YOU JUST ME

Just between you and me 😉 I can be a bit of a geek when it comes to wordplay. If you´ve seen my previous posts you know that I like to have “pun” in the classroom.  I have just recently introduced Rebus Puzzles into the classroom and in my opinion they are another great way to explore/experiment with the English language. Rebus puzzles use pictures, symbols and letters to represent a word, phrase or saying.

Download the worksheet HERE
When the students understand the different types of rebus puzzles you can use them as a classroom activity or as a warmer to start the class.

Placement of words

Place a word below, above, in between etc. and it can be a big clue to solve the puzzle.

HEAD OVER HEELS Direction

Again if the word is spelled in any direction other than left-to-right, you have your solution

DOWNSTAIRS Repetition Style or size

The style of the font can convey such concepts as thin, tall, pretty etc.

TALL ORDER Highlighting

To draw attention to the picture the word can often be highlighted by being underlined or by an arrow indicating that we should be looking for the clue. Colour

If you see a puzzle that is not printed in black then we can expect the colour to be relevent to the solution. HATRED Sound

Just like puns, rebus puzzles don´t necesserily have to have the exact spelling but can have a similarity in sound. TUESDAY Combination REBUS

Reasons to use Rebus Puzzles in the classroom

  • They can create language awareness, for example they can be useful for practising positional and directional words. papershop
  • They can be used with young children and add a unique, dynamic way to learn how to read.
  • Rebus puzzles can also be used to get over the hurdle of learning disabilities.
  • They can be used for both kids or adults and are mental exercises for the brain!

Definition Game

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Level: Intermediate +
DOWNLOAD CARDS HERE

This game is probably best for intermediate to advanced learners as it requires the students to create their own definitions. Students try to catch each other out by creating a false definition to go along with the other false and true definitions. It´s a fun way to learn vocabulary as well as giving students good speaking, listening and writing practice. It also enables students to practice language that is typically used to define something, for example the relative clauses:

A thing which……
A person who ……
A place where…… 

I usually stretch this game out over several classes as a warmer or a filler. Once students are familiar with the game you can even get the students to choose a word from the dictionary and create their own cards!

What’s So Punny?

A little laughter goes a long way, especially when it comes to puns. If a class can laugh together, they are likely to learn better together too. Apart from being fun, they can be very useful in the classroom. Puns are MUCH better than just telling a joke. Puns are a play on words and are dependent on the way the language is spelt or pronounced.
There are many ways you can use puns in the classroom. Personally, I do a “Pun of the day” at the beginning of the class. I think they’re great as a warm up and establish a relaxed atmosphere. I usually write the first half of the pun on the board, go through it and help them along by using hints. Sometimes they get it, sometimes they don’t but either way you´re sure to get a giggle out of them!

There are different types of puns:

Homophonic pun

Homophonic puns use words that sound alike but are different in spelling and meaning. Homophones are often confused and spelt incorrectly, even by native speakers. I think the most common being your/you’re and there/they’re/their so identifying homophones are good for learning both grammar and vocabulary.

haveaknifedayI couldn´t help it 😀         

Homographic puns

Homographic puns make use of multiple meanings from a single spelling.  

Reasons to have pun in the classroom

  • Puns can be great for teaching new material or reviewing material previously taught. For example, I´ve previously had lessons about jobs and money then my pun would be something like this:lostinterest
  • Make students more aware of the language and the ambiguities.
  • Discovering the double meaning pushes students to think beyond what they already know
  • Tests listening comprehension
  • Can make students aware of homographs and homophones
  • It´s a way to transmit a spirit of a culture
  • Understanding a pun is a sign of high proficiency in the language
  • Gives students a chance to play and experiment with the language

When students are familiar with the types of puns you can even get students to create their own puns as an activity.

Britain´s got talent video lesson!


Britain´s got talent is back! I have to admit I´m a bit of a fan of Britain´s got talent and it´s one of the few English TV shows that I watch with my Spanish man. Although you don´t need to understand English that much to watch BGT, I found myself explaining the jokes or key information he had missed in the introductions. That´s when I thought a BGT video lesson could work quite well in the classroom. It´s been tried and tested and it certainly works with both young and old. There has been laughter, applause and even a few teary-eyed students!

I´m planning on making more worksheets but for now I´ll leave you with a worksheet I made from the previous shows.


Lesson

You can download the worksheet here.

I am yet to attach a step by step lesson plan but I´ll give the gist of the lesson I do and you can adapt it to how you want. I usually start of with some conversation questions;

Are there any talent shows in your country?
What type of talent shows are there?
Do you have any talents?
What talents would you like to have?

Introduce Britain´s got talent and the judges and elicit any information they might know about them.

Talk about the dynamics of the show and how it works. Here you get information about the format of the show. Make sure you talk about what happens if an act receives a golden buzzer!

Ok so ready to play the first video. Before watching the act play the introductions of the contestants and then pause the video before they do their act. Then go through the first set of questions and the what do you think questions. Here you could change the questions to  “going to”.What do you think is going to happen? Do you think the act is going to be boring? What judge is going to buzz? Etc.

Videos:

No matter how many times I watch this video. I still get teary-eyed myself!

This one is very short so be quick to pause!

How do we know Christian isn´t from England?
Clue: When he introduces his age. I find it´s one of the most common mistakes Spanish speakers make! 🙂

Again here come the tears! Make sure you get them to explain the story in their own words.

I then finally tell them that Attraction won Britain´s got talent and show them the winning video.

If you´re unable to download the videos then let me know and I can send them. It would also be great to get some feedback. It´s my first post and I´d be super happy If somebody found this useful!

Hope this lesson works for you! 🙂