Extension Activities for the Coursebook: Part 4 Images

Extension Activities for the Coursebook Part Four by Hall Houston

 

Part Four: Extensions for Images

 

In this final installment of this series, I will give you several ideas for using the images found on the pages of a coursebook.

 

Photographs, drawings, paintings, cartoons – images grace the pages of every coursebook, but are often underutilized in a language lesson. Use the activities here to get the maximum use out of them.

 

Vocabulary Challenge

 

Ask students to look at a picture in your coursebook that contains a lot of detail. Tell students to study the picture carefully and think of three words that relate to the picture that they can’t say in English. Ask students to write the words in Chinese next to the picture. Then put them in groups to find the English translation for each word. Finally, ask each group to write a few new words on the board.

 

Which Picture Is It?

 

Put students into groups of 3 or 4. Let them look at different pages of the coursebook, and find an image they like. Assign them to write 3 sentences about the image. When everyone is finished, ask each group to read out their 3 sentences, and let the rest of the students find the image in the book. This activity is based on one that appeared in Learner-Based Teaching by Colin Campbell and Hanna Kryszewska (Oxford University Press).

 

Adding Yourself To A Picture

 

Choose a picture from your coursebook that shows a scene (a room, a party, a street, etc.) Ask your students to imagine they are somewhere in the picture. Now tell them to draw themselves somewhere in the picture. They also need to add a short sentence that describes what they are doing. Put them in pairs to describe what they are doing in the picture.

 

Time Travel

 

Ask your students to gaze at an image that contains a lot of detail. As they are looking at the image, put these sentence starters on the board:

 

Five minutes ago...

Seven years ago...

Three seconds earlier...

Right now...

In a little while...

After some time...

In a few days...

After several months...

In 42 years...

 

Tell students to choose one sentence starter and make a sentence about part of the picture (an object, a person, the background). Give them a few minutes to think, then call on several students to read out their sentences.

 

Using The Other Senses

 

Call your student’s attention to an image in your coursebook. Ask students to look carefully at the picture. Write these sentence structures on the board:

 

I can hear...

I can feel...

I can smell...

I can taste...

 

Ask them to create sentences that relate to the image, and add an additional sentence that gives a description or opinion. For example, a student might write:

 

I can hear the woman in the window speaking. She has a very gentle voice.

I can feel the cushions on the sofa. They are extremely soft.

 

When everyone’s finished writing, call on a student to choose another student to read two sentences. Continue until everyone has read out their sentences.

 

Three Sentences

 

Ask students to write their names on slips of paper. Collect them and pass them out, so that each student has another student’s name. Now invite them to focus on an image in your coursebook. Give each student a medium sized post-it. Ask students to write three sentences describing the image, following these instructions:

 

* The first sentence must have two words missing, with blanks replacing the missing words.

* The second sentence must be written in Chinese (or other first language).

* The third sentence must have the words in the wrong order.

 

Put an example on the board, using a different image, so that students are clear about what they are supposed to do. When they are all finished, ask students to pass the post-it to the student whose name they received earlier. The other student must fill in the blanks for #1, translate #2 and put #3 back in order. Then the post-its are returned to their writers for grading.

 

Improving The Image

Choose an image that appears in your coursebook (possibly the cover). Work together with the class to brainstorm a few ways you could improve this image (changing something, taking something away, moving something, adding more detail). Put students in groups of 3 or 4 and ask them to think of a few specific ways they could make the image even better. Then ask each group to come up and draw their improved version of the image on the board. When they are finished, ask each group to explain what changes they made and why.

 

 

Hall Houston teaches at Kainan University in Taoyuan County, Taiwan. His articles have been published in periodicals such as It's for Teachers, Modern English Teacher and English Teaching Professional. He has written 3 books: The Creative Classroom: Teaching Languages Outside the Box, Provoking Thought: Memory and Thinking in ELT, and The ELT Daily Journal: Learning to Teach ESL/EFL

 

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