lunes, 23 de mayo de 2011

Video Grab

My group of 10-year-olds love Mr Bean.

from (official site)
Say what you like about the rubber-faced git, but as soon as you say those two words in class a cheer goes up. I get their undivided attention for a full second or two. I can get them to stop punching each other just by dangling the mere carrot of a Mr Bean video in front of them.


How does an English teacher use a video which doesn't have any English in it?

(Well given that plenty of people in my little PLN are expert teachers of young learners, and I'm still a total newbie at it, there are probably loads of ways. But this afternoon I stumbled on one at least. So here goes...)

I found a suitable MB video on YouTube (in this case The Library). There are plenty of them there.

As I watched I made a list of some of the key actions, which I transferred to little slips of paper. Thus...

(Well, as you see, they weren't all actions)

And that's pretty much all the preparation I had to do.
In class we watched the video once. No questions, no prep - just watched.

Then I presented and drilled the cards, and practised a bit, spreading the cards out on the table.

Then I told them they had to watch the same video and grab the relevant card when the action happened, or the object appeared.

Which to my surprise worked a treat.

Kids of this age seem to be very competitive, and enjoy games, I find I have to be a very strict, very fair referee during class games. So there were penalties for grabbing more than one card, grabbing the wrong card, grabbing too early, blatant obstruction, life-threatening violence and eight million other infringements. And they all had to keep their hands below table level between grabs.

But it worked fine. So I tried it again with my 8-year-olds the lesson after. Which also worked fine, though with them I reduced the number of cards from about a dozen to nine, if memory serves me right.

And of course if you keep the cards, you can repeat weeks or months later. By the way, here is a very comprehensive post on vocabulary revision and recording by Chia Suan Chong

And I may be able to use Laurel and Hardy with them sometime in the future.

And that surely is progress.

7 comentarios:

  1. Hi Alan,
    Great idea, everyone in Spain (not just kids) seems to love Mr Bean, for some reason! I like the way you have made watching a video into a physical activity. A possible, but more boring, follow-up task would be to get the kids to then use those cards to write sentences about what happened in the video, in pairs. For the older kids, they could do the same but make some of the sentences false - they would then read out their sentences and the other groups have to shout out True! or False!

    If you have computers, a nice activity could be to grab a few screenshots of the video, draw a speech bubble coming from Mr Bean's mouth, and the students have to write what they think he's saying.

    Anyway, thanks for the idea, I've successfully avoided Mr Bean for years but I might well do this with my group of ten-year-olds!

  2. Lovely to hear from you, and thanks!

    I do like your follow ups, especially with the screen grabs.

    (Actually I'm thinking of doing the same activity with my adults! I think adults secretly enjoy playing like children.)

  3. Great idea. Can imagine the mayhem. It reminds me of an activity I used to do, with a word (and picture) on a card, I'd describe it to them, they would shout (scream) out guesses. Even when someone guessed right, I would still carry on until they were sure it was this, and not just a possibility. Then I'd award a point to the original guesser, which was way back in time, and there'd be all sorts of cries of foul play.

  4. Alan, what a lovely idea ! It sounds very promising. I'm going to try it as soon as I get the cards ready! Thank uu

  5. How did that comment get there....

    Oh it's from Sonia, my partner, not me.

    I haven't yet got desperate enough to leave encouraging comments on my own blog yet.


    No, really.

    Really, I haven't.


    I mean, seriously.

    I haven't.

  6. Great stuff, Alain. Do you work aspect after, pimping in with the "what is he doing right now?"

    Just getting them to notice the "he is..." is difficult for my kids in Madrid with the l2 kicking in.

  7. Good idea :) I've tended to avoid overt grammar teaching, since this is not really a state-school recovery/revision course, so I don't really have to.

    But mainly cos I haven't got much of a clue about how to do it.