Collaborative idea generation for ELT

Paolo Nespoli is an astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS). He regularly sends pictures to Earth via flickr and Twitter. Here is a link to his photostream on Flickr.

Here is an example of one of his pictures:

What would you do with this photostream in your classroom? You can make any assumptions you like about the context it is used in. Post your ideas in the comments below.

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Comments on: "A photostream: the Earth from Space" (7)

  1. One student has access to the computer (i.e. can see the screen) and describes some of the photos to the class. The others, equipped with a variety of coloured pencils, draw what the student describes! Compare with each other (or even describe to each other) and then look at the original.

    • Dina Dobrou said:

      Loving your idea, Mike. Or if we could have two sts representing two different groups and then see which group was closer to the original picture (like a contest). Depending on the class size it would mean we would have two students having a go at describing the picture instead of one.

  2. Another (pretty simple) idea. Use the photos as prompts for students to write Paolo’s diary. They should include descriptions of what can be seen, maybe speculate about how he feels…

  3. One of my favourite ideas for using a laptop comes from Mark Powell in Implementing the Lexical Approach. Designed for aiding presentation delivery, it’s good for helping all learners get to grips with the rhythms and cadences of spoken English.

    1) Put a small text on screen and ask student to hit the ‘return’ key for every time they would naturally pause.
    2) Practise and revise.
    3) Ask student to underline words they wish to stress.
    4) Practise and revise.

    This is a great noticing activity and one that never fails to help students appreciate the larger chunks of pronunciation above and beyond individual words.

  4. Dina Dobrou said:

    I would divide the class in two groups. I could cover the left part of the picture and invite the first group to see the right part. Then cover the right part of the picture and invite the other group to see the left part. They would discuss in groups what they think their part of the picture shows and then join forces to decide what the whole picture shows.

  5. My idea would be related to creative speaking / writing I think, and could even be adapted as a role play if the students were willing.
    First, ask your students:
    “Where would you have to be to see these images? What is around you?”
    Use their answers to create some form of dialogue / scene
    e.g. In an alien spaceship, the aliens speculate about what they are going to find when they land on Earth?
    OR Astronauts imagine what will have changed when they land on Earth again.
    (Lots of nice tense practice too) 😉

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