Idioms related to Fear & Some Colorful Magic

If you’d like to practice your colors and work a little magic, try this fun video:

Past Perfect: What Happened First?

Here’s a good place to practice the past perfect.

You can use use the flashcards on this site too. Pick any two cards. Express the events in the past tense. For example: Nick studied chemistry. Nick took a nap. Then, express the two events as one sentence, using the past perfect to show which happened first. “When Nick took a nap, he had already studied chemistry.”

Why Do People Like Scary Stories?

All cultures have scary stories and movies. Why do people enjoy being frightened?

Here’s a very scary animation based on a story by the famous American writer, Edgar Allen Poe. Poe wrote many stories and poems about scary things. This story is told through the mind of a mad person. Why does that make the story even more frightening?

* Mad = angry.  Mad= crazy, insane (In this story, “mad” means insane.)

Here’s an even scarier version. How are they different? Which do you like better? Why?

Flashcards For All Kinds of Verb Practice

Each card in this set contains a subject and a predicate. My class will be work in small groups, practicing the present perfect.

One student will ask a question of the others in his group, using the present perfect. Has Amy written a letter yet?. The next student will answer, Yes, Amy has already written a letter. The next student will answer, No, Amy hasn’t written a letter yet. 

These cards can be adapted to many levels. I also have used them with dice, the six sides of the die each representing a tense. If the students rolls a four,” for example, she might have to express the card in the present progressive tense. Amy is writing a letter. To make the exercise even more challenging, another student may be assigned to say whether the sentence is expressed as a statement, a question, a negative statement or a negative question!   +, -, ?

(The cards may be printed out or used with an opaque projector.)

Comparing, Contrasting and Little Words that Count

To help students listen to each other more carefully, we will have fun with the following pair dictation:

We will also use our individual whiteboards to dictate our own addresses to each other. It’s perfectly all right to say: “Repeat that, please,” and “Would you spell that for me, please?” and “Is that one word or two?”

The class will make a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the two characters of Erik and Raoul in the gripping and strange story, The Phantom of the Opera.

ESL students sometimes neglect essential little words like “and” and “the.” To focus on these, they will complete the cloze exercise based on Aesop’s fable about a tortoise and a hare.

Hare = a close relative of the rabbit. The words are often used interchangeably.

Fable = a story told to teach a moral lesson. The characters are often animals, but the moral lesson is meant for people.

Cloze exercise = a written exercise where students write in some missing words.