I’ve written in the past about the value of teaching everyday vocabulary and the need to find an appropriate balance between general and academic words. To support students’ efforts to learn both, I’m creating two new series of videos. The first is up and running on my website. Please encourage students to visit my page for Everyday Vocabulary.
Here are three classroom ideas to do post-viewing. Choose the communicative activity that suits your students best.
- Partner Recap: Assign two different videos to be watched before class. In class, ask students to recall the information learned by describing a how-to process to a partner. For example, Student A must explain how to brew a cup of tea (Video: Drinking Tea). Student B must explain what is needed in order to mail a letter by regular mail (Video: Mailing a Letter). Once each partner has recapped his or her assigned video, they can do so again for the class. A volunteer in the role of Student A will provide a short recap. Others in the role of Student A can volunteer additional information or clarification. Repeat the process for the role of Student B.
- Q & A Recall: Assign two different videos to be watched before class. Divide students into two teams. Team A must answer questions about Video 1. Team B must answers questions about Video 2. If a team answers correctly, they get two points. If a team cannot answer a question, the other team may try to answer in order to earn one point. Sample questions: (Video topic: Drinking Team) 1. Is a tea kettle exactly the same as a teapot? 2. What does it mean to “steep” tea? 3. In what two forms can you find tea? 4. Name three condiments people like with tea.
- Sort and Say: Assign two different videos to be watched before class. Create word cards for each video. Create approximately the same number of words per topic. On the board write the two topics. Show one card at a time and ask the class to identify which topic it belongs to. Tape the card to the board under the appropriate topic. Once all the cards have been sorted, divide the class into two groups (or smaller groups if the class is large). Each group must use the words for their assigned topic to compose a text. The text can be a how-to description or a narrative (about someone in the group or a fictitious person).
Model: (Mailing a Letter)
Marvin doesn’t like to use computers, so he sends letters to friends and family by snail mail. Every month he goes to the post office to buy postage stamps. He thinks it’s interesting for people to see beautiful stamps on an envelope. He also likes to use nice stationery. When he’s done writing a letter, he seals it, writes the return address and mailing address, and the puts it in the mailbox.