Author Archives: Zdenda

Sherlock Holmes – The Last Curtain – IWB Classroom reading

Sherlock Holmes - The Final Curtain

Sherlock Holmes – The Final Curtain

No one can deny that students should read a lot to learn English. However, they do not want to and any longer reading is demanding on photocopying. In fact, I do not know a school where they’d be willing to copy a book for every student. That was why I searched for a way to give my students a chance to read a text that would be at the same time interesting and copy free. And here is what I came up with: IWB classroom reading.

The procedure for IWB classroom reading is simple. Play the presentation Sherlock Holmes – The last curtain on the IWB and let the students read the first slide. At the moment you feel that they have read it ask about the meaning of some more difficult words and play another slide. The story about Sherlock Holmes is a comic which is usually very interesting for students and there are not too many words. Here is the story:


final curtain_Sherlock Holmes

At the end of the reading about Sherlock Holmes you can check students understanding with the game Hoopshot which you can find down here.
Sherlock Holmes_the Final Curtain_game

This time there is no worksheet but if you create one, I will be happy to publish it here. Please, can you comment how useful do you find this activity. Thanks.

Be going to – future

Be going to game

battleships, be going to game, be going to worksheet

I have found out that if I create my own worksheets it is much easier for me to teach the given grammar point. I don’t want to claim that my worksheets are speacial or outstanding. I just want to say that if you use your own worksheet you know exactly what you want your students to do and if the activity doesn´t work you simply get rid of it. I try to tune up each of my worksheets and then I present it here.

One of the worksheets I have created was for the grammar point “be going to” for planned future. It was in fact so good that it was published at teachitworld.co.uk.

For the first three games you need an IWB or at least a computer. Display the grid and the students have to find the hidden treasure by creating sentences using “be going to”. This game is a wonderful drill in which the students will practise all the forms of the future form.

In the second phase of the lesson, the students receive the worksheets and they play a similar game in their pairs. After playing the two games, I believe it is time to explain the grammar of be going to. I do it by using the following presentation:

Be going to presentation on form_en

Be going to presentation on form

One of the explanations of BE GOING TO is in English and the other one is in Czech.
Then the teacher presents the pictures on the board and elicits what he/she is going to do this weekend. Then he/she displays the other pictures and students have to write the sentences into the grid.
In the last but one activity students play another communicative game. They draw their plans into the last grid and their partner then tries to guess their plans by using the “be going to” form.
At the end of the lesson students ask and answer the questions contained in the last activity.
I hope you will find this worksheet as useful as I do.

The full worksheet can be downloaded here:

Be going to worksheet

ELM magazine – issue 3

ELM 3 magazine

ELM 3 magazine Easter

I am glad that finally I was able to put another issue of the ELM magazine together. This would not have happened if it hadn´t been for the help of Lynne Blackburn who supplied several articles and proof-read the whole magazine.
This issue is slightly different from the previous ones as the language is easier and the magazine is much more interactive than any other English learning magazine I have ever seen. Besides two Grammar up texts we have introduced Simple past stories which allow students practise the language in much bigger depth. Moreover, there are two pages with grammar puzzles, a comic (Komeen story), one short story, the fifth chapter of the book The Truck and a quiz where the answers seem obvious but they are not.
This issue is completely free and each page can be used a separate worksheet. Both me and Lynne hope that you will find it useful for teaching English.

You can download the magazine here:
ELM magazine 3 – Easter

Present perfect tense

Present perfect tense

Present perfect tense worksheets and activities

Students often complain that Present perfect  is the most difficult tense. Yes, they are right. But still they can learn a lot about it. Here is the way I teach it.

Teaching present perfect tense – procedure

I always start with a song. There are three good songs to introduce present perfect tense. I use the song We are the Champions by Queen to start with the Present perfect tense. Student´s task is to listen and complete the lyrics:


Here is the worksheet with the lyrics. There are three copies of the lyrics.

Then I believe it is time to explain the form and the usage of  present perfect tense. That is why I have created the following presentation:
Present perfect tense presentation.

As the present perfect tense consists of the verb to have and past participle, it is high time you spent some time on practising or teaching past participles. Don’t forget to explain that there are regular and irregular verbs. While the regular verbs are easy, the irregular ones have to be learnt. That is why I have created the following 8 games to practise the irregular verbs and their past participle. The first 6 games are better suited to be done at home, while the last two (Teacher Invaders and Half a minute are perfect for the whole class to practise).
Irregular verbs past participle – PastParticiples flashcards

Irregular verbs past participle –PastParticiples pick a letter game.

Irregular verbs past participle – PastParticiples matching game.

Irregular verbs past participle – PastParticiples glossary.

Irregular verbs past participle – PastParticiples fill in the blank game.

Irregular verbs past participle – PastParticiples crossword.


Irregular verbs past participle – Past Participles_half a minute game.

Irregular verbs past participle –Past Participle Teacher invaders.

Once the students mastered the past participles they should practice using them in present perfect tense. In this phase I love using a song which I found at http://www.its-teachers.com/. The subscription to this site is quite pricey but this song is perfect. It is called Brighton in the Rain and it comes with a worksheet, where you should fill in the missing irregular verbs.

After this song comes another favourite activity of mine. It is called human bingo for present perfect tense and it is played in the following way:

  1. Teacher explains the aim of the game. Students should find out who of their classmates has done the things mentioned in the grid. They can ask each classmate only 3 questions and if he/she answers yes they can cross out the given field . The winner is the student who has two columns (or more, it’s up to you) crossed out.
  2. Teacher elicits the questions. Once they are sure that the students form the questions well they let them go and play the game.
  3. The winner shouts bingo.

The worksheet for Human Bingo in present perfect tense: Human bingo_present perfect tense.
Well, I feel that this is enough for one day. I hope you will find these activities interesting and useful and that your students will have learnt the present perfect tense by now.

Let and Make Grammar and worksheet

Let and Make Grammar

Let and make grammar

Let and make grammar

Let and make was one of the grammar areas is which I couldn’t find any suitable materials for. That was why I decided to create my own. And I started by creating a short video in which the language is used and which ends in a provocative way. I always ask the students at the end to suggest the continuation. Of course, the students will come up with all sorts of  solutions to the situation, however the correct one is that she will make him clean the room for her.


In the worksheet there is a comprehension exercise and when students listen for the second time they should fill in the missing words in the sentences which have been taken out of the video. All those sentences contain the grammar in question.

Make and let wp_worksheet.

Here is another version of the same worksheet but this time the questions are adapted so that they would be suitable for adults:

Let and make worksheet adults.

Then there is the presentation in which you can explain the usage and the form of the two verbs.

Make and let.

And in the end the students should discuss the questions in exercise three on the worksheet. Of course you can swap the presentation and discussion if you want to.

 

Past simple and continuous

Present simple and continuous

Game to practise present simple and continuous

Here is another game for IWB. Here you can test whether your students know the difference between past simple and continuous tense. In this penalty game there are two ways to play it in the classroom. I prefer to divide the class into two teams and click on “Two players” option and then each team sends one representative to the board and they play as a team. The other option is “One player” mode and then the whole class tries to score as many goals as possible.
And what is more, your players can play the game at home too and practise the grammar.
If you want to play the game on full screen, click here: Past simple and continuous game

Mixed conditionals

Mixed conditionals

Mixed conditionals pair cards exercise

Recently a colleague of mine asked me whether I have anything on unreal conditionals. I told her that did but I couldn’t give her anything and the moment as all my worksheets were at home. And at that moment I felt really sorry that I didn’t take the time to edit and post the worksheets I had created. Of course I brought the worksheet the following day, but it was too late and I think she hasn´t used it.
And that is why I decided to create this site. I would like to share all my materials with all the teachers that are out there and who care to use them in their lessons. I have been teaching English for 10 years now and I have accumulated hundreds of worksheets and ideas which I believe other people could profit from. So let’s start with the unreal conditionals.


To present this grammar I start off with a simple speaking activity which is contained in the Mixed conditionals worksheet below. Without explaining anything I ask the students to ask and answer the questions on the paper. The Mixed conditional questions come from the side http://tefltastic.wordpress.com/. This blog contains a lot of useful ideas and worksheets.

Then I believe it is time to present and explain the way the unreal conditionals are created and what they mean. For this purpose I created a short presentation which is called Unreal conditionals.
Unreal Conditionals
The first part of the presentation is so called vanishing drill when students repeat the sentences while the words vanish. It is very useful to teach some complicated phrases, which unreal conditionals certainly are.

Here I found out that it is really useful to practise irregular verbs before embarking on practising the unreal conditionals. Students usually have difficulties with the past participles and they can practise them in a game for IWB which can be found in my Present perfect post.

The other activity in the Unreal conditionals worksheet is my own. I call it  pair cards and it is a kind of drill which you can use to practice grammar points.

Here is how you do it:

  1. Put the students in pairs and give each student a card with the sentences. Mind that they each get a different card.
  2. On the cards there are highlighted sentences. The sentences that are highlighted on one card are white on the other card. The highlighted sentences are the correct solution.
  3. Each student reads their white sentences and their goal is to complete the second white sentence in such a way that it has the same meaning as the first one. Their partner listens to them and if they make a mistake he/she corrects them. The students should produce sentences which are exactly the same as the highlighted ones.
  4. Once the students finish they swap their cards and go on working in the same way as it is described above
  5. When the students finish, you can either ask them to write the sentences into the worksheet or you can ask them to keep the worksheet and recycle the grammar in the following lesson.

unreal conditionals discussion_full


And now it is high time you practised the unreal conditionals in a classical exercise. That is why I created this worksheet called Mixed Conditionals. I hope you will find this worksheet and the activities useful.

Mixed conditionals_worksheet

Irregular verbs game

Irregular verbs

Irregular verbs teacher invaders game

Having an IWB in your classroom is a nice thing. It cost a lot of money and the headmaster thinks that they couldn´t do anything better either for you or for the children.

However, the people responsible for buying the hardware more often than not fail to provide any software for it and they get incredibly angry if you do not use the IWB enough.

Realising that I cannot expect anyone to help me I have decided to create a few games on my own. I found the site http://www.contentgenerator.net/ bought the penalty game and started creating.

And here is the result. It is a game to practise English irregular verbs and students love it. We always play it till they lose (3 to 10 mins). There are nearly 80 irregular verbs which they can practise in this game. It is highly addictive and your students can play it at home.

Try the game here: Irregular verbs_teacher invaders 

If you want to have more games for your IWB you should try the following:
Games for be going to
Games for past participle of irregular verbs
Games for reading comprehension
Games for conditionals