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November 27, 2006

Lesson Plans- Describing Picture Scenes

Hello Readers,

Earlier this month, we talked about collecting authentic materials for your resource file. If you aren't sure where to start, here's an idea for you- collect a handful of pictures that have different scenes, for example, a beach scene, a busy street corner, a family's home, the base of a mountain, etc.

What's next? A simple activity that can get students talking, listening, reading, and writing. If you'd like to know more, read on for details...

... about the activity that I've used with intermediate level children and adults alike.

This activity can be used to focus on accuracy or fluency. If you want to focus on fluency, you might want to do this as a review of the language forms they've already learned. If you want to focus on accuracy, you need to think about what forms you'd like to teach them, based on their level. You could use this to teach at the top, on the bottom, in the left-hand corner.../there is, there are/it must be winter, it must be spring/they look happy, sad, excited/they are running, shopping, biking, buying things, etc. Write these forms on the board so they can use them in the activity.

1. Pre-teach any vocabulary words that the students might need to use in order to describe their pictures.
2. Show the students one picture and have them describe it to you, for example, "There's a man in the picture. He's running. It's cold outside. It must be winter."
3. Then, explain to the Ss that they are going to each get their own picture and that they should not show anyone (this is very important!!).
4. Distribute the pictures upside down, one to each student.
5. Explain that they have 5 mins to write down as many sentences as they can to describe their picture. Monitor and help out with any language problems.
6. Collect the papers and the pictures.
7. Explain to the students that you are going to read the sentences out loud and they have to guess which picture it is that is being described. Attach the pictures to the whiteboard with a magnet or blue tac and write a corresponding number next to each picture.
8. Make sure each student has a small piece of paper to write their answers on.
9. Read the descriptions out loud, and ask the students to write down their answers.
10. Go over the answers.
11. Discuss who got the most correct, whose picture was easiest/more difficult to answer and why, etc.

Alternatively, Ss can also simply practice talking about each picture with a partner with given language forms that are written on the board for them.

Good luck!

Carol Rueckert
Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
E-mail: crueckert@eslemployment.com
Blog: www.esl-lesson-plan.com

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb

Looking for more articles about lesson planning for the ESL classroom? Click HERE!

About the author of this entry:
Carol, a native English-speaker who hails from the small town of St. Joseph in Minnesota, USA, and lived and worked in China for more than 7 years. During that time, she worked with students that range in age from three to more than sixty years old. She worked in universities, private language schools, grade schools, international schools, as well as private tutoring. Besides teaching, she also worked as a head teacher, an education manager, and a material development manager. In addition to working on this newsletter, she currently writes a monthly column for Time Out Beijing. Carol is also currently working on her MA in TESOL at the Oxford Brookes University in England. Look for her posts on the ESL-Jobs-Forum discussion boards!

Posted by crueckert at November 27, 2006 03:03 PM

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