Prehistoric Children in Barcola

Yesterday the older classes at Barcola’s primary school  started an English exploration into prehistoric life. Our forthcoming English lessons will not be entirely devoted to this project, but there will be time dedicated to it during each of our sessions together.

We started of the project with Life began in the sea, which we read, digested and answered questions on.  The children really enjoyed this animation which shows trilobites in motion.

Barcola Conversation Club: Food Glorious Food

Hooray, our adult groups have begun, and the first topic for the Barcola conversation club to digest was ‘Food’. 🙂

We commenced with me giving a quick presentation of the subject, and here is the completely unedited start of my intro:

And then, thankfully, things got a lot better. We formed groups and begun chatting with the aid of our first prompt sheet. The conversations started out in a halting fashion, but soon began to flow.  At around the middle of our session we changed groups and continued the conversations with our second prompt sheet.

During the entire session I milled around the tables, jumping in and out of conversations, answering questions thrown at me, and generally behaving like a half mad language tutor.

Well done everybody, and be rest assured that our club will rise to even greater heights. 🙂

Prehistoric Fiction: Tiny-rannosaurus

Our after school English club at Barcola started marvellously yesterday.  The fourth and fifth classes began their ‘Curiosity English’ course with a reading of ‘Tiny-rannosaurs’ by Nick Ward.

It was a great a read and the kids really enjoyed it. While reading the book on the interactive board, we used adhesive word labels to identify certain characters and features.

We then started exploring the story and its words a little deeper with the aid  of a few book inspired worksheets that I had created for the occasion.  We finished off our time with the children working in teams to spell Tiny-rannosaurus words with letter tiles.

There will be more Tiny-rannosaurus exploration next week, as well as starting a project looking at real prehistoric life.

Where the wild things are – Day 2

 The second day has finished and it was a hot one. We started the day with our conversation circle and we concentrated on two questions:

  • What did you have for breakfast?
  • How are you?

We spent our circle time solely on these two because the children were slightly muddled between ‘How are you?‘ and ‘How old are you?‘. To help them overcome this we wrote ‘How are you?’ in large chalk letters on the playground floor. We’ll revisit the  question tomorrow and see how they do. 🙂

Inside the classroom their English work concentrated on one of the book’s the first scenes; Max’s bedroom. We looked at the picture then created a mind map about the things we often find in children’s bedrooms.

Next, the children worked with Dajana, they drew forests and created forest crowns, it was great to see them delving into their imaginary kingdoms.

We continued the forest theme and I read a short text concerning what Max may have seen in his own make-believe forest kingdom. I pointed out the tall trees, the long grass and brightly coloured flowers, the mud and river, and Max’s discovery of a wild pig in a deep dark cave. We went on to learn the names of  some common forest animals and we ended the forest unit with a forest themed crossword and  word search.

Dajana then showed the children how to make paper claws. The children made their own, and were soon roaring and clawing like wild animals.

We moved on to learn a new song; Row, row, row, your boat. The children were enthusiastic to transfer it into a Nintendo Wii karaoke battle, so we moved to the projector room. The group naturally formed itself into two wild teams; the boys versus the girls. The battle began. They sang their new song, as well as returning to ‘The Alphabet Song‘, which is always a firm favourite.  It was a gruelling battle, but in the end the victory was given to the girls.

We ended the morning back outside with ‘What’s the time, Mr Wolf?’

Another great day was brought to a close.

Present Continuous 1

Make positive present continuous sentences.

1. Ann / read / the newspaper at the moment.

2. The baby / cry / again.

3. You / look / very nice today.

4. Chris and Helen / spend / a week in France.

5. I / study / a lot of English this year.

Make negative present continuous sentences

1. Nancy / not / work / today.

2. I / not / watch / television.

3. George and Amanda / not / drive / to work this week.

4. We / not / play / tennis.

5. They / not / talk / to each other.


Alfred Tennyson – The Lady of Shalott

The 25 Most Common Verbs in English

The list below of the twenty-five most common verbs in English is not definitive, but it may be of use to English language learners. It was compiled through a study undertaken by Oxford Online.

  1.  be
  2. have
  3. do
  4. say
  5. get
  6. make
  7. go
  8. know
  9. take
  10. see
  11. come
  12. think
  13. look
  14. want
  15. give
  16. use
  17. find
  18. tell
  19. ask
  20. work
  21. seem
  22. feel
  23. try
  24. leave
  25. call

So, if you don’t know how to effortlessly use any of the above,  it is time to reopen your books. 🙂