25 March 2012

"smile" lesson plan

This is another example of lesson plan. The reason I loved these lesson plans is that they provide a great communication to the learners. I took them from here: 


Language level: Intermediate (B1) +
Learner type: Mature teens; Adults
Time: 90 minutes
Activity: Listening; speaking; reading
Topic: Smiling; optimism
Language: Optimistic vocabulary and expressions
Materials: 2 short films and TED video,video transcripts; PowerPoint presentation
This lesson practises listening, speaking and reading. This optimistic lesson is designed around  a short film School Portrait by director Nick Scott  which tells the story of a jaded, cynical school photographer who tries to give each child a harsh vision of what their future will really look like, but a little girl with an infectious smile teaches him an important life lesson. The lesson also includes images from  a beautiful book Everything Is Going To Be OK which uses positive artwork from a variety of artists, graphic designers and illustrators.  I discovered the book on Maria Popova‘s wonderful Brainpickings
Step 1
Write School Portrait on the board and ask your students if they know what it means. If they don’t know explain that it is a photograph taken at school by a professional photographer. Ask your students if they have had an individual school portrait taken at their school. Ask about their experience. If you have your own school portrait show it to your students.
Ask your students if they can remember what the photographer said to them and how he encouraged them to smile.
Step 2
Tell your students that they are going to watch a short film called School Portrait. Ask them the following question:
How is the photographer different from a normal school photographer?

School Portrait (2011) from Michael Berliner on Vimeo.

Step 3
Cut up the sentences which the photographer says in the School Portrait Dialogue Word document. Put students into small groups and give each group one set of sentences. Tell them they are going to watch the film again and that they have to put the photographer’s sentences into the correct order.
Check answers and get feedback.
Step 3
Put your students  in small groups and ask them to discuss what the message of the film is.
Step 4
The message of the film is that smiling and being optimistic is extremely important in life. Show students the images below taken from a beautiful bookEverything Is Going To Be OK  . Ask them to discuss each image and its message.
Follow up
Ask students if they know what an infectious smile is. Ask them if they know anyone with an infectious smile. Show them the photo below.

Ask your students the following questions:
Do you like this woman’s smile?
Does she smile a lot?
What kind of person do you think she is?
What kind of philosophy does she have about life?
What does she do?
Tell your students they are going to watch a short film about this woman. Ask them to watch the film and check their answers.
Unfortunately, the film can’t be embedded, but here’s link.
For homework give students the link to this TED video in which Ron Gutmantalks about empirical research which shows how important smiling is in life.

Ask students to watch the video and make notes about research which shows that smiling has a positive effect on our lives.
Give students the transcript of the talk.

24 March 2012

Post-it lesson plan

While looking some other blog posts, I found a very effective and enjoyable lesson plan. Therefore, I wanted to keep it in my blog also. Here is:

This lesson is designed around a short film called Post-it Love by Si & Ad
Language level: Pre-intermediate (A2)- Intermediate (B1)Learner type:Teens and adults
Time: 60 minutes
Activity: Watching two short films, speaking, coming up with creative uses of Post-it notes
Topic: Meeting a partner, creativity
Language: Going to + infinitive, could + infinitive
Materials: Two short films, Post-it notes
This lesson is designed around a short film called Post-it Love by Si and Ad (Simon Atkinson and Adam Townley).  Students practice speaking, try to be creative and watch two short films.
Step 1
Ask your students the following question:
Where do most people meet their long-term partner?
Get your students to discuss the question.
Step 2
Tell your students they are going to watch a short film in which the question in step 1 is answered. Show the film until 0:47 and then pause.

Tell them that statistics show that most people meet their partner at work.
Step 3
Tell your students that both office workers are too shy to speak to the other. Ask your students how they could express their affection for each other if they don’t speak to each other. Brainstorm different ways in which they can communicate. They may come up with some of the following:
Emailing, texting, letters, notes, through another person.
Step 4
Tell your students they are going to watch the rest of the film and going to see how they communicate with each other.
Step 5
Ask students what they think of the film. Ask students if they think the film reflects the real problem that many people find it difficult to communicate face-to-face with other people.
Step 6
Put your students in to small groups of three or four. Give each group a block of Post-it notes or a few notes stuck together. Tell them you’d like them to come up with as many different uses as they can for a Post-it note in an office except as something to write a note or reminder on. Give them five minutes to come up with ideas, and then get feedback from each group.
Step 7
Tell your students they are going to watch a short film in which a group of office workers use Post-it notes in very unusual ways.

Get feedback from your students.
Step 8
Put your students into groups of three or four. Tell them you want them to come up with different uses of Post-it notes to help them learn English more effectively. Give them an example such as:
You could write the name of common household objects in English on Post-it notes, and then stick them on the objects. Every time you look at the object, you see the word in English. This helps you to understand and remember the word.
Give them five minutes to come up with uses, and then get feedback from all the groups. Ask them to try to put some of the uses into practice.
I hope you enjoy the lesson.

Memories from the kindergarten

Some of my friends and I started to be volunteer teachers in a kindergarten. In one day of a week, we go there and we, in the group of two,have been teaching English to the children. I see the difference between children's learning and adults' learning. Children learn something very slowly and they need lots of repetitions. I want to share what I and Gizem did there in each week.

The topic of the first week was colors. There were  3 groups who teach English to the children. When we got there, they had already known colors. In the kindergarten, there were 2 groups of children, one of them is consist of 3-4 age group, the other one is 5 age group. Gizem and I wanted to teach the children who are 5 years old. The number of students are about 11-12 ( 3 girls, the others: boys). All of them are willing to learn English. Gizem and I prepared colorful Ginger bread man puppets. We said them we have some guests who are brothers and look like each other. However, to distinguish them, we called different names to them. For example, we said this was pink Ginger, this was blue ginger. After each Ginger's name, we made them repeat. We introduced  Gingers with 7 colors. They were very smart and they knew colors. While introducing Gingers, one of the students asked me how you can know all of these stuff :D I was shocked when I heard this kind of question :D
We distributed a paper to paint for the children. We asked partly, what it is and what it can be in the color of. They said it is sun and it is yellow. Then, they painted the sun in the color of yellow. For each image, we asked the same thing and they did the same thing.

  After that , we said it was the song time. We found a song. It has a rainbow.

They could not sing the song properly, but they caught the rhyme and they tried to sing the song. After some repetitions of the song, we finished the lesson. It was our first experience with young learners. I am very excited for the next week. I love kids although they are a bit mischievous... :)

 This week we wanted to combine the colours with some fruits. However, we had limited time. Therefore, We could not achieved it properly. First, we wanted the other teachers to change the classroom with an another big class because we could not do  physical activities last week. Also, there was a copy problem and we started the lesson by repeating what we did last week. I said if they remember my name and let's introduce ourselves again. Then, we introduced ourselves one by one by shaking hands. There was a colorful caterpillar and we asked its colours. Then, we divided them into two groups as two lines. We played Chinese whisper by telling one colour.  I observed that this naughty class became silent. We said it was a competition. Therefore, they wanted to win. They were energetic. We played a game. I do not know its name in English, but in Turkish its name "deve-cüce". We explained them what "sit down"  and "stand up" were. We commanded these phrases and did the activity. We said sit down and we sat, we said stand up and we stood up. After doing these, we had a picture with grapes. We asked what it is and said its name in English. This week, we could not prepare well enough and we did not have time. However, I am getting used to them. Their voice level is too high and we have to make our voice higher. It is a bit unusual for me, but I am getting used to it :D  Sometimes, they hug me and they want to hold my hand. They always complain about each other. One of them said I missed my mom. Sometimes, they were interested in my clothes :D For example, I was wearing a scarf on my neck. One of them came and said without a reason, you can use it with this style in the cold weathers ( by changing my scarf's style) (in Cyprus-Turkish  "öğretmenim , soğuk havalarda sen bunu böyle de kullanabilin değil ? " ). I smiled and said yes. These questions make me smile and I give answers to them like in their age. Sometimes, we had to show ourself like an authority because they do not listen to you when your voice is too low or if you are too calm. This authority does not mean that  you should shout them al the time. We did not shout , we just made our voice higher to beat down their voice :)  Adventures will go on next week. :)

      We couldn't go the kindergarten. 2 weeks were empty, but my other friends went to there and taught new things to the young learners. This week, we continued to teach fruits to the children.  In the previous week, I tried something to control them.  That is, I wanted them to put their hands on their heads when they finished their tasks.  I came to my mind during the activity and I did not plan it.  I was surprised because all of the learners were silent completely.  They finished their tasks and they waited silently for me to give them a star. Firstly, we made them repeat telling their names in English. We shook hands while introducing ourselves.  We taught them "banana, apple, pear,orange, cherry and strawberry".  They colored the papers which had empty fruits.  We gave a star when they accomplish the task completely.  We asked them what color each of the fruit was by showing from the paper.  We repeated the names of the fruits with their colors.   Then, we had some small orange,red,green and yellow papers.  For example, we asked them to show the apple and which color it was. They said the right answer. We gave them the red ones from the small papers. Moreover, we wanted them to learn sharing, so we made them partners and gave them one glue and very small number of small papers.  We said we would give a gigantic star the one who finished it as first and as the best.  At the end of the lesson, we played Chinese whisper game.  We involved in the game. We started the game by saying one of the fruits name.  They liked the game and tried to say the word correctly.
     I like young learners.  They are very enjoyable and I have difficult times on resisting to stay without hugging and kissing them.  They are very clever and beautiful children.  Although Tuğra is angry with everyone in each lesson and not join the lesson, Arda is offended because of sitting on the pink chair, Ahmet does not care rewards or punishments and Arda the second have misbehavior, I love them. Hüsniye and Özkan are my favorite students. Today, I laughed a lot to Ozkan. Gizem wanted to get their attention by shaking her hands.  Ozkan saw her and said that if we are going immediately or not.(öğretmenim, hemencik kaçarsınız? ) He assumed that we are going because she was showing her body language like in saying goodbye. :)

23 March 2012

Teaching English to Young Learners

In one of my lessons, we have been learning how to teach English to young learners. I wanted to share the ideas we learned in the class because young learners are definitely different from adults in terms of learning a language. They like learning a language with games and songs. we cannot teach them grammar or give them a vocabulary list.
Pelmanism game: You show the flashcards with animals and you say the English names of them while showing it. After that, you show the flashcards with the written form of animals'name.  Then , in a circle, you can close all cards on the ground and you may want them to be 2 groups. They will try to find the card with  animal image with the card with its name in one time.
Kim's game:  There are some objects on the table like a pen, a pencil etc... You say the names of them then you ask the learners what they are. After these repetitions, you say to them "close your eyes". You take one of the object behind you. You ask "what is missing?". This goes on.
---> the other game: in a circle, you give an object next to you by saying its name and the other gives the object next to him/her by saying its name.
---> the other game: There is a balloon and you send the balloon with your hands by saying an animal name to one of your students in the circle. They do not catch the balloon. They will just send the balloon to a friend  by saying an animal name. This can be done for the colors ,also.
Overhead projector: If you want to teach some vocab. items, you can do it in a story by using the overhead projector. Take a piece of paper and cut the middle of it like the image of telescope's glass. Then, you can put the images of the words which you will teach into the middle of the circle paper which you cut. Or it can be like this: you can cut the paper like a queen image and you can put the images of the words into the queen's head, so you can create a story like " what is the queen thinking of?" The other option is to cut the paper like keyhole. Therefore, the students may wonder what is seen by looking through the key hole.
I spy:  It is a game that you choose an object from the class and you say " I spy a pink dog". Then the learners shows or finds the pink dog toy. If they are learning letters, we can say " I spy something with 'd'".  Then, the learners show the dog, as an example.
Listen and do activity:  This song can be used like Total psychical response. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfPg_GzC-HA or

There is nice song which children like so much. Its name is Twinkle twinkle little star.

Circling: When you give learners a separate shit with  different people who have different features in appearance.  For example, first ask the learners "find the person who has eyeglasses." That is, ask  first two questions as affirmative questions, then ask the other questions as negative questions like "Find the person who do not have blue eyes".

Filling: There are two papers. Each of them has eight parts. There are different pictures in each part. In A's paper, there will be some empty areas and the students will sit back to back. A's will ask to B's  "what are there in section 1?". B's will answer like " 2 sheep" . Then , A's will draw 2sheep on the empty section. Also, B's will have some empty sections and they will ask to A's. This can be listen and draw activity.

Winnie the Witch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3QMAKX5xqg You should have the full DVD of this story. The DVD has stories, songs, games and the children like it.

Ginger Bread Man: In a circle, each student has a ginger bread man puppet and the teacher lay out the animal flashcards in the story on the ground.The teacher tells the story and when the teacher say an animal name, they make the puppets run to that animal's picture. Moreover, there are some repeated phrases in the story like "run away" or "I want to eat you".

Finger puppets: Children loves them and you can create a story with these finger puppets.

*** You should  paste posters near the board. The students see them while you are teaching and talking to them.
***You can teach the alphabet with songs. There are a lot of songs in youtube.
***You can label the objects in the classroom. Therefore, the students can learn what it is in English.

1 March 2012

From village institutes to Anatolian Teacher Training High Schools...

In one of my course, I and my friend Gizem introduced a school in Turkey with its historical background.I think  this may help some people who are curious about Turkish education system:

"Teachers make all other professions possible."

As we understand from this quotation, one of the most crucial professions in the world to take the human civilization forward is being a teacher.  Therefore, as teacher candidates and students who graduated from Anatolian Teacher Training High Schools, we want to introduce Çapa Anatolian Teacher Training High School.  First, we should mention village institutions to understand the importance of Çapa Anatolian Teacher Training High School.
After Turkey was exposed to all destructive wars, the new born Turkey was in need of a lot of  improvements in all areas, but especially in education. Because of that reason , village institutes were estaibleshed in Anatolia around !940's. The goal of the institute was to provide educators to the villages which are didn't have any teachers.  With this aim , government and picked the brilliant young students who graduated from the primary schools and the government trained them. Then, these educated students were sent back to their villages as a teachers. The most important thing in these institues, while fifty percent of the education formal, the other fifty percent consisted of informal education which was practical such as construction, agriculture and the rules of good manners. In a short, these institutes could gather all the abilities of the human beings in one person. These institutes were closed because of the political issues. However, the closure was not a sudden action. In a time, the institutes were forced to shade off to the formal and memorizer education instead of  practical education. It was named as Anatolian Teacher High School. 
The first changed school was Çapa Anatolian Teacher Training High School. It was originally established in 1848 to train just male students after the reforms. In1951, It became like a college. When one graduated from this school, he or she started to work as teachers. In 1991, the school took its current name as Çapa Anatolian Teacher Training High School. The importance of that school is to provide successful and high qualified teachers. These kinds of schools’ situations have changed in a time. Although they are taking pedagogical classes,  they cannot  get their professions after their graduations.  They have to go to the University to be educators. The students who graduate from this school can choose other professions too. If they choose to be teachers, they get extra points in the university entrance exam. 
To conclude, although this school witnessed to a lot of modifications in its history, it has still great potential to train well-quallified educated students for Turkish Republic.