Thursday, 12 August 2010

Teacher Talk (2) -EnglishSMART Programme

Today, I received the following email enquiring about the EnglishSMART Programme conducted in July  this year by my ELDSS  (see older posting on this) :

Salam Ms Rahmah,

My name is _____and I need your help on some information regarding the English Smart Program. I'm an eng teacher in pahang. I really love to organize a pgrm like this. If it is ok with u can u share the module with me and the activities involve..TQ..really need and appreciate yr help n share of ideas..

I don't have a module for this (maybe I should produce a module) but the main idea is to choose activities that are fun and promote active learning for LARGE groups. So size really matters.. well, I will explain the activities and hope this will help the sender and benefit anyone else who is interested:

Activity 1: Ice-breaking (Getting to Know You)

Materials needed: Song "Where's the Love" (or any other song that's catchy), cd player, portable mic

Steps: Play song and get ss to mingle. Pause song and ss must find the nearest partner and introduce themselves in English. Start song again and let ss mingle. Repeat procedure until you are satisfied with ss participation. Then move on to the next activity.
Suggested time: 15 mins

Activity 1: Ice-breaking (Vocabulary Balloons)

Materials needed:  Balloons (one for each group), list of categories

Steps: Divide ss into groups of 8-10. Mixed them all. I didn't let them represent their schools or else some schools will win all the competitions! Besides, they will get to know each other better. Tell ss to hold hands (girls with girls and boys with boys of course hehe...). The idea is for ss to kick, shoulder, butt (anything, as long as they don't touch the balloons with their hands) the balloon to their friends  in the same circle while saying a word from a category that the trainer will shout. E.g. 'names of fruits', 'cartoon characters' and this may progress to 'nouns', 'verbs' if you want to. It's up to your creativity to invent other categories. After a while, change the category.
Suggested time: 20 mins.
SS really enjoyed these two activities (although some were shy at first) and the ice was clearly broken!!

Activity 2: Wordsmith

Materials needed: one reasonably long word printed on a strip of paper and placed in a balloon, mahjong papers, marker pens

Steps: Provide one balloon to each group. Groups break balloons to retrieve the word and list out as many words they can form from the single word (am sure you've played this before in the classroom!). You can make it more challenging by setting some rules for e.g. form minimum three-letter words only, bonus marks for words that have 6 letters or more (it's up to you). Have checkers/facees check the words and total the scores.

Suggested time: 45 mins

Activity 3: Our Story

Materials needed: one newspaper per group, mahjong papers, marker pens

Steps: Provide one newspaper, mahjong paper and marker pen to each group. Groups choose 5-10 pictures from the newspaper and write a story based on the pictures selected. (see my earlier posting on 'My Story'. Each group presents story to others. Appoint teachers as judges for this activity to evaluate the best story and presentation. During our EnglishSMART programme, the best group presented a story on the world cup. I was surprised with what the students could produce considering the majority of the students were from rural schools!!

Suggested time:  1 hour

Activity 4: Puzzlemania

Materials needed: plenty of puzzles (up to you what types)

Steps: Provide a set of puzzles to each group. Groups discuss the puzzles and checkers check the answers. Here's a suggestion. While the checkers are checking the answers, you could use the time to teach ss an English song (modern or folk). This is to reduce waiting time. I didn't do this as I thought it would be too noisy.. I should've...

Suggested time: 45 mins

Activity 5: Find Me 

Materials needed: items you can hide ( we had flowers, shells, balloons etc.)

Steps: Come earlier to the location and hide all these items all over the compound. Groups look for the items and bring them to the collecting officer/facee for verification. The group that successfully brings all the items or the most number of items is the champ. I thought this was one of the activities the ss liked...although I was worried the ss might fall into the lake!! Think safety first all the time if you're planning to do this near a lake ok.

Suggested time: 1 hour

Well, these were the activities we carried out. Please do adapt for your local situation. All the best!


  1. happy pose pn rahmah,,
    bnyakkan rest..

  2. Salam Pn Rahmah..Great..I would like to try the module one day,if I got a chance to conduct you have any Creative & Critical Thinking activity that can be integrated in Msian English classroom?I've some,but I know,mine is not so I want to see something related to this from my seniors especially from you..anyway,Selamat Berpuasa..may ALLAH bless you..=)

  3. hi teacher ita,
    it would be u if could share. no one can say theirs is not good because that's very subjective...i have some materials too but don't we infuse them in lessons? as a matter of fact many activities have elements of ccct. am sure you would agree with me.

  4. wow. this is really helpful. thanks puan. :)

  5. hi atiqah,
    welcome. glad it's useful for you. salam ramadhan


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