Monday, 14 September 2015

Teaching Middle School - Class ONE *Updated 15/9*

Update! 9/15
 Hey all, this actually went superbly! I didn't have time for the strip dialogue game but I managed to do everything else. Kids really enjoyed the spelling game and puzzle activity as well as the dice questions. :) 

I've recently been asked to teach a middle school after school program which I am very happy about since I love any opportunity to teach the older kids (Usually I am an Elementary School teacher only).

Anyway, so I've been asked to keep lessons based on speaking as much as possible. For my first class I want to do a bunch of getting to know you activities as well as some focused games on 'past tense' sentences as it goes with my lesson title "How was your weekend?"

Here's my lesson plan for the 2 hour period.
Download the materials I used for this lesson here, for free.

Note: It may seem that I have a lot here, I may or may not complete this all - it depends on the students and how it goes, I've yet to teach them, so when it's over I'll report back to let you know what I used and how it went overall.

Lesson Topic: How was your weekend?
Materials: Pens/pencils and some blank sheets of paper (un-ruled or ruled is fine) scissors and glue.

Warm up: Find Your Partner
I have slips of paper for each student, 20 in total. I give each student a slip. On the slips of paper I have past tense and present tense words that can be paired up. For example 'play' pairs with 'played' and so on. I tell students not to show anyone their papers just yet. Once settled, I'll tell them to find their match and sit down when they're finished. Ready, set , Go!

Stick Figure Ice Breaker

The next activity is to break the ice and learn a bit about my new pupils. First I'll draw a stick figure on the board and label the arms and legs with a fact about myself each - but these facts will need to be guessed as I'll only write key words. For example:

First, tell the students that the figure is about you. Next, ask the students - what can you guess about me? Can you guess what each word means?

Hopefully they can gather from my stick figure that a) I like art, b) I am from New Zealand, C) my full name is Ardyn Baia and d) I am married. For some reason being married is very exciting for my students so I like to add this fact lol.

Next, I'll have all the students make a stick figure of their own, then we will go around the class and discuss each one by one. A great way to learn some names and some things about each student.

Dice Roll Ice Breaker

After already breaking some ice, I'll want to break it further by using a dice to play a simple question and answers game. I'll write on the board 6 questions, numbering them 1-6. When the students roll the dice, they have to answer the said questions.

My questions will be:
You can also play this with two dice and have numbers up to 12.

  1. What's your favorite food?
  2. How many brothers and sisters do you have?
  3. Who is your favorite singer? (or band) 
  4. What's the name of your favorite movie?
  5. What is one food you can cook?
  6. Have you ever been on an airplane? Where did you go?
  7. What's your favorite colour?
  8. What did you eat for lunch today? Did you like it?
  9. What country do you want to visit in the future?
  10. What does your mum/dad do for a living? (job)
  11. What job do you want to do in the future?
  12. What is your favorite school subject?
Next, I'll do a simple "How was your weekend?" vocab brainstorm. This way, when they are moving to the next activity which requires them to write sentences, they already have many in mind (and on the board, to use).

I like to brainstorm the question "How was your weekend?" by breaking it into verbs. I'll write the question in the center then the first arrow out, I'll write " I visited..." and they give me options. Then I'll add "I played", "I ate..." and so on, I also obviously want the brainstorm to be student directed so I will use verbs they call out before giving my own as well.

Puzzle Activity 

I'm using this from my other class (5th grade) and it will work perfectly to start re-introducing the past tense and "How was your weekend?" topic. See the full lesson outline here to understand the game and download the worksheet. This should take about 10-15 minutes.

Speaking Game - Dialogue Sentence Strips 

This is a simple speaking game that you can use with any dialogue and thus, any topic.
Write out at least an 8 sentence part dialogue in a table in word like so:

Next, get them to cut these and mix them within their group. If you have a small class, play together as one large group. If a large class of 20 plus, do this in groups of 4 or 5.

After cutting and mixing the strips together in the center of the group table/desks, tell students to pick up a sentence and read it. Everyone has a go, then, if the student on their second turn picks up a sentence that is the same they have to put it back in the center pile. If they pick up a sentence they don't have already, they can keep it. The student who is able to make the full dialogue first, is the winner. You should tell them the number of strips that makes a dialogue - in my case, as seen in the image above, there are 9.

This game is a great non-pressure way to get them speaking as they will be reading the sentences aloud.

Dialogue Role Playing

So now that they have gotten used to a bit of sample dialogue, have it written on the board and erase the verb sentences and names so that they can fill these with their own ideas - like so:

So essentially, the two role-playing must both greet each other and ask what they did on the weekend and give sentences - using past tense verbs.
Tell the students that they have 3-4 minutes to practice this role-play with their partner and then get every pair to present to the class. If you have candy, this would be a good time to use it as an award for speaking.

Spelling Game By Letters - "Secret Sentences"

I've blogged about this game before, so see the post here to understand it. 

For this game, be sure to write the dialogue from the game prior on the board at some point. Then, give out the alphabet letters to your students. Get the class to spell some words from the dialogue on the board as a team. Next, get them to spell a couple sentences. After they have the hang of it, ask one student to leave the room. While they are gone, say quietly to the class that they need to spell a secret sentence and the student who left will be the one to guess it. Next, let the student back in. Let the class team spell the sentence and the student has to try guess what it is - they can write as they listen to the class spell the word.

Blank Bingo Game

Using the same dialogue on the board, add another dialogue that is similar next to it, asking the students to give you ideas. (You could use a new couple of dialogues entirely, up to you). Next, give them blank papers and tell them to draw a 9 box grid. Then tell them they are to choose only 9 sentences - 1 per box on their grid. This is their bingo card. Next, play traditional bingo by calling out the sentences. You could write these dialogue sentences down and cut them into strips and have students pull them from a jar to make the bingo more random. 

OR - assign each sentence to a number and roll the dice...

That should be enough for a 90 minute period...with a 10 min break in-between. 

Happy Teaching! 


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