Every day, I spend a few minutes skimming the headlines on sites like The Guardian and the BBC, Mashable and BuzzFeed, on the lookout for great material for class.
I'm looking for things like this, on topics I think will appeal to learners:
Sometimes I find articles for learners to read, sometimes it's great videos for class, but things like that Guardian article lend themselves to "brainstorming and presenting" activities.
Because it's a real-life task that faces lots of adults today — even if it's only an informal 30-second "presentation" to your boss, with not a PowerPoint slide in sight — having your learners make presentations to the class makes a great activity. If you make creating and giving the presentation collaborative — with learners creating and giving the presentation in pairs or small groups, in other words — it's also a great language learning task.
With the video game guide, above, I'd recommend not going anywhere near the article, at least initially, and having the learners (1) brainstorm the sort of questions it would cover (i.e. what games to begin with…); (2) agree on the content; (3) order it; (4) assign roles (including who is going to talk and who is going to create the digital presentation); and (5) have a first rehearsal of the presentation — and all of that in class, without necessarily going anywhere near a computer.
I like to suggest a choice of tools to learners (see below), rather than imposing one on them, but Google Drive presentations (now known as Google Slides) are so easy to share and collaborate on — not to mention the possibility of real-time chat inside the document.
Depending on the technology available, and the time, the actual creation of the presentation can be done outside classroom time — which will also depend on your learners' access to technology and their willingness to do homework !
Here's another "brainstorm and present" activity which I described at our ELT Conference last month:
See this previous post for full details.
Alternatives to Google Drive
Your learners could use PowerPoint — but they don't get the amazing sharing options; and they'll love Prezi, especially if they've never seen it before — but I think time tends to get wasted on the zooming about, when it should really have been spent on using language.
See also: Tips for class presentations given by learners
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