Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night

Gunpowder Plot

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder treason and plot.
We see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!

Sandwiched between the overwhelming popularity of Halloween and all-American Thanksgiving, on November, 5th there is a festival that, in recent years, has gained its lost popularity. Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes’ Night is one of those celebrations that are not rooted in everyday activities or seasonal changes, but in the historical events that took place in the 17th century and whose main character, Guy Fawkes, has become the icon for many who fight the political power (see “V for Vendetta” or the masks of the members of Anonymous).

For those who, like us, enjoy introducing their students to the culture of the target language, here go a couple of links with materials for the classroom. If you are teaching beginners or basic levels, Activity Village (http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/guy-fawkes) has a good range of basic exercises to practice vocabulary.

In case you need something more elaborate for intermediate students, the kibishiaul.com blog (http://kibishipaul.com/blog1/2006/11/05/lesson-16-bonfire-night-video/) has a video lesson with an on-line quiz. Also, for this level, we have the material from Remember Remember (http://www.remember-remember.com/schools/teaching.php#literacy) especially the punctuation activities.

Finally, there is a more humorous BBC video documentary hosted by Nick Knowles that could be a good entertaining and inspiring resource for more advanced students. In this case we have not found any activities, although we suggest students could write a short article on the events described.

If you know of any more materials that could complete this post, please write a comment. We appreciate your collaboration.

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Solving mysteries

This is my first contribution here and I have to admit that I¬īm a bit anxious! Thank you for the invitation! ūüėČ

The reason why I have been invited is this: I just happened to come across something I thought could be nice and motivating for advanced students of English so I was suggested to share it in this blog. This time I haven’t thought of a lesson plan as most of the teachers who add posts do, but next time I¬īll do it.

Now, have a go and enjoy it!

Love Idioms

Ready for St. Valentine‘s? I am, I always am. This year I don’t want to spend a whole lesson (2 hours) with the same topic, but I don’t want to avoid the subject either. This is what I’m going to do:

Level: B1 and above.

Skills: speaking, reading.

Grouping: Groups of 3-4 students

Timing: 60-70 minutes, depending on the number of students you have.

Materials: Photocopies of the set below.

Activity 1

20′: Ask them to write down their definition of love, then ask them to read them before the whole class. Try to write down the class definition, which will shown on the class display.

Activity 2

Introduction

10′: Ask students if they’re interested in celebrities gossip and ask them about the latest news about love affairs, breakups, etc. Now we are ready to start with the acitivity.

Step 1

5′: Divide the class in 2 groups. Group A will be given the text (one per student), group B will be given a set of cards. Subdivide both groups until there are 3-4 students in each one. Those with the set of cards should have a set per group.

Step 2

15′: Group A has to decide definitions for each expression in bold letters, group B has to do the same, but without the text.

Step 3

10′:Form new groups with students from A and B mixed, and ask them to negotiate meaning.

Step 4

10′: Check with the whole class if they could find out the meaning of all words. Ask them if they know more idioms or expressions related to love and complete the list given.

For this acitvity, we need a text found on the website St George International. Feel free to download it. If you try the activity, why don’t you let us know how it worked?

Learning Chocolate

Learning Chocolate (http://www.learningchocolate.com) is a website full of games to learn English, Japanese, Mandarin or Spanish vocabulary in an easy, fun way that really works. The exercises use pictures, sounds and games to make learning a new language as fun as (they report) enjoying a piece of chocolate!

Games typically involve matching and/or spelling. Students can choose from a range of topics, and it suits best basic/intermediate levels. It can be used either in class or as independent study or revision.

See also: http://www.digitaldialects.com/English.htm