Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Our Favourite Thing Survey

Original Idea: Dave Dodgson

Have the students do a survey. Start off the lesson with a chat about some of their favourite things: sports, food, colours, school subjects, music etc. One thing you have to focus on straightaway is getting the kids to go beyond the basic “My favourite colour is red” sentence by asking them “Why?”. That will stump them a little at first as they may have done ‘favourite’ as a lesson so many times before but never gone into any detail beyond the basic structures of the question and answer. You can help them out with some ideas so they can say things like “Blue is my favourite colour because it’s the colour of the sky” and “Formula 1 is my favourite sport because it’s exciting and fast”. I then got more information out of them with questions like “What blue things do you own?” and “Do you watch every F1 race on TV?”. You can end up with lots of useful vocabulary and phrases on the board to turn the initial question from being just a question to being the start of a conversation.

Then ask the students to draw up a chart with 4 columns in their notebooks and enough rows to write the names of everybody in the class (in the first column). Tell them to choose 3 different words to complete the question “What’s your favourite….?” (one at the top of each remaining column). They then go round the class asking about each other’s favourite things and recording the answers. Although the activity and the language may be basic, they will love the energy of getting up and moving around (something they don’t get to do in class very often). It can be loud but fun and. With a good opening and how to go beyond just a simple answer, they will use English more!

At the end of the lesson, show the kids Wordle and how to make word clouds. Ask them if they can type the results of their surveys into the website at home and either email you the links or print them and bring them into the class the next week.

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