Collaborative idea generation for ELT


Just a word this week:


That’s it.
What would you do with this word in your classroom? You can make any assumptions you like about the context it is used in. Post your ideas in the comments below. All ideas are welcome (there are no wrong answers!)

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Comments on: "Paris" (7)

  1. I use it inside a semntic map and let students jot down any ideas that are related to this in the form of key words like “tourism”,”money”,perfumes”,Effel tower”…..

    I can also ask them to write 4-5 sentences in which they write what they know about Paris.

    I can also ask students to work in pairs and then in groups and share their ideas about “Paris”.

  2. OK here goes first thing in the morning:


    1)Ask pairs to use google earth and prepare a 2 minute tour around the city describing places and directions
    2)Ask pairs to find 5 images which represent Paris and make a picture book to present
    3)Ask pairs/groups to google Paris and make a Wallwisher/blog/glogster with everything they thinkis Parisien
    4)Choose several subthemes such as Films, Music, Art, Food etc and assign them to pairs who research them for HW and present in the next class
    5)Pose a For/Against motion about Paris like ‘Paris is the most beautiful city in the world’, then ask pairs/groups to research arguments for group debates but they can use photos, images or even music.
    6)Design and use a Paris Webquest then get people to write about what they learned.
    7)Show a short video about Paris and then get groups to create one about your area on their mobiles.

    Less Tech

    1)Photocopy pictures of Paris and stick them in the middle of A3 sheets then stick them round the room. Next ask students to mingle and write words about the pictures or they can even label what they see.
    2)Word scrabble. Write Paris on the board, make teams and take turns going through each letter to see who can make the longest word using the relevant letter like.
    3)Ask a pair to make a quick quiz about Paris before class then run it in class.
    4)Choose a part of Paris like The Louvre and print off a leaflet or guide. Then get students to write their own for different places in Paris.
    5)Find someone who. If you have people who know or have been to Paris in the class or school ask them to be interviewed about it.
    6)Explain/show some problems Paris has like over crowding, crime etc and get groups to come up with solutions then debate them.
    6 and a half)Run political election debates where each group creates a name, chooses a leader, policies then the leaders debate in presidential elections.Finally vote.

    Time for breakfast.

  3. How about discussion focus – famous for being famous.
    I did a lesson on celebrities that are famous for nothing with my teenagers and they enjoyed it immensely.

    I started by writing Paris Hilton on board, which quickly sprouted a debate when I asked what she does for a living. Since you only have Paris, you could just write that and see if anyone makes the connection to the celebrity 😉

    The lesson ended with a discussion on idols and role models in society. For homework they wrote a letter to their role model and we compared them in the next lesson.

  4. A Celta trainee and I recently planned a lesson on modals of deduction with Paris as the starting point. The students were going to make a list of things they knew about the city, and then make some logical deductions about what it must be/might be/can’t be like to live there based upon what they knew for sure. E.g. “It must be annoying having all those tourists there!”
    That was then going to precede on to making some deductions about other places in the world, other people’s live/jobs etc…

    (This isn’t what ended up happening in class, as is common on the Celta, but I liked the idea and plan to use it at some point!)


  5. How about using it to drill ‘have you been to…?’

    Add a question mark – Paris? – and elicit what questions you could ask. Once you get to ‘Have you been to Paris?’, students ask their partner, and then stand up if their partner has been to Paris. Put the number of students who have been there under the word Paris on the board, then students sit down.

    Then put students into groups and ask the first group to think of a city that begins with the last letter of Paris. I teach in Newcastle, so for example, they might come up with ‘Sunderland’.

    Students ask their partner ‘have you been to Sunderland?’ and stand up if their partner has been there. Then the next group use the last letter of that word to think of a city, for example ‘Durham’. Everyone asks their partners, they stand up, you tally it on the board under Durham. The next group then thinks of a city beginning with ‘m’, and so on.

    You could award points for each person who has been to the city (but no lying allowed!) to the group who thinks of it, but deduct two points if they can’t think of a city with that letter (to avoid them not wanting to say a city on the basis that no one is likely to have been there). So maybe use different colours for writing the name of cities, and tallying the scores of the number of people who have been there, depending which group says it. The game stops when no groups can think of a city beginning with the letter you are left with.

  6. Hi Sandy.

    How about a Paris lesson skeleton

    1.Make a collage of pictures, all of Paris
    or write the word Paris on the board

    2. Put a question box on the board, something like:

    Why do/does/are/is Parisians/buildings/food/ _____________

    What’s the best/cheapest/most expensive way to _________________________

    Why doesn’t/don’t Parisians/The French/ ___________________________

    3. Ask learners to write all the questions on the board for a discussion or write their favourite question on a sheet of people with lots of space below.

    4. Discuss in groups or as a class the answers to the questions or pass around the papers and answer the questions.

    5. Many directions one could go in now:

    a) Make a comparison between Paris and the city you are teaching in.
    b) Ask learners to make a presentation “24 hours in Paris”
    c) Ask learners to act out actions in Paris “you’re eating snails!” “you’re climbing the Eiffel Tower”
    d) Plan and make a one-minute ‘podcast’ about why tourists should/shouldn’t come to the city you’re teaching in or Paris.

    Thanks for the challenge,


  7. Great ideas for Paris lessons. I just thought I would post this one linked to the theme. First, use an image of the Eiffel Tower or a typical Parisian cafe (I’m sure there’s one on eltcpics by now ;)) and get sts to brainstorm ideas related to Paris. Use prompts to encourage them – perhaps by dividing their ideas into : things you might see / places to go / food + drinks to enjoy or try/ famous sights or people / music and atmosphere etc. You could use a guided visualisation here asking sts to imagine they are in Paris – what can they see / hear / smell etc? How do they feel? Draw on their experiences – have they ever been to Paris? Would they like to go? Why / why not?

    Get them to watch the video – Paris is not a cliche

    Use the content of the video to add to the ideas you had earlier. Which ones does the presenter talk about? Does she like Paris or not? Why? What are the cliches she talks about? Does the video meet with their own ideas and expectations of Paris? Work on language which comes up. Look at the format of how the video is set up, and get sts to plan their own video based on the same theme – cliches about where they live – what would feature – what would they include in a video to talk about the highlights / lowlights of where they live. They could put this together as a fotobabble using photos of their home town / city, or perhaps use a flipcam or similar to make their own film, going out to the places they talk about.

    It would be great to know if anybody uses the lesson ideas. Perhaps they could let us know about, or even see the results…


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