Posted in Education

Activities (Low Achievers Plan)

Hello Teachers Community

In this post, you’ll find some activities you could use in your low achievers plan. Remember that with low achievers you should start from scratch with easy exercises, so they don’t feel lost and confused. Don’t use the regular activities you usually prepare for an average class, otherwise you will get no benefits.





















Posted in Education

Speaking Activities

Role Play

One other way of getting students to speak is role-playing. Students pretend they are in various social contexts and have a variety of social roles. In role-play activities, the teacher gives information to the learners such as who they are and what they think or feel. Thus, the teacher can tell the student that “You are Dana, you go to the doctor and tell him what happened last night, and…”


Simulations are very similar to role-plays but what makes simulations different than role plays is that they are more elaborate. In simulations, students can bring items to the class to create a realistic environment. For instance, if a student is acting as a singer, she brings a microphone to sing and so on. Role plays and simulations have many advantages. First, since they are entertaining, they motivate the students. Second, they increase the self-confidence of hesitant students, because in role play and simulation activities, they will have a different role and do not have to speak for themselves, which means they do not have to take the same responsibility.

Information Gap

In this activity, students are supposed to be working in pairs. One student will have the information that other partner does not have and the partners will share their information. Information gap activities serve many purposes such as solving a problem or collecting information.  Also, each partner plays an important role because the task cannot be completed if the partners do not provide the information the others need. These activities are effective because everybody has the opportunity to talk extensively in the target language.


On a given topic, students can produce ideas in a limited time. Depending on the context, either individual or group brainstorming is effective and learners generate ideas quickly and freely. The good characteristics of brainstorming is that the students are not criticized for their ideas so students will be open to sharing new ideas.


Students can briefly summarize a tale or story they heard from somebody beforehand, or they may create their own stories to tell their classmates. Story telling fosters creative thinking. It also helps students express ideas in the format of beginning, development, and ending, including the characters and setting a story has to have. Students also can tell riddles or jokes. For instance, at the very beginning of each class session, the teacher may call a few students to tell short riddles or jokes as an opening. In this way, not only will the teacher address students’ speaking ability, but also get the attention of the class.


Students can conduct interviews on selected topics with various people. It is a good idea that the teacher provides a rubric to students so that they know what type of questions they can ask or what path to follow, but students should prepare their own interview questions. Conducting interviews with people gives students a chance to practice their speaking ability not only in class but also outside and helps them becoming socialized. After interviews, each student can present his or her study to the class. Moreover, students can interview each other and “introduce” his or her partner to the class.

Story Completion

This is a very enjoyable, whole-class, free-speaking activity for which students sit in a circle. For this activity, a teacher starts to tell a story, but after a few sentences he or she stops narrating. Then, each student starts to narrate from the point where the previous one stopped. Each student is supposed to add from four to ten sentences. Students can add new characters, events, descriptions and so on.


Before coming to class, students are asked to read a newspaper or magazine and, in class, they report to their friends what they find as the most interesting news. Students can also talk about whether they have experienced anything worth telling their friends in their daily lives before class.

Picture Narrating

This activity is based on several sequential pictures. Students are asked to tell the story taking place in the sequential pictures by paying attention to the criteria provided by the teacher as a rubric. Rubrics can include the vocabulary or structures they need to use while narrating.

Picture Describing

Another way to make use of pictures in a speaking activity is to give students just one picture and having them describe what it is in the picture. For this activity students can form groups and each group is given a different picture. Students discuss the picture with their groups, then a spokesperson for each group describes the picture to the whole class. This activity fosters the creativity and imagination of the learners as well as their public speaking skills.

Find the Difference

For this activity students can work in pairs and each couple is given two different pictures, for example, picture of boys playing football and another picture of girls playing tennis. Students in pairs discuss the similarities and/or differences in the pictures.

Action Story

This can be done in 2 ways.

A) You tell a story that has a whole great of actions in it and as a speaker you have to do these actions yourself whilst speaking.

B) Or the audience has to do the actions themselves while the speaker is giving their speech.

So you could say; I did a big stretch when I woke up in the morning. And everybody has to stretch. And then you say, I put on my hat, and everybody has to do the actions in line with that.

Make A Commercial

Get a bunch of things from your room or from your house, bring them in and you need to make a commercial about these items.

Someone is giving a random product. It might be a deodorant, might be an iphone, it could be anything. And then they are required to give a 30 second to 1 minute commercial on this product and talk about why this is so awesome and why people should buy it. So that’s a really fun one as well.

A Fake Holiday

This one is done with images primarily and a set of images that are related to each other.

So it could be a farm where you have images of animals, or the barn house or something funny happening on the farm.

The speaker is required to tell maybe 1, 2 or 3 sentences for each image and then you click forward to the next image.

Then they need to use the next image to continue the story.

So you are using these images as the key cards, as to where the story needs to go so the person needs to adapt the story based on the images that are given.

15 Fun Public Speaking Activities

Posted in Education

Top 10 listening activities (without a CD)

Listening practice activities to use in your ESL Kids Classes which do not require CDs.

Listening activities for ESL kids


Listening is a really important skill and there are lots of activities we can do in class to help develop this ability which do not require a formal listening practice set up (CDs, videos, etc.).  Of course, having regular listenings in class is great but we can also combine this with listening to the teacher and fellow students.  Below are some fun and interactive ways to provide listening practice in your lessons.

 Listen and draw a story

The teacher reads or makes up a story and as the students listen they draw the different scenes.  You can help them by explaining which scene to draw.  This can be done individually or in small groups on larger paper.  This really helps you to see if the students are understanding and they will often ask questions if they don’t understand (because they’ll be so keen to draw the picture!)


Adjectives draw

After teaching various adjectives (big, small, long, short, tall, high, low, etc.) give each S a piece of paper.  The teacher says an adjective / noun combination and the students have to draw it (e.g draw a long snake, draw a big house, etc.).  It is fun to make silly words (draw a small elephant).  The teacher should also draw so he/she can compare with the students’ pictures at the end.


Blindfold walk

This is really fun.  Teach: go forward, go backwards, (3) steps, turn right / left.  Then place a blindfold on a student and direct him/her around the room to eventually pick up a flashcard or object (e.g. “Go forward 3 steps, turn right, go forward 5 steps, now go backwards 2 steps, turn left, etc.).  Finally, have students work in pairs – one blindfolded and one giving directions.


Listening with flashcards

Scatter a lot of flashcards that students have already learned around the room and have the students sit on floor.  Make up a story and incorporate all of the flashcard pictures … as you say the flashcard word the student nearest that card must touch it.  For example, if students have learned lots of animal vocabulary, the story could start “Once upon a time there was a farmer who had some cows (touch), sheep (touch) and goats (touch).  One day he was surprised to see lots of new animals on his farm.  Next to the gate was a zebra (touch) and in the pond was a hippo (touch …), etc, etc.”.


Secret Message

Make two teams and have each stand in a line (parallel with each other).  Take two students from the front of each line outside the classroom and whisper a sentence to them (e.g. “Tonight it is going to rain and tomorrow it is going to be sunny”).  Then the students come back and whisper the sentence to the next S, who in turn whispers it to the next, and so on down the line.  The student at the end either writes the correct sentence on the board or says the sentence to the teacher (depending on the level of the class).  Points are awarded: 2 points for a perfect sentence, 1 point for nearly perfect and a bonus point if the team finished first and got the sentence right.  Then do it again with two new students.


Guess what it is

Put students into teams of 3 or 4.  Then everyone sits and listens carefully to the teacher for a description of something or someone (e.g. “This is an animal which lives in Africa and Asia loves taking baths.  It flaps its ears to keep cool.  It has a really long nose” – answer: elephant).  Then each team discusses what they think it is before giving an answer.  You can give the description sentence by sentence, encouraging the students to guess each time, until one group wins.  You can start off with easy clues and slow speech but then progressively choose more difficult words and speak more quickly so the students really have to concentrate.


Put in order

Put your students in teams and have them sit together.  Give each group around 10 objects or picture flashcards – each team must have the same things.  The T now says all the words for items in front of the students … the students listen but mustn’t touch the objects.  Finally, the teacher says “Put the objects in the correct order” and the teams have to put in order the objects in the order that the teacher said them.  Make sure you write down the order as you say it or else you’ll forget!


Listening dialogues

Before class, prepare some dialogues based on the lesson theme.  Also, prepare some comprehension questions based on the dialogues.  In class, have two students read the dialogue and the other students have to listen and then answer the questions.  In higher level classes, make groups and give each group 15-20 minutes to write a dialogue and questions (questions on a large sheet of paper).  Then each team reads their dialogues while the rest of the class answers the questions which have been taped to the blackboard.


Number / Word bingo

Playing bingo requires students to listen carefully.  You can use either numbers or words that they have been learning.  Creating the bingo sheets and words takes a bit of time but once done can be used with other classes, time and time again.


Spelling Messenger

Put students in teams of three.  S1 is given a word on a piece of paper and mustn’t show it to his/her team mates.  He/She stands at the end of the room furthest from the board facing the wall.  S3 is at the board facing the board.  S2 acts as the messenger.  S1 whispers the first letter to S2 who then runs and whispers it to S3, who in turn writes it on the board.  S2 goes back and forth until the word is written on the board.  All the teams compete – they have different words but all with the same number of letters.  The first team to complete the word correct wins a point.


Top 10 listening activities (without a CD)

Posted in Education

The Profile of a Modern Teacher

One of the greatest misconceptions in education today is that certain teachers have a higher natural aptitude in technology than others.

This inspirationalgraphic sets out to disprove that notion and remind the audience that external skills are only a function of the internal dispositions that allowed them to grow.



Posted in Education

Things to have prepared before the school starts

Make sure you have a plan in place for how you will communicate with parents.  Know the answer to all of these questions before you meet with any parents.

  • How can parents stay up-to-date on what is going on in the classroom? Will you have a newsletter, a blog, a website, a homework book, a student planner?

  • Will you send home graded papers on a daily basis, or in a Thursday or Sunday folder?

  • What is the best way for parents to contact you if they have a question or concern?

  • How can parents expect to hear from you about a child’s behavior, good or bad?  Will you call them directly, send them an email, or send a note home in their backpack?

Think through how you want to handle homework throughout the year.  Here are some questions to ask yourself.  These are ALL questions that students and parents have asked at least once.

  • Will students have consistent homework each week?  (For example: Do they have weekly reading log or fluency etc. that will come home every week for the entire school year?)

  • In addition to “standing” weekly homework, will you send home unfinished work with students to complete at home?

  • How do you grade homework?  Completion?  Accuracy?  What is your justification behind the way you are grading?

  • What is your late policy, and what are the repercussions if homework is not turned in on time?

  • Where and when will students turn in homework?

Before students walk in the door, have a plan in place for how you will reinforce positive behavior and how you will redirect negative behaviors.

  • Are you going to have a clip chart system for individual behavior?

  • How will you reinforce positive behavior and what are the consequences for inappropriate behaviors?

  • Will you have some rules for pupils to follow throughout the year?

Make sure you decide ahead of time what notebooks, folders, or binders you will be using for which purposes. Make sure you know if you want all of your students to use the red folder for homework and the yellow folder for classwork, etc.  This will help you in the long run, but if you don’t plan ahead, you won’t have as much opportunity to be as organized.

What other things you should prepare for before the school starts? Share your ideas.