March 28, 2012

Easter baskets for irregular verbs

This is the lesson I created this morning, for a group of 11 year olds, to be used in a classroom without a computer, three days before our Easter break.
I was very happy because my students loved it and I could see they were learning and having fun.

The aim of the lesson was to revise a set of ten irregular verbs.

I brought a number of paper sheets in various colours and a pair of scissors and started by cutting out egg shapes. My students immediately guessed they were Easter eggs and joined me. I distributed the paper stripes to be folded and cut. They exchanged eggs because they all wanted the eggs in all colours.

While cutting, we talked about the story we read in the course book. When we mentioned an irregular verb, I wrote it on the blackboard. I chose to write only the ten irregular verbs I wanted to focus on.

I suggested writing the verbs on the eggs. We wrote the simple past form, too – on the other side. Now they could check if they remembered all the irregular forms.

I had more paper. The sheets were square – shaped. I challenged the students to play a game and win a prize, a paper basket to keep the eggs. I saw this beautiful paper basket used in a lesson on http://www.daniellesplace.com/html/easter.html where I also found the link to the instructions on how to make a basket: http://www.wipapercouncil.org/origami.htm

The task was:

1 Ask me a question in the past, using the verb on the egg I pick from your desk.
2 Listen to my answer (Yes, I did / No, I didn't; Yes, I was/No, I wasn't)
3 Make a sentence about what you have learnt (Ms Bozinovic … /The teacher didn't )

While my students were making their questions and sentences, I was quickly making the baskets and giving them their prize. After I'd made a few, some stronger students joined me in making the baskets for friends. Then they asked and answered the questions in pairs and I only monitored.

As a follow-up activity the students wrote five interesting sentences they remembered.

They took the baskets and eggs home with the task to decorate the eggs and revise the verbs,
and to add a handle to the basket ( a piece of thread, wire, a straw, or whatever they find appropriate).
The optional task was to use the verbs to tell a short story.

At the beginning of our next lesson I expect some stronger students to share their stories and the weaker students to show that they can use the past form in single sentences. I am sure they will all want to show me the decorations on the eggs in their beautiful baskets and all kinds of handles.

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