Monday, 20 April 2015

How To Turn Your Lesson Into a Quest in 15 Minutes

Today I decided to add more fun to our usual small competitions and unite all the exercises under one topic. We had an Adventure Islands Quest. You can see our route on the right. As you see, it takes not more then just a picture on the board.
As we were doing it I thought that I could have made a paper boat so that it would travel for real. That would have added some interactivity, you now.
This quest can be planned in advance and have some special points, tasks and so on or can be included into your lesson without any special preparation.

When to use it at the lesson:
1) As a HW-check activity if you had at least 3-4 exercises. Plus you can always add some extra practice to the topics assigned for HW and here you go - already about 6 exercises, which is good number for any quest.

2) As a New Topic journey. You can arrange the stages in accordance with grammar-vocab-use of english-listening-writing-.. scheme. Or plan the stages as introduction-let's come up with the rule-drilling-freer practice-etc.

3) As an activity that will go through the whole lesson. In this case a more profound background story is probably required, so that it unites different parts of the lesson. Or you can just have stages (e.g. HW-check, new material, practice) and substages at each of the major stage.

How you can prepare such an activity in 15 minutes before the lesson:

1) Choose a topic. The easiest way is to go with some journey - islands, space, town, country, etc.

2) Count how many exercises you have in your plan today (or how many HW exercises you have if you decide to make it as a HW-check activity).

3) Draw stages in accordance with the number of the exercises (e.g. 5 HW exercises mean 5 islands). Set some ultimate goal at the last stage - find a treasure, rescue your friend, catch a thieve, collect all the puzzle pieces to make a picture, etc.

(optional - 4) Draw some extra stuff/characters/surroundings/etc. It will take you not more than 60 seconds, but will add significantly to the atmosphere.

(quite optional - 5) Take a magnet and put it at the first stage to mark the beginning. Move the magnet as your group conquers the quest.

6) Copy all the exercises from the textbook and cut them out so that they look like some cards (it takes about 3-4 mins, but kids will love them more than just regular Open textbook page blah-blah exercise blah-blah).

(optional - 7) You can also stick these cards to the stages so that kids can come up to the board and grab them - the more they move the better.

It's as simple as that! I tried these Adventure Islads with both teenager Elementary and Young Learner's groups and it worked just great!
I hoppe your kids will love it too=)
Wish you fun and effective lessons ;)

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