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Activities for Interactive Whiteboards

Out now.

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Book review from English Teaching Professional Magazine

In an era of rapidly developing technology, with interactive whiteboards appearing in more and more classrooms, there has been an urgent need for resources to accompany them that are designed specifically for English language teaching. In this book, Daniel Martin has responded to this need by offering a wealth of creative ideas that can be used with interactive whiteboards.

In his introduction, he also provides reasons for using these tools, which will genuinely challenge the scepticism of those who question just how interactive this technology can be in the classroom. Martin has helpfully separated the activities into image-based, sound- and video-based and text-based categories and provided a quick reference guide at the back of the book that allows the teacher to search by focus, language level, estimated time of activity and by their own ICT skills. Each activity is then formatted so that there is step-by-step guidance for preparation and use in the classroom. Martin also explains that these activities can cater for different types of intelligences, though it is a shame that there is no indication in the quick-reference guide of the intelligences that are likely to be activated. Instead he makes reference to another book, also in Helbling’s Resourceful Teacher Series, entitled Multiple Intelligences in EFL, which would be useful when considering learner styles.

Nevertheless, the book contains a broad spectrum of almost 100 activities, and one of the strong points is that it also encourages further experimentation by offering numerous variations. These will greatly assist teachers in tailoring these and other resources to the precise needs of their classes. Another strength is the CD-ROM that accompanies this book which provides 24 activities that are ready to use in class with an interactive whiteboard. They can be played directly from the computer, often without the need to use interactive whiteboard software; what a blessing, some might say! Either way, these activities certainly appear professional, do not require challenging ICT skills on the part of the teacher and had a strong motivational effect on my students when I used them in class.

On the whole, this book has reignited my interest in using interactive whiteboards in the classroom, but it has also reminded me that this should not be at the expense of other well-established resources that deserve equal recognition for their benefits. Even so, just as a language institution is commended for having a broad array of materials available, teachers can benefit students and themselves by developing their professional skills, and Martin’s book provides a solid foundation for those keen to do so by adding the interactive whiteboard to their repertoire.

Michael Brewster

 

 

 

 

 Book review  from Humanising Language Teaching Magazine

 

TEACHER RESOURCE BOOKS REVIEW Year 11; Issue 2; April 2009, ISSN 1755-9715

Activities for Interactive Whiteboards – a Helbling Languages Publication

Daniel Martin, Spain

Daniel Martín del Otero is an English teacher at Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de Astorga (Spain). He favors a theme-based approach to language learning while integrating multiskills, and enjoys creating his own teaching materials. E-mail: danielmartin67@yahoo.com

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About the book
Going, going, gone!
Reporting verbs

About the book

Activities for Interactive Whiteboards is a brand new publication part of the Resourceful Teacher Series by Helbling Languages. Needless to say, this book will definitely appeal to those English teachers with access to interactive whiteboards as well as teachers who like to incorporate technology into their teaching practices. Even more so as this is the first methodology book that addresses the use of this new teaching tool in EFL teaching.

 

 

However, a highly peculiar aspect worth highlighting is that this is not a book specifically targeted at the techno geeks. Far from that, the activities are highly “humanistic”. Some of them are adaptations of fairly traditional activities; some others are somewhat more innovative or risqué. There is a strong emphasis indeed on promoting interaction in the English classroom, group formation, movement and accommodating multiple intelligences; thus providing fresh and motivating scenarios while not losing sight of the still necessary human touch.

Three distinctive sections can be found: image-based, sound and video-based and text-based activities. The book is accompanied by a CD-Rom containing some activities as well, which those who may not have the time, the expertise or the patience to develop the materials may appreciate.

Here are two sample activities.

Going, going, gone!

Focus: Numbers 1,000-10,000,000
Level: Pre-intermediate
Time: 40-60 minutes

ICT skills: Browsing for pictures on the Internet; copying, pasting and resizing pictures from a document

Preparation:

  1. Find some famous paintings online (you could run a Google search with the names of the paintings or visit the websites of the world’s most prestigious museums). Choose around 12 to 15 paintings.
  2. Copy and paste those pictures onto a blank page. Scale them down and place them at the bottom of the screen. Write the word Auction at the top of the page.
  3. Think of a price tag – a number between 1,000 and 10,000,000 – for each of the paintings (for instance €1,345,638, €779,390, €992,785, and so on). Those will be the starting prices for the bidding.

 

In class:

  1. Call out the phrase ‘Going, going, gone!’ in class. Elicit its meaning from your students. Ask them: In which situation would you hear these words? Now project the document you have created with the pictures on them and elicit – or explain – the meaning of ‘auction’.
  2. Set up groups in your class and explain that they will have to bid for those paintings as though they are at an auction. Every group has 10 million euros to spend and their aim is to try to buy as many paintings as possible with the money they have.
  3. Bring one of the pictures from the bottom of the screen to the middle and enlarge it. Write down the price tag in numbers, then start the bidding. (You should be the auctioneer to begin with, but a confident student could take on that role later.) The auctioneer calls out the starting price and invites the groups to bid. Each bid should be written down on the board by a student. When nobody bids any higher, the auctioneer calls ‘Going, going’ gone!’ and the painting is sold. Every time a painting has been sold, write the word SOLD over it, scale it down, drag it to one side and bring a new picture to the middle.
  4. Every group will be responsible for keeping track of their money balance.

 

Variation 1

With higher-level groups, you may ask your students to describe the paintings once the auction is over. Follow-up questions could be:

  • What do you like about this painting?
  • Where would you hang this painting in your house?
  • Which one is your favourite painting? Why?
  • Do you think you paid too much for your paintings?
  • Has anyone seen any of these paintings before? Where?

 

You could also lead a general discussion about art. Finally, you could ask your students to write separate answers to the above questions, or ask them to structure their answers as continuous text in paragraphs in their notebooks, language journals, online blogs, your webpage or in an email to you. Read some of the answers next day in class or, better still, show them on the board.

Variation 2

With elementary students you could review numbers 1-100 by using price tags such as €19.99, €31.55, etc. Tell them that they have €300 to spend. Instead of paintings, you may use, for instance, clothes, which will give you the opportunity to introduce or review relevant vocabulary at that level.

Follow-up

Make target language serve a real purpose. Create meaningful experiences that can engage your students.

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Reporting verbs

Focus: Reporting verbs in reported speech
Level: Intermediate–Advanced
Time: 20 minutes
ICT skills: Video player application

Preparation:

  1. Run an online search for a short video – or an extract of a longer video – featuring an interview. Copy and paste the link to the video.
  2. Open the video application on the board. Preview the video. Use the space left around the video screen to write common reporting verbs that you would like to introduce or review in your class, for example: say, tell, ask, agree, announce, apologise, complain, deny, explain, promise, refuse, suggest, warn – making sure you include many that are in the video.

 

In class:

  1. Open the document you have created and review the reporting verbs on the board. Emphasise the direct and reported speech grammar patterns they require. Devise situations in which those reporting verbs would be used.
  2. Tell your students that you are going to play a video with an interview. Play the whole length of the video without pausing.
  3. Invite a student to come up to the board. Ask the student to play the video again and pause whenever he/she can report something being said with a reporting verb displayed on the screen. He/she should pause the video, select the virtual highlighter, highlight the verb and produce a reporting sentence with that verb.
  4. Repeat Step 3 several times, inviting a different student each time.
  5. Ask the class to write up an account of the interview using a variety of reporting verbs.

 

Variation 1

Use a film scene with a dialogue.

Variation 2

Pause the video yourself, highlight a verb and ask your students to produce a sentence with the reporting verb.

Follow-up

Let your students decide on a popular English speaker of their choice and find the video material you need by running this search on http://www.youtube.com: “name of person+interview”.

 Click below for a review on English Teaching Professional Magazine:

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