Saturday, 23 February 2013

Cluedo - a speaking activity

Cluedo  (or Clue if you live in the USA), as you all know, is a board game, card game, and a computer game in which players try to discover the identity of the murderer of Dr David Black (UK) or Mr John Boddy (US).

Using their powers of deduction (or in the case of my little sister, random, wild guesses), players have to identify the name of the killer, the place the crime was committed and the weapon used.

I always use Cluedo as the example for explaining what a noun is: A person (Miss Scarlett), a place (the library) a thing (lead piping).

A few years ago I happened to be at a CPD event at Ian Ramsey School in Stockton-on-Tees where one of the presenters, John Connor, introduced me to a Cluedo-based guessing game to get students speaking.

So here's how to play:

1) Either make or find a worksheet or create a powerpoint with the key information on it
    Here's a favourite of yr8 boys:
2) The teacher (or a student) writes on a mini-whiteboard the 3 key pieces of information:
e.g. le chien, la chambre, les devoirs

3) Students try to guess by saying full sentences. For example: Je pense que c'était le chat dans le jardin sur la table.

4) For each piece of correct information given the guesser is awarded one point. The teacher can only say "zéro" "un" "deux" or "fantastique!" 

5) The student who guesses all 3 pieces of information correctly wins and then gets to be "the teacher".

I have found, with most groups, that the students forget that they are speaking in the target language and really enjoy this activity.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

i-pads - an apology

Over the last couple of years I have been accused of being "anti-apple".

I now admit that, taken out of context, some of my comments about certain fruit-based products could be misconstrued as negative but I can assure you all that this is not the case.

You may recall that I attended #ililc3 at Southampton University on the 9th & 10th of February?

Many of the delegates there were in possession of tablet computers of all brands, shapes (mostly rectangular) and sizes.

I approved wholeheartedly.

The reason being that these people were using them properly.

By which I mean they were using them for things other than as teacher planners or very expensive 1980s "game and watch" consoles.

I even designed the handouts for my workshop "From squawk to talk" with QR codes so that tablet users could access the links instantly and without any fuss.

I also discovered lots of new applications (I still can't bring myself to say, or type, "apps") for both android and apple which would be fantastic should they be used in the MFL classroom.

So, if you are an apple user - I really am very sorry.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Motivating students at AS & A2 (#ililc3)

This is the presentation from my 2nd workshop at #ililc3.

It contains a lot of ideas and many links to sites which I have used in my teaching.

I think the workshop went down well with the delegates and, like my other workshop, I set out the presentation so that it could be used and understood by those who were not fortunate enough to be at the conference.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

From squawk to talk ililc3

Last weekend I had the privilege of meeting some of the country's finest MFL practitioners at the ICT and Languages Conference in Southampton.

Many of the presenters and delegates have already blogged about the event and you can find some of them by clicking on their names: 

I presented 2 workshops at this event and I still can't believe that my proposals were chosen or that people enjoyed them!

This is the one on improving speaking in the MFL classroom:

Friday, 8 February 2013

Où est le cadavre?

This week my yr9 French class has been studying the topic of House and Home.

The CSI task I set for my other groups was proving a little difficult so I decided to take a leaf out of Clare Seccombe's book (OK blog) and create mini books.

Using a mixture of Eric Hill's classic children's book Where's Spot? and the students love of zombie films we made Où est le cadavre? (Where's the corpse?) mini books.

Here is my version as a gif:

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Spot the difference - a speaking activity for budding CSIs

Instead of teaching "furniture" and "rooms in the house" with year 9 this term I decided to make it more interesting.

Instead of describing their house my students are to become CSIs.

They aren't describing a room they are describing a crime scene.

They are given a picture to describe (with a carefully added corpse):

Then another picture  to compare it to:
You can easily find these types of photos with a google image search and they are much more fun than the run of the mill "describe your house" activities.

Plus this will mean that the students have to use 2 different tenses when reporting back to their group..

Having fun and learning? Don't tell Mr Gove!