Angela's English classes

Exercises, resources, tips, ideas and a dose of fun

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Crafts for storytelling

Upon completion of Aesop’s fables online course I thought it would be a nice idea to use his fables for storytelling and acting out in children classes.  I have had to teach a theatre class for children once and what took me longer was the part of material development.In addition, when taking their masks home, some parents made completely new masks. I would rather have kids use things created completely on their own.  That is why, I am sharing links that can help you as a teacher to have students develop their own materials quickly and in an affordable way.


Black and white/color:


Simple DIY crafts for a simple lesson:

More fantastic ideas for storytelling crafts:

Featured image: puppet


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Amazing blog with teacher resources!

I found a great blog with lots of teacher resources.  It’s name is Tecknologic and its author is an English teacher in Japan. It was chosen as Featured Blog of the Month in April this year by British Council. It has  downloadable templates for activities and games, videos and tips and tricks. Everything is explained in detail.

Definitely worth checking out!

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Free Learning technologies MOOC at

MOOC: massive open online course

To my mind, we should never stop learning. Setting our eyes on being life-long learners can keep us motivated even though we can reach frustration at times, but that’s the whole point of it – tackling challenges and growing.

Thanks to a previous MOOC at Canvas Network I resolved I would get more involved with technology and one of the steps was starting my own blog. It was an enriching experience and this one thing has lead to others. I still don’t feel as a digital native, but I am definitely not a lost ball in the high weeds.

However, this time I might be a not so active participant due to all the work load of the month. I’ll still give it a go and get some enrichement. What about you?

Here is the course description:

Introduction to Learning Technologies
Ends March 23, 2015, 69 Days Remaining

This short course will provide an introduction to how learning technologies may support student collaboration, reflection, creation, sharing, and other key elements of learning. It will provide an opportunity for you to consider how learning technologies support your courses as well as your own professional development and research.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Utilize learning technologies in your teaching and for your professional development
  • Evaluate various learning technologies in relation to their potential contribution to student learning
  • Create and publish digital learning resources for use in teaching
  • Discuss issues around the use of learning technologies including digital citizenship, digital literacy and access

+pictures for my post thumbnail retrieved from pixbay.co88x31

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CAE Writing samples

Made with Angela Sato

Made with

No matter how you feel about your writing skills, reading samples will help you have a clearer understanding of how to fulfill the expectations of the task. Even though we proofread, we tend to  overlook mistakes or we are unable to recognize that the language we have used is does not suit the purpose. Consequently, comparing your drafts with the following examples will result in obtaining better writing skills.

“Get advice from exam writing expert Fiona Joseph with her weekly CAE writing task. See corrected answers submitted by students in our ‘Makeover’ page. Plus: vocabulary and grammar exercises to help you develop your writing skills!”
Flo-Joe CAE Writing Class

Writing Tasks from the CAE Handbook – Cambridge ESOL Russia


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Character names which are nouns or verbs

The title of this entry has boldly invoked a myriad of names. A list that I do not attempt to fully complete as the number terms I am interested in clarifying is extremely scanty if we come to realize the overwhelming amount of them which exist in English. I would like to spark some people’s curiosity and let them notice the meaning of a few names may help in making learning vocabulary more memorable. Beginner students acquire a sense of enlightenment when they become aware of the “hidden” meaning of names they have heard so many times. Spanglish offers this opportunity with a couple of words, such as bisteck (beef steak) or wachiman (watchman). At high school I remember a friend of mine had noticed how Popeye is pronounced  in the Spanish-dubbed version – Po-p/ɛ/y-y/ɛ/;in contrast to the actual correct English pronunciation. The discovery cracked us up and we were a little offended by the change in pronunciation.   The following list is in alphabetical order.


A Jack is someone who does heavy jobs. Applejack from My Little Pony certainly joyously involves in work that demands great physical effort. Similarly, we have the term lumberjack – a person who transports timber, logged trees. Moreover, applejack is also an alcoholic drink made from apples. The character in the series makes and sells cider, too.

ALL the pony names in the series have meanings. However, I thought hers didn’t have a meaning that could be so easily elicited. Besides, from the more than 200 ponies, she is the most famous. List of ponies – Wikia

2. Buzz Lightyear and Woody:

The words buzz has a lot of meanings. For this character I think that as a verb to fly low and as a noun (informal) excited interest or attention are the meanings that best apply since he achieves flying and his arrival caused commotion among Andy’s toys. Woody the cowboy was a less modern, more old-fashiones style toy compared to the astronaut. He isn’t made of wood as far as I am concerned. I looked the name up and it appeared as a form of the male given name, Woodrow, at

3. Flounder:

This verb means to struggle clumsily or helplessly. Ariel, the little mermaid from Walt Disney, was accompanied by her insecure friend, Flounder. Unlike, the closeness to the verb,  he certainly differs from the fish with the same name which is a fish that has a flat body and swims on its side with both eyes on the upper side.

4. Flotsam and Jestsam:


Moray eel by duncan 88x31

    Disney’s Little Mermaid movie contains many characters with names to exploit. It also has several follow-ups with names that are worth taking in. Ursula, the half octopus sea witch, had two moray eel pets. Both character names are related to the shipwreck. Flotsam is the part of the wreckage of a ship and its cargo found floating on the water and jetsam refers to the floating objects that are thrown into the water from a ship to lighten it or regain stability. flotsam-426785_640 (1)   Flotsam by tawil88x31

5. Popeye:

Popeye always has one eye closed.  In colloquial language to be popeyed has two meanings- to have your eyes open in suprise or literally that an eye or both are protruding.

6. Scooby Doo and Shaggy:

"Scooby-gang-1969" by DVD frame capture taken by FuriousFreddy from Scooby-Doo's Original Mysteries DVD (Region 1). DVD copyright © 2000 Warner Home Video.. Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Scooby-Doo via Wikipedia

“Scooby-gang-1969” by DVD frame capture taken by FuriousFreddy from Scooby-Doo’s Original Mysteries DVD (Region 1). DVD copyright © 2000 Warner Home Video.. Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Scooby-Doo via Wikipedia

After doing some reseach on this one I finally found an appropriate deifnition in the online Collins Dictionary: I don’t have a scooby doo what you’re talking about Often shortened to:scooby. The scaredy dog is part of  Mystery, Inc. and he also involves in looking for clues. Shaggy his friend has long brown hair. His name is an adjective to describe a person or animal with long messy hair.

7. Splinter:


          Astillas de madera de fondo by Petr Kratochvil pdp-button-small

    The teenage mutant ninja turtles’ sensei is the wise mutant rat, Splinter. His origins vary across the original comic, series and movies. One of them is that he was formerly Hamato Yoshi, who mutated into a rat and was given the nickname due to his conspicuous ablity to break wooden boards. A splinter is a small, thin, sharp piece split or broken off from the main body.

8. Tinker Bell:

“TinkerbellDisney” by Disney Hadas (Disney Latino’s version of Disney Fairies) downloads section. Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Tinkerbell  via Wikipedia

In Peter Pan she would fly around him and spread her fairy dust. Afterwards, she obtained more protagonism starring her own movies where her name is better understood. A tinker is someone who travels and fixes metal ultensils. In addition, it is also used to designate a clumsy worker. Sadly, in Spanish her name was reduced to Campanita (Small Bell) and can’t be interpreted as in English.

9. Tom:

The male of various animals is called a tom. A tomcat is a male cat that hasn’t been castrated and consequenlty marks his territory and fights over females. You will remember how Tom from ‘Tom and Jerry” would ignore his sometimes mousefriend to court a female cat.

More on the name’s background:

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Money talks – Basic level activity

Play money has proved to be a handy resource for teachers. I am teaching a very basic level course and the unit includes the family, the use of have, and numbers (tens and hundreds). During one of my downtown trips I finally got my hands on a stack of play money – soles, Peruvian currency – for a very affordable price.  Color printing isn’t an affordable option for me right now. That’s why, I chose buying ready made bills. I stll need to buy the coins. You could try printing bills and coins from


Today I brought them to class and my students set themselves up as banktellers, cashiers and customers. In simple language I explained they had to imagine they have a problem. The bankteller or cashier is distracted and gives you less money. Your quantity is incomplete. The bankteller completes the quantity by giving you the missing amount. Don’t forget to use body language and the items in question.

The following conversation is the model I presented.

A: I don’t have 120 soles. I have 80 soles.

B: I am sorry. Here you go, 40 soles.

A: Thank you.

B: You are welcome.

Do you have a child? Perhaps he or she can lend you his or her cash register. I forgot to ask my daughter for hers, but she usually  dislikes my using her toys for my classes.

Do you want to make the activity more realistic. Try my printable name tags

Counter image88x31

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Warning! Yellow light!

During the last two months I worked with a new group of young learners. Quirky as they are, when put together in one classroom their personalities collide and there can be either an outburst or an upbeat class.Experience and knowledge are indeed ingredients that open the way to successful teaching. Moreover, a positive mindset towards our students can let us harmonize the class. Thus having some visual resources at hand let young learners understand and react quickly to classroom needs.

What do you do to calm  your students down? Actually, it was a student that I had some months ago who gave me a simple and brilliant idea: using traffic lights.  He just explained his school teachers used them to let students know when they had to regain their composure. I didn’t try them at that time beacuse the students were able to listen and calm off but I have to admit I  was a little reluctant to use someonelse’s idea.

Two months ago while setting first day rules I just drew traffic lights on one of the top corners of the board and explained  that if they didn’t turn on all the lights they would be able to choose an activity for the last five minutes. Crossing out a light meant turning it on. Luckily I bought red, orange and green markers to draw the lines.


They usually chose a music video on youtube to listen and watch. Sometimes they would even sing out loud. I expected them to choose games but they did so once in a while. If they made an effort to compensate for their noisiness I would erase the lines and let them engage in an extra activity. This works for a class, but not necessarily to have individuals behave better. Be careful not to encourage negativity towards a single student.

I have been using together with charts on the board for this purpose. I have their names on the wall and get points of different color according to their behavior. Green is positive, orange shows they are getting restless and red if they are discourteous. While my charts are very simple. you’ll find Teacher’s pet Wall chart conspicuous.

I have found  other ways to use traffic lights in the classroom. There are many creative and industrious teachers out there!

Classroom Noise Level Indicator – Traffic Light

Traffic lights assessment poster

Traffic lights by Wishing Flowers

Featured image: traffic lights


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Activity to practice ‘going to’

Practicing grammar to talk about the future didn’t seem very challenging for my Junior classes, especially because it was something that had already seen before in another cycle. They practiced the use of going to make predictions  based on evidence and to talk about plans.

Finding a wallet with cash in it on the street presents a moral dilemma.  I took out a wallet and claimed I found it on the street in the morning. My students discussed what I was going to do with it. First, I gave them an idea and they had to think of more.

I am going to take a picture of the wallet and put Lost wallet signs on the streets.

After dealing with the grammar introduction on the book and some activities I had them perform a group task:

1. Individually think  of an action you are going to do.Don’t say or write the action.

2. Think about the following questions:

  • What do I need to do it?
  • Where am I going to do it?
  • When am I going to do it?
  • How long is the task going to take?

3.Complete the diagram but keep your action secret


4. Partners have to ask information questions first. Example answers:

  • I am going to need my running shoes.
  • I am going to do it in the park.
  • I am going to do it next weekend in the morning.
  • It’s going to take 30 minutes.

5. After collecting the information they have to make Yes/No questions:

Are you going to :

  • go for a walk ┌( ̄ー ̄)┘  ?
  • run ┌(;・_・)┘  ?
  • take your dog for a walk  U・ェ・U ?
  • play soccer    ┌(;・_・)┘ ))●?
  • They tried to guess with my example but they could’t. The answer was do Tai-Chi! They complained that that is only for elderly people. They don’t have to mention all the elements they need so it’s more difficult to guess.

I showed them parts of this video to clarify Tai chi isn’t only to exercise: Tai chi techniques application

*Other activities I included:

1)Flashcards of actions on the walls. SS walk around and discuss what is going to happen next.

2)Videos: Stop the video before an action takes places. SS predict what is going to happen Look for videos with unexpected outcomes.

3)Prediction: Show a crystal ball.

Discuss topics for predictions.

Give out strips of paper. SS write a prediction for someone in the class. Show examples of predictions.Mix strips and have ss take one. Make sure they don’t get theirs again. SS read them and tell their partner whether they liked their prediction or not and if they think it’s likely to happen.

Once I used paper fortune cookies.

Paper fortune cookies tutorial





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Art -why do we have to talk about it?

Art is everywhere. It can be anything or everything, something or nothing for some. Art is also a topic in many books we have to deal with. It can become thrilling or dull depending on how we present it to the class. I recall sharing experiences with colleagues and we thought the artists and pieces of art introduced in the unit weren’t very motivating for people who don’t adore art. By the time, you read this you must think there DO exist ways to stimulate your students. The aim today is only to show you some findings that will interest you and your students as well. In addition, I am sharing a simple lesson plan for a Speaking lesson. I hope you find it useful.


Interesting ad image by brewbooks retrieved from Flickr licensed underdescarga

Guido Daniele-  Handimals

CC image courtesy of Sébastien Barré on Flickr

Another Flexible Paper Sculpture by Li Hongbo  (at Klein Sun Gallery, NYC) #lihongbo All paper, stretching.  by Sébastien Barré on Flickr licensed under creative_commons_license_logo

Li Hongbo video

“Storker metro”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikipedia –

Clear Tape art by Mark Jenkins 

AIM: students will be able to talk about art by using descriptive adjectives and by expressing their opinion on pieces of art.

Level: Upper Basic,Intermediate /Contents: Art / Skills: Speaking/ Interaction patterns: pairs,groups

Teaching aids: realis- handicrafts, pictures, drawings (made by the teacher), pictures, video, questions worksheet

I)ANTICIPATORY SET: students some drawings and handicrafts you have made (don’t make them perfect!). Have sstudents looks at them, touch them. In pairs discuss which they like.

Honeycomb technique – DIY tutorial

2.Ask students : In your opinion, can my artwork be presented in a museum? Why (not)?

provide some input:



List of Descriptive Words to Critique Art


  1. Do you visit art galleries? why(not)?
  2. What type of art do you know? ideas on board
  3. Which artists know do you? elict information.
  4. What about the following artists? Show pictures.

In pairs discuss the materials and the procedures to make the artwork. Students share ideas with class, clarify if necessary. present comprehension questions. Then have students watch and discuss their answers in pairs.

Worksheet with answers

  • What do people think when they first see Li Hongbo’s sculptures?
  • What can his sculptures do?
  • When did his interest in paper begin?
  • What inspired him to create his sculptures?
  • How many sheets of paper did his man sculpture need?
  • Which aspect is important for a sculpture’s balance – depth, width, mass or  center?
  • What could happen if this aspect isn’t right?

5. Vocabulary: look at the pictures and match with the verbs.


1.Critical Thinking questions:

  • Do you believe art is only in art galleries?
  • In your opinion, can anybody do art?
  • To your mind, what makes someone an artist?
  • Do you believe  today’s modern artists better than the artists in the past?
  • What have the artists we have talked about obtained through their work?
  • What have the spectators obtained?


I believe art is something only very skilled people can do. I can do something innovative but it might not look so nice. Besides, if I wanted create something similar to what we saw I would need a lot of practice.

I liked the artwork we saw. Thanks to it I was entertained and it motivated me to continue with my hobbies. Perhaps I create something interesting and I can sell it!


where: streets, houses, parks, people’s bodies,buildings,stadiums, hospitals,restaurnts,salons, etc

what we can get from it :

recognition,fame,money, satisfaction,personal growth, motivation,inspiration, entertainment

it can help :

  • learn about yourself,other cultures, other ways of thinking
  • your children to eat (food art)
  • people to express themselves
  • deliver political/social/ecological messages
  • teach a subject
  • develop skills


We have talked about art. Now think and reflect with your partners: Why is art important?

Extra reading for you or your students:


Groups: Together choose one artist and create a similar piece of art with a personal message. They could also innovate and use their own ideas or mix ideas,too.

Bring it to class or bring the materials and explain:

  • your reasons to choose the artist
  • the process to create you art
  • the message you want to deliver

This lesson plan is simple as you can see. Adapting and improving it depends on you and I am sure there are tons of creative people out there.

I have to thank my students (again) for insipiring me!

Featured image: Brush


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Learning idioms

There are many ways to learn. One of the best is looking for what’s simple and effective enough. Who wants gimmicks?

While looking for the idiom of the week I made up my mind about it. There are many other people who have already done something similar or who are doing it. It’s not about being the most original but if you want to learn idioms by checking other sites you’ll find a lot. Autoumous learning is precious. It definitely boosts your knowledge and expands your universe. That’s why I’ll tell you about two tools:  Learn Idioms app by Nupoor Ashish Singla (for android) and (mobile and web for android and IOS).

About the former, I’ve tried it for several days and it’s been running smoothly. Here are its features with the (in my opinion)most relevant ones highlighted.


Feature details: –
* Database of 1000 generally used English Idioms with their Meaning and Example.
* Provides learning program to learn a set of English Idioms daily.
* Mark Idioms as Learnt and/or Favorites.
* Test your knowledge using Quiz for Learnt Idioms and check your worldwide ranking.
* Search English Idioms using keyword.
* See Favorite Idioms, Know history of Learnt Idioms.
* Check learning progress using Charts & Tables.
* Share Idioms with your friends using WhatsApp, facebook, e-mail, SMS, Twitter etc.
* Get notification for Idioms to learn.
* Provides setting for “set notification as on/off” and “number of Idioms to learn in a day”.

Besides, it’s free and ad free! For more information: Learn apps on Googleplay

Perhaps it would be more attractive if it included images to associate with the meaning. The downfalls are I haven’t been able to share via Twitter and every time you finish the 10 question test a message “Unfortunately Learn Idioms has stopped” appears BUT it hasn’t- everything keeps working as it should. In conclusion, the pros outweigh the cons.

Now, the latter, is quite versatile. To create a set of flashcards you need to sign up; however, you can browse through the existing ones without doing so. Images can also be added by uploading one or using quizlet’s own image search engine. If your set consists of terms and deifinitions, you can use the auto-define option which is user-contributed;consequently, not all the definitions might suit your item.


The study mode lets the user learn, review, listen and spell (type), test him/herself,play Scatter (match definitions with terms before time’s up) and Space Race (type the correct answer as terms/definitions scroll across the screen). As today’s world requires sharing via email, Twitter, Facebook, or Short Link is facilitated, too. What is more, you can print in 5 printing modes including 3×5 Index Card – double-sided index cards. For more details : How quizlet works

I just made a set of flashcards for one of my classes. The cards contain sentences with blanks and lexical items from the lesson.

My first set!


The use of the images and logos on this post is intended for noncommercial and educational purposes. The images were taken from and respectively.