Inside my Classroom: Take This Lollipop – creepy internet safety resource

take this lollypop

Take This Lollipop is an online interactive film that has been around since 2010 and I have used it time and time again both back in the UK in a youth work setting, and in my ESL teaching here in Thailand.

Once of the units I needed to cover with one of my classes last year was Internet Safety – an important topic to explore with young people – and I used Take This Lollipop as a way of introducing the concept of privacy and protection on the internet.

The way it works is that someone has to log in using their facebook on the homescreen at takethislollipop.com – remember, this resource was created to highlight the importance of protecting your information on the internet so they don’t save any of the log in details once the activity is complete.

Once logged in, the film starts.  We see a creepy man sat at a computer surfing the net.  He starts checking out facebook and hey, who’s that?  It’s the profile of whoever logged in at the beginning.  He starts ‘facebook stalking’ the profile and starts behaving quite disturbingly.  Photographs of the facebook user and their friends start to show up – it really freaks out the students to see this horrible man looking at pictures of them.

Depending on how much information the facebook user has on their profile, the creepy man looks up their address and used google maps to see the street.  If the student hasn’t listed an address it will only zoom into their hometown – but if they have written their whole address on their profile it will zoom right in on their street.

The film ends as the creepy guy drives off in his car with the facebook users’ profile picture taped to the dashboard.

This interactive online film is excellent for starting discussion on internet safety, information protection and privacy.  It also helps to highlight how important it is that we think about how much personal information we choose to share on social networking sites.

Have a go at home with your own facebook first and see how much it freaks you out!

……………………………….

Those of you who have liked the facebook page will already be aware that I have put Teacher Tuesday to bed – it was just too limiting only being a Tuesday kinda thing.  Inside my classroom will have exactly the same content of lesson ideas, inspirations and useful links, only now I can share things with you any day of the week.  Tuesdays just weren’t working for me anymore, it’s nothing personal…

Advertisements

Teacher Tuesday: Pack your bags camp warmer

It is part and parcel of the TEFL experience to take part in a school camp.   Sometimes over a weekend, usually involving some sort of overnight aspect and almost always never actually involving any actual camping, the school camp is a great opportunity to get to know your students outside of the classroom and have some fun.

The school camp will often involve bringing together different groups of students who wouldn’t normally study or socialise together.  We’ve all been in those situations where we are thrust into unnatural groups and forced to take part in activities and the beginning stages of shyness and awkwardness are magnified when those being thrown together are Thai teenagers.

Cue a not-too-challenging, on topic ice breaker!

I made this activity to open a school camp for Matthayom 1 students who I knew already had the basic vocabulary knowledge needed to complete the activity.

Students are required to match pictures and words of a range of items and then sort the items into ‘pack’ and ‘not pack’ .  The activity can be introduced by saying that we are all getting ready to go on a school camp but firstly we need to pack our bags.

Students can work in small groups or against the clock, with the teacher reviewing the answers at the end and awarding a winner.

-DOWNLOAD-

Click here to download the picture and word cards.  Simply print and laminate if you can – now you have your very own go-to camp warm up activity!

It’s just something nice and simple to get students talking and thinking.  You could also use this activity in the classroom if you were studying topics such as going on vacationclothing or as a general activity for more advanced students.

This is part of a new weekly feature – Teacher Tuesday – make sure you come back next week for another lesson idea.  If you have an idea to share as part of Teacher Tuesday feel free to get in touch 

 

Teacher Tuesday: Food in Britain video lesson

There is a whole range of ‘… in Britain’ videos on YouTube that, although a little dated, are perfect for use in the ESL classroom.  I found that the level of language was perfect for my students, and the options for what you can do with the videos is endless.  Most of them are subtitled too which really helps the students to follow.

In this particular video, Food in Britain, we are taken on a culinary tour of traditional British food.  The students found it really interesting and it generated a lot of questions.

-Food in Britain-

What I have done with this video in particular is play it to the students and follow it up with a video comprehension.  This can be either written or oral.  Below is a list of questions that I have used alongside this particular video:

1)       What can be delivered to people’s houses in the morning?

2)       What is the morning meal called?

3)       What is in a traditional English breakfast?

4)       What do people eat for lunch?

5)       Where do most people buy their food from?

6)       How do you cook convenience food?

7)       What is the evening meal called?

8)       What other types of food can be eaten in restaurants?

9)       What don’t vegetarians eat?

10)       What traditional food is eaten with chips?

Other extension activities that could be done include;

  • looking at similarities and differences between British food and food from your students’ country
  • discussing how the food looks and tastes
  • creating a favourite foods survey
  • creating a video, piece of writing or presentation on local food
  • looking at recipes or even trying to cook!

This is part of a new weekly feature – Teacher Tuesday – make sure you come back next week for another lesson idea.  If you have an idea to share as part of Teacher Tuesday feel free to get in touch 

 

In my classroom: a video favourite

It’s high time I started sharing some of the things I use in my classroom again. This video has been a firm favourite of mine when teaching within the topic of countries – I especially like playing it to the students and then tricking them into thinking we have a pop quiz on how many country names they can remember!

Some of the countries are out of date but it’s just a bit of fun and it’s handy to highlight just how many countries there are – many of my students are unaware of the countries outside of S E Asia and it’s always a beneficial lesson to help them to realise how big the world really is.

The students really enjoyed looking out for when Yakko sings the name of their country and all gave a big whoop when he did.

Just something fun to introduce a bit of a dry topic.

EDIT:  I’ve just been informed that the video missed out South Africa!  Are there any more glaring omissions?

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.