Mrs Dudas' warm and demonstrative personality held our attention in the 45-minute presentation where she shared her favorite creative activities which are easy to prepare and easy to do.
”Where is the cat?” is an amusing way to teach prepositions. Hide a toy cat in your bag or desk, anywhere in the classroom and ask the students to find it by asking questions: Is it under the desk? In the drawer?... Presenting the toy cat - or perhaps a real cat - can be their reward.
Miming and eye shutting games spark learners' interest and help them absorb and practice grammatical tenses. Card matching especially for visual and kinesthetic learners, helps teachers with unlimited options: collocation pairs, phrasal verbs, half sentences, opposites are just a few.
How about team work? Ask students a question then have them form pairs to discuss it, and move around listening to their answers. Similarly, students can form groups to create a story based on an object or a picture and then recite it at the end of the activity. Creating a speaking and writing activity is something that boosts creative thinking and it is also a fun activity. Finally, you can ask your students to find the connection between four different words (e.g.: a dog, an armchair, a fork and a terrace).
Boost the students' interrogative skills by being silly. Have an unusual object in your bag, let’s say a monkey toy (unless you can provide a real one J) Class forms questions to find out why or how you got hold of it. Speculating is something that can trigger students' imagination in class. Another idea is to flash a picture for 1 or 2 seconds and ask your students to guess what it was. The activity can be lots of fun.
"Bouncing" is another great story-writing activity where each student writes a story for 2 minutes and another student continues it for 2 more minutes and so on.
Mrs Dudas' workshop was rich in content and full of practical ideas, easily applied in any classroom environment. So hide all electronic classroom devices for once and try some of these.
By Fani Dafnopatidou
Interview by Theodora Papapanagiotou