October 31, 2011

Spooky Halloween Lesson

My husband and sons' creations, right from our own garden

I wanted to share with you the lesson I did with my high school students.
Few days before the Halloween one of them created a Linoit, that you can check on my previous post here.

I've asked them to add photos, comments or music videos related to Halloween. It was also a great way of introducing Lino to them. We even had some let's say guest posts by fellow teachers such as Shelly Terrell and Sandra Rogers. Thank you for that.

This online discussion was before our lesson that actually took place on Friday 28 October, just few days before Halloween. I usually teach Halloween as a Culture Corner, and I always like to stress out that it's more an American holiday than ours.

The first thing I asked them to do was to show me some scary faces.

I said, i.e."If you are in a haunted house how would you react when you hear screams..."
"You see a dreadfull scene but you mustn't yell as they will hear you, show me some scared faces"

They were so funny and so into this Drama part!!!

Then we looked at the lino and checked what they and mentioned teachers posted.
(They loved Shelly's dog Rosco)
Then came the Brainstorming part. I  wrote Halloween on the blackboard and asked them to share their ideas. The first thing they can think of!

This is what they have come up with. I've created a Wordle of their ideas.

Some Halloween vocabulary without Justin Bieber even though he was mentioned?

We had fun and I explained some unknown vocabulary for those who didn't understand.

Later we had a listening activity. The plan was to listen some spooky sounds and to try and recognize them. They were so into it that they asked me to darken the room with the curtains to make it even more scary. Have to mention here that most of them love watching horror films with few exceptions so some girls have got rather scared with the sounds I've played.
I found some interesting videos on Youtube, but I didn't prepare any worksheet for them just told them to write  down the sounds they hear.

The first video

                                                                The second video
     (You don't have to do both videos, or just choose certain sound effects from both)

Instructions: "Write down all the creepy sound you can here, and try to recognize who or what is making them."

When they gave me their answers such as: "I have heard a wolf, door, wind, witch laughing....."
I introduce them to more vocabulary. Asking them and writing on board.
Example: "What does a wolf do?
                 "Describe a witch's laugh!"
                  "What about the door!"
They didn't know all the answers, even though they are intermediate level so we had them written down:           wolf howls
                     a witch laughs (cackle, snigger and so on)
                     a door creaks.....
                     a wind blows
                     thunder stroke...

To finish my lesson I had some writing activity as well. I found this lesson in my email. It was sent to me by  Croatian ELT Pearson Longman as newsletter. And it was actually a part of another lesson.

I had them write scary but aslo funny stories.

The Activity is called "Scary Consequences", but I rather prefered, "Funny and scary in a parody style".

Scary Consequences google docs link

You can check the original pdf lesson on the google docs link above.

This is what I have writen on board:

1. A ______________(male scary person, zombie, werewolf....)
2. met a_____________(female creature, witch...)
3. at _________________ ( a place)
4. They were eating _____________________(sts own ideas)
5. He said to her "_________________________(sentence spoken ny male)
6. She said to him:"________________________( female sentence)
7. The consequence was______________________________(sth that happened as a result).

Here are some of the stories written by my students. They gave me the permisson to publish it here, and I will add the rest later in my google docs.

Beware: the stories are rather creepy, a true Halloween spirit.


A zombie met a black cat on the graveyard. They were eating human bones.
He said to her:" One bone got stuck in my stomach" 
She said to him: "ha-ha-ha, you will throw up your blood and organs, ha-ha-ha"
The consequence was that the zombie threw up all day and finally died by falling on 
the black cat.


A vampire met Cinderella in the wood under the tree.
He was drinking blood out of human body.
He said to her: "Yummy, want some too?"
She said to him: "No, I want salade, you know I am on a diet"
That was wrong answer for Cinderella as Vampire ate her.

 Am I crazy for creating this parody like writing, would you allow it in your class?
 Please bare in mind that my students love horrors, love to read ghost stories, and are 17.

October 30, 2011

October 24, 2011


I have attended Shelly's Free TESOL Webinars last Friday. The topic was very interesting and refreshing for me. It was about Halloween. This made me create a VOKI for my students Facebook group. I hope I don't scare them. More about Shelly's webinars you can find on FREE TESOL WEBINARS

 My VOKI witch - a good one

My student created a linoit for our discussion on Halloween. Check it out.
I am looking forward to our Friday lesson. Maybe I dress up as a bad witch!

October 5, 2011

What makes a good/great teacher?

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn", 
  ( Benjamin Franklin)
Wordle: Teacher

What makes a great teacher? How does a great or at least good teacher have to behave, what does he, she need to know? What do students expect of him/her....these are the questions I ask myself almost everyday, but today it became even more special as today we celebrate Teacher's Day all around the world. While I was checking my mail and Facebook I came across an interesting Wall post by my friend Maria Bossa. Even though she said it weren't her own words I found it very interesting and I am very happy she's shared that with me.
So, what can letters in a word TEACHER stand for:

I have asked my students in our facebook group what they think makes a great teacher, one of them wrote, quoting: "to explain good unknown stuff". Is that E-Education or E-Efficient, or maybe both. What do you think!? I hope there will be some more comments, as I always try to improve my teaching skills, which is normal,isn't it. We teachers are a true Lifelong Learners.If we care about our profession or our students we will try to give 100% . Do we get tired sometimes, yes we do, but the will, the strenght, the love towards teaching, towards our students smallest success keeps us going. Are we appreciated today as that was a case 20, 30- 50 years ago, I really don't know. 

I will try to be more effective, try to create even better attitude, work more on my character, but I will for sure try to keep the Fun, Exploring, Sharing, Creativity (both of students and teachers) in my classes. :)

I think it's not just Chemistry or English, Geography or History, Art or Music we teach our students, I hope we also try to teach them how to be better people. Do you agree?
I wish you all Happy Teacher's Day! As we are no longer JUST Teachers, we are:

Image credit: BusyTeacher.org, created by Stacy Bonino - love it!

October 4, 2011

My students Wordle clouds

Wordle: email project
Croatian-Uruguayan epal project
Wordle: You tube
    Ana and Ines' Youtube wordle

Katja and Morena's wordle

Wordle: Guardian sports
Luka's sports wordle

Wordle: Hajduk
Mario's football wordle
Wordle: CROATIA Wordle: Ogulin Wordle: Animals