Saturday, January 9, 2010

A game for the classroom (intermediate - advanced)

There's an interesting thing I accidentally stumbled upon while completing an assignment on culture last year. This game could help enhance reading, critical thinking, strengthen the relationships between different fields, and help students realize that a dictionary might have more use than just looking up meanings of words.

Take a word that could be (or was) the topic of one of your lessons. Lets say that we have a text on boredom - and we know that modernity has just been covered during the arts / history classes.
We can give a statement for home discussion, e.g. "boredom is the plague of modernity. Does this mean that it did not exist before that?" And give students hints on where they can find evidence supporting or negating the statement:
- history books (to learn what modernity is and what period it covers)
- articles (if you have any)
- the dictionary (see date of first use in English and where the word came from)

If there is enough time, you can also prepare worksheets with all this data for the students to read and work through during the lesson, individually or in groups (e.g. jigsaw activities and "missing link" exercises).
I'm not sure it could work on the lower intermediate level, but if made simple enough (e.g. in form of a quiz rather than a worksheet) something fun might come out of it.

Amazing Grace

What do you think the song is about? (answers can easily be found on the web)