Friday, 2 May 2014

Teaching "Where Are You From?"- The Jazzed Up Version (FREE PPT LINK!)

UPDATE 2015! 

Hey all, the new year has started and for grade 5 we're studying, just like last year, "Where are you from?" However, the next textbook I've been given is slightly different in that the country list has changed, so I used my old power point presentation and updated it accordingly. You can download it for free here: Around the World PPT

We had a blast filling out the Where are you from? table in our English notebooks and learning about new food and landmarks. We also, at the end of the lesson had to complete the following sentences:

Hi, I'm from _______________. We eat _______________. You can visit _____________________.

Happy Teaching!   

Almost every teacher I know in Korea has mentioned the “Where are you from?” lesson or the lesser known, “I’m from Brazil” lesson. Our textbooks obviously have a common link. Well, in order to make this introduction to countries and nationalities a lot more interesting than the text book I decided to do a good old fashioned around the world PowerPoint lesson.
Let me explain.
Each student is given a table to stick into their English notebooks. The table looked like this for my class – but of course it’s up to you what and how many categories you’d like to add:

My textbook revolves around the following countries: Brazil, America, Canada, Japan and Korea. Although it does mention England, India and China at one point too. Because of limited time I focused on the main five that are repeated in the textbook most often.
So as you can see from the table, the students will have to draw the country’s flag, write the country’s name and also fill in a food and landmark from each country.
But how will the students even know this stuff?
They don’t! That’s the point. This lesson is a great way to do some cross-curricular social studies, geography, history even and of course – English.
Whenever I do this type of lesson I like to accompany it with a dazzling PowerPoint. So now, you can take the place of my students and follow along my classroom script below…

Download ppt link: Where are you from? ppt
Ready, set, action:

Teacher: “Hello class, let’s take a trip around the world!”

“Where shall we go?”
-         Students make guesses, confused looks, yell inaudible words, speak Korean…etc…
“Here’s our first country”

-students will probably yell out Brazil if they know the flag already
“What country’s flag is this?”
Students: “BRA-JILL”
-Korean students struggle with the letter Z…
Teacher: “ Yes, Brazzzil! Now let’s draw the flag in your first box on your table!”

I will draw a huge table on the whiteboard and fill it out along with the class. That way they can check their spelling and it’s a lot easier for the slower students to keep pace.
“Now, how do you spell Brazil?”

Students: B ! R! A! Z! I! L!
You’d think I was exaggerating with these exclamation points…but they really do get into spelling
-         I fill in the board with Brazil in the ‘Country’s Name’ box.
Teacher: “Okay, so what do they eat in Brazil? Does anybody know?”
I kid you not, a student yelled out “they eat and live soccer teacher!” I think he mixed up the phrase “Live and breathe…”

“This is a Brazilian food. It’s called ‘Feijaoda’ – let’s repeat – Fei – ja-u-da.”
Students: feii-jaaa-doo—aa
“Close enough.
This is a type of soup/ stew that has black beans and sausage and other bits of pork.”
I’ll draw a sausage and a bean on the white board and get my co-teacher to do a bit of translating if necessary. The students really get into learning about the food and/or landmark sections. They’ll ask questions and ask if I’ve brought any along with me. If I had the time and budget I’d do it one time!
“Okay, so I want you to write Feijoada inside the table under food. And, please draw a bowl of Feijoada in the box too.”
I will do the same in my big whiteboard table; it doesn’t need to be perfect and artist-like. It’s all in fun. I find it helps that I draw along with the students because it sets the pace. I will ask the students to put their hands on their head when they’ve finished and I will count 5 seconds to move to the next slide. With every class this worked really well to have the students move along without dragging to make it perfect or colour for too long…you know those girls who are little perfectionists!
“Okay so now, we need to go to a landmark in Brazil. Does anyone know?”

Students: “wow”
Teacher: “This is Brazil’s famous statue called ‘Christ The Redeemer’ in English. It’s 30 meters tall. Can you believe it?”
Students: “So big teacher!”
I’ll fill in the box again, writing the landmark’s name and draw a little 2 second drawing of it as I did with the food. The students follow along.

So you can get an idea of what the PowerPoint ends up looking like. I actually enjoyed making the lesson as I learnt a few things about each country along the way. The students really do stay focused in the lesson as it’s very interactive and interesting.
I will always save Korea for last and for homework or independent work if we have time, I will get the students to write and draw the food and landmark of their choice. They will be yelling “kimChi” so much it hurts, but I like showing a quick slide of other Korean foods and landmarks to get them more inspired to think outside the box.
“Can you think of a Korean food?”

Here is my whiteboard table I made alongside the class during this lesson:

I hope you can do the same lesson or make it your own of course. I also used this during winter camps. We went around the world learning about winter foods. You could of course add categories like sports, language, celebrities even music and art styles – depending on level and what you want to focus on for the lesson. I really love doing this type of lesson and would do it with high school or even adult learners – manipulating the level is easy. It’s great if you can get the students to act as researchers themselves too – that way they have to present a country each, with its food and/or landmarks, teaching the class for you! Ha!
I will be doing a similar activity for my afterschool class this year, with many more categories and spread out for a few weeks. I really want to bring in food also…let’s see what they budget gets me. I’ll let you know!
Happy travels! 

 If you want a copy of the powerpoint and worksheet let me know! Happy to give it to ya!
Ardyn Baia


  1. Hi! I would love a copy of the powerpoint and document. These are amazing! Thanks!

      Download it :)