Draw your vacation

This is an opportunity for students to learn personal information about the teacher. The ultimate goal is to engage students into writing and make them familiar with simple writing techniques. Show students drawings of your last vacation. Don’t worry if you don’t draw well. The fact that you drew them will encourage your students to do the same. Also, show short simple sentences for each drawing. Make sure, students identify and understand the three parts of a paragraph:

1) TOPIC SENTENCE: It tells you what the paragraph will be about;
2) BODY: It is developed around the topic sentence usually with examples and details;
3) CONCLUSION: It restates the introduction with different words.

Also, make sure students are familiar with “connectors”. After showing your students your sentences, allow them some time to draw and write about their own vacation. Have colored pencils and blank sheets of paper available on your desk in case they don´t have those. You can also assign this task for homework. At home, they will scan and upload their drawings and write about them. They can make a video or a power point slide presentation to show in the following class.

Elections 2014

Last october, Brazilians voted for president and unlike previous elections, this one was marked by  fierce and really nasty comments of the candidates about their opponents’ character. Instead of talking about their platform, they attacked each other trying to make them look unreliable to the voters (which explains the opening remark in the video). Thus,  I took this opportunity to assign a project for my teen students. Since they were learning the first conditional, they were supposed to pretend they were running for president and create a political platform in which they stated what they would do in case they won. They were supposed to use the possible starters below:

1) If you vote for me, I will… 2) If I win this election, I will… 3) If I have your vote/ support, I will… 4) If you give me a chance, I will…

When they finished writing their platforms, I proofread them and provided them with comments and suggestions. After that, the students used the school’s IPads to design a poster, in which they would draw a symbol for their campaign, think of an “imaginary” party/number and come up with a catch phrase. The drawing app they used was DRAWP because it’s super user friendly.

Once their posters were done, we filmed their platforms. I projected their posters on the data show screen and they read their material. I suggest that they practice for awhile before recording the video. (However, as much as they rehearse, they will always mispronounce one, two or some of the words. Believe me, I’ve tried. As much as I recorded them again, a new mispronunciation occurred. Inspite of that, they consolidated the structure, which  was a big deal). The videos are time consuming, therefore, I suggest that you assign this project to only one group of few students. I had 8 students In this class.

To wrap things up, we had an election in school. We set up a room with the video on, a ballot and voting slips displayed on a desk. Everyone going past the room was invited to go inside, watch the video and vote for one of the candidates.

In the end, the winner got a token.

How old are you?

Super simple activity for practicing HOW OLD ARE YOU? with elementary students. I usually draw first to demonstrate what I expect from them.

 Teacher’s                                   Student’s

1) Write the following on the board:

HOW OLD ARE YOU? I´m___________.

2) Hand out sheets in blank;
3) Students draw and color their age (They draw a big number in the center of the sheet)
4) Students tape them to their chest;
5) Students walk around the classroom and practice Q/A; (They will continue until they have talked to every one)

February in Brazil

In Brazil, the number one holiday in February is Carnaval, which is deemed the largest collective party in the entire world. It´s a five-day holiday, that´s right, a five-day holiday in which people go away, relax and have fun. A traditional activity during this period is getting together to sing and dance. In different parts of Brazil, the musical style during carnaval ranges from regional folk music to the carioca samba.  ” Foliões”, which is how the people who participate in the celebration are called, either travel to the coast or go to Rio and Sao Paulo to see the samba schools´ parades. Each school presents a theme and parade accordingly and during the parade, a group of jurors analyse and grade every aspect of it, from the clothes they wear to the music they play. The parades officially start out in São Paulo on Friday and Saturday. The two parades take place in Anhembi and are broadcast live to all viewers. On Sunday and Monday, it´s Rio´s schools’ turn to astonish the viewers with their costumes, props and ornamented cars. Sapucaí is the place chosen for such monumental event, which is also broadcast live to anyone who´s willing to see it. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the results come out and Rio and Sao Paulo´s winning schools celebrate their victory with the Winners´ Parade, also broadcast live. Every year, carnaval is held in February. However, this year it´s from March 1st to March 5th, which is pretty unusual. Still, brazilians love it because any reason is a reason to sing and dance, even when the date is not right.