Ungoogle your cats!

Titi the Cat…

Someone asked me the other day whether or not an image of a cat found on Google (not that shown above) was going to print out well for use in class — on the black-and-white printer they had access to.

As the contrast in the picture was low, I said I thought not and suggested looking for a different one.

And to enlarge it? Possibly the best way to enlarge is by using the photocopier to do it for you.

It was actually for use in a class on our young learners extension course and so I suggested that, rather than using Google, that the young learners themselves should draw the pictures — and would then be able to describe their cats.

I've got no idea how the lesson eventually went, but I later happened to be in the actual classroom used and noticed the drawings of cats on the walls (see one example above) — and like to imagine that the lesson meant much more to the kids, that they learnt more because they participated and were more involved in it.


I thought I'd just invented the word "ungoogle", but Google itself currently finds around 34,000 results for it.

But, because I think Google-is-Evil, and perhaps sometimes has an adverse effect on the lessons we take into our classrooms, it's one I think teachers should adopt.

There are better places to search than Google, there are better places to find images…

Steal and photocopy… or draw your own images?

A monster in the Internet Room! It's got a tail! It's got 3 eyes!

Rebecca is currently taking the CELT YL course with us at IH Barcelona and brought this into the Internet Room before class… Wow! It's so impressive, and so much more so than a monster she could have stolen from Google Images.

She was going to get her kids to draw monsters too, and then say what body parts their monsters had got.

You could pinch the pictures off of the Web, but how much more engaging for your young learners to draw their own!

>> 1000+ Pictures for Teachers to Copy

1000+ Pictures for Teachers to Copy

I would say Andrew Wright's 1000+ Pictures for Teachers to Copy is the best, most useful book I've read in 25 years in English teaching.

It's practical, it's useful, it will save you (and your learners) lots of time, it's fun — and it teaches you a skill that I think all teachers should have, especially anyone teaching young learners.

You can't draw? You don't need to be able to draw — all you've got to do is learn how to copy a few simple images.

Publisher: Longman ELT, ISBN 0175571007. Available from Amazon.com.