students that find free writing a little more challenging I wrote a few sentence structures on the board to help them;

Fireworks are (action) and (action) in the night sky.
(Adjective) fireworks (sound) and (sound).
Fireworks (sound), (action) and (action).
(Adjective) fireworks (sound –ing) and (sound-ing).
Using examples on google images, I asked the students to use their sentences to create a fireworks shape poem for homework.
Here are some examples of the work that I received the following lesson.
New fireworks poem
firework poemThis one in particular impressed me as the student had created rhymes and a good rhythm which I hadn’t asked for.  Although it wasn’t strictly a shape poem…!
I have a lot more that I want to take some pictures of but I went and gave them back to the students before I had thought about getting a few snaps!  Hopefully I will be able to add them at a later date as there was some really impressive work.
This was a really fun couple of lessons covering a subject that an ESL teacher usually wouldn’t have included in their curricculum – the beauty of being left to my own devices.  Some people find the thought of teaching creative writing a bit daunting but hopefully this goes to show that if you simplify and break down the process you can have entire classes of students creating wonderful pieces of writing!

This is the second lesson of two that I taught within the topic of onomatopoeia.  If you would like to check out the first lesson, click here.