Film It! Tips for Getting Children to Be Directors

“I believe my camera should always be in one hand and a good script in the other. That makes it possible for storytelling to come to life.” —Leticia Alaniz

“Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director.” —James Cameron

‘Tis the season to celebrate with your students! Halloween, Dia de Los Muertos, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other holidays around the world take place in fall and winter. One of the best ways for students to learn and teach others about the way they celebrate is by producing a movie. (more…)

What Are You Going to Wear? Party Plans Pair Activity

What are you going to do for New Year’s Eve? Are you going to go to a party? What are you going to wear? I’m going to hang out with my family and my best friend. We’re going to stay home in our pyjamas and play games (probably some Heads Up!). It’s going to be so relaxing and fun!

January is the perfect time of year to practice using “be going to.” Try this week’s Spotlight lesson and help your students learn how to express future plans in English. Then try this fun pair activity in class. (more…)

Guess Whose Goals ~ Future Tense Game

Spotlight Spin-Off

Have you tried Sprout English’s Spotlight lesson this week? In this week’s featured lesson, Andy sets three goals for the future. The new year is the perfect time for practicing the future tense. Play this future tense guessing game after trying this week’s lesson with your students.

1. Reread the story “Andy” from Sprout English’s Library.
2. Review the use and structure of “be going to” + base verb.
3. Have each student take out a pen and a scrap piece of paper.
4. Tell each student to write out three goals for 2014. They should follow the same format as Andy for expressing their future goals (be going to + base verb):

First, I’m going to learn Italian. After that, I’m going to make Italian friends! Finally, I’m going to find an Italian girlfriend!


New Year, New Year’s, or New Years?

Often spelling and capitalization rules for holidays don’t get taught, and both teachers and students simply use what they’ve seen the most—not necessarily the correct form! Is it New Year, New Year’s, or New Years? When do we capitalize New Year and when do we use lowercase letters?

If you have classes today, it will be useful for your students to learn the correct spelling of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. If you and your students don’t go back to school until next week, this would still be an educational way to begin or wrap up talking about the holidays! (more…)