Collaborative idea generation for ELT

Archive for the ‘Prompts’ Category

Rock climbing, Edinburgh, c. 1908

Joss Klinck just shared this fantastic photo of two women rock climbing in Edinburgh in around 1908.

Rock climbing ladies in 1908

It was part of an article from Edinburgh Live about the Ladies Scottish Climbing Club. The other photo in the article is marked as being from Wikimedia Commons, but I’m not sure about the photo above – please let me know if the climbing photo is not Commons too!

It immediately took me down two different routes: one about questioning stereotypes, perhaps by showing the group photo from the article and asking students to make assumptions, then showing this photo, or by doing some kind of gradual reveal and asking students to work out what’s going on. The other route is as a speaking prompt for a lead in to a sports or extreme sports lesson.

What else could you do with this image and article in your classroom? You can make any assumptions you like about the context they are used in. Post your ideas in the comments below. All ideas are welcome (there are no wrong answers!)

Click here to find out the idea behind this blog.

New sports created from random emoji

This cartoon popped up in my blog feed the other day, and I immediately thought it would make a fun addition to any sports lesson. You could show the students some of the emoticon combinations and ask them to match them to the names, then come up with the rules for this particular sport, especially if they’re not feeling very creative and are unable to come up with their own sport (the classic activity!)

What else could you do with this cartoon in your classroom? You can make any assumptions you like about the context they are used in. Post your ideas in the comments below. All ideas are welcome (there are no wrong answers!)

Click here to find out the idea behind this blog.

Finding video clips by phrase

On Sunday, Milada Krajewska and I were looking for the amazing playphrase.me, which Anthony Schmidt had introduced to me a couple of months ago and I’d forgotten the name of. It’s a kind of audio corpus, where you can search for a particular word or phrase and it will find a series of examples from films and TV shows. It’s designed for language learners, and you can also help them to add to their database of phrases. Here’s an example for ‘if you know what I mean‘:

Playphrase.me if you know what I mean

In the process, we came across Yarn, another tool to find video clips by quote. The interface isn’t as good as playphrase, the clips aren’t always cut smoothly and you have to manually select the next clip. However, if you choose carefully, it could work well for dictations practising connected speech, especially because each video is on a loop until you stop it. Here’s the same phrase, ‘if you know what I mean‘, on Yarn:

getyarn.io if you know what I mean

What would you do with these two tools in your classroom? You can make any assumptions you like about the context they are used in. Post your ideas in the comments below. All ideas are welcome (there are no wrong answers!)

Click here to find out the idea behind this blog.

Manhattan office windows

Manhattan office windows by Vladimir Kudinov on Unsplash

Manhattan office windows by Vladimir Kudinov on Unsplash

At IATEFL 2015 I learnt about The role of the image in materials design from Ceri Jones and Ben Goldstein. One of the sources they recommended following was Unsplash, who send out a selection of photos to your email every week, all of which are available under a Creative Commons 0 license, meaning they can be used for free without requesting permission first. The photos are always beautiful, and I found this one particularly striking.

What would you do with this image 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!)

You might also like to extend it by using the ELTpics Windows and Doors or Urban collections.

Click here to find out the idea behind this blog.

A crane driver’s death-defying commute

Crane on a construction site

Ever wondered what it’s like at the top? (my photo)

The BBC gave a crane driver a camera to film his commute to the cab of his crane, then show what he does every day. It’s something I’ve often wondered about, and I found the thought very interesting – I don’t think I could do that job! If you’re in the UK, you can find the link here. Outside the UK, you need to go via the Britain homepage. [If someone could send me the exact link, that would be great!]

What would you do with this video and article in your classroom? You can make any assumptions you like about the context they are used in. Post your ideas in the comments below. All ideas are welcome (there are no wrong answers!)

Click here to find out the idea behind this blog.

Tin of beans

Emma Herrod was inspired by the Infinite ELT Ideas blog to find out how you’d use a tin of beans in your classroom. Head over to her post to leave your suggestions.

Tin of beans

Tin of Beans by Extraterrestrial Bob ExtraterrestrialBob on Flickr – licensed under CC BY 2.0

I am an immigrant

I am an immigrant posters

A series of posters with the tagline ‘I am an immigrant’ has recently appeared on the London Underground, courtesy of the Movement Against XenophobiaThe money to display the posters was crowdfunded, and the whole campaign is a response to the often negative messages conveyed about immigrants in the run-up to the UK elections in May 2015. You can read more about the campaign on the I am an immigrant website, where the image above was taken from.

What would you do with these posters in your classroom? You can make any assumptions you like about the context they are used in. Post your ideas in the comments below. All ideas are welcome (there are no wrong answers!)

Click here to find out the idea behind this blog.

Top Christmas toys

Today a list of ‘Dream Toys’ for Christmas 2014 was published. The BBC put together a summary of the toys, along with pictures and prices. They range in price from £7.99 up to £99.99.

What's under the Christmas tree this year?

What’s going to be under the Christmas tree this year?

What would you do with this article 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!) It seems ripe for classroom use, with lots of ideas immediately jumping to mind, but I’d love to hear what you’d do with it first!

Click here to find out the idea behind this blog.

Found in translation

Tingo poster designed by Anjana Iyer

Poster designed by Anjana Iyer (click to see all of her posters – no copyright infringement is intended)

Found in Translation is a series of posters by Anjana Iyer. She aimed to illustrate words which cannot be translated into English word-for-word. I think the results are beautiful. There are 100 of them as part of a 100 days project run by artists.

What would you do with these posters in your classroom? You can make any assumptions you like about the context they are used in. Post your ideas in the comments below. All ideas are welcome (there are no wrong answers!)

Click here to find out the idea behind this blog.

A lunch box

A lunch box

What would you do with a lunch box 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!)

Click here to find out the idea behind this blog.