Collaborative idea generation for ELT

BBC Homepage

I’m sure all of us have visited the BBC homepage at some point – I know I go there at least twice a day. It’s a rich source of authentic teaching materials.

What would you do with it in your classroom? You can make any assumptions you like about the context it is used in. Post your ideas in the comments below. There are no wrong answers!

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Comments on: "BBC Homepage" (4)

  1. Project work – Use it as a template to design a homepage for your students’ local area. Perhaps even copy the layout as far as possible for a regularly updated class blog.

    Guess the story from the headline.

    Change the settings to a particular UK area to find out about what is happening in the UK. Ask students if this is the same kind of news as that reported in their local area.

  2. +1 to Mike, especially for the template idea – the website has won awards for its clarity and good design.

    Also the Day in Pictures at features half a dozen striking pictures from around the world. Scroll up a little to hide the captions and you’ve got a great thinking, guessing and describing exercise that could go anywhere.

  3. Before showing it to students, ask them to discuss in groups which famous names/countries they think will appear on the homepage. Maximum five people and five countries per group. Groups then hand their list to another group and discuss why they put what they put. Finally the teacher does a slow reveal to see which groups have scored points.

  4. Antonia Clare said:

    I have the BBC homepage set up so that it shows me stories which are ‘weird and wonderful’. You could ask students to research a story each, practise telling them (perhaps working on reconstructing the story from key words) and then make a news report podcast, including the bizarre stories.

    I also have the link to the BBC News Magazine, which has a feature called ’10 things’ – the premis here is that by reading you learn ten things that you didn’t know last week. That’s a nice structure for a magazine piece. You could get sts to research their own stories and write a similar (more local?) feature.

    Lastly, there are links to QI facts and Statistic of the week. These make great gapfills, and again you can ask sts to go and research other QI facts, and / or interesting statistics, and maybe make a poster / webpage showing their results.


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