Angela's English classes

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


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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.

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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

http://artboom.info/sculpting/flexible-paper-sculptures-by-li-hongbo.html

“Storker metro”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Storker_metro.jpg#/media/File:Storker_metro.jpg

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:

1.show 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:

original/creative/special/imaginative

common/ordinary/imperfect,flawed/inferior

List of Descriptive Words to Critique Art

II)PRESENTATION:

  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.

4.video: 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.

III) PRACTICE:

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?

model:

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!

input:

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

IV)REFLECTION:

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

Extra reading for you or your students:

V)PROJECT:

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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VOA Learning English

USA VOA sticker

Tweeting around I came across VOA. They started following me or viceversa. Then, after some of their tweets I realized it’s a helpful resource for learners and teachers. VOA has more than one site and they have resource in different languages. The site provides lessons divided into two levels, 1 and 2. They  have news and their scripts with highlighted words that are explained on the bottom of the script. People can also make comments on the news and await for feedback.  It’s awesome to have the chance to practice and be assessed for free! I’ve read some responses that have been written  one or two days after being posted. In addition, they have videos.

Perhaps you are thinking that news are boring. VOA has divided their news into topics: World,America,Health,Entertainment,Business & Economics,Science & Technology. There will be something that suits your interests. Another interesting feature I found was ‘Words and Their Stories’ which explains American English expressions (audio and script,too.)

VOA’s website

VOA pronunciation guide

Talk2us Skype call-in show

Talk2us schedule

Confessions of an English learner A place for you to practice your writing. They post a weekly prompt, to give  a chance to practice your writing and to comment on others’ writing. I haven’t read any comments, though. I’ll try writing something myself to see what people respond.

They also offer a free Wordbook with some explanations about parts of speech and  informative images.It’s a simple and comprehensible dictionary with 1500 Words used by Voice of America’s Special English Announcers. It has a Special Words & Information section including  basic business and computer terms, thus it contains maps and some diagrams.

Another  resourceful site to add to the list  is American English,  a website for ESL teachers and learners  managed by The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. If you browse VOA websites you can find nice surprises.

You can’t get enough from VOA. Try  VOA Interactive Learning: Wordbooks. So many learning opportunities!

Other sites they have :

VOA youtube channel captioned videos!

http://voalearningenglish.org/ daily news reports with subtitles. English in minute: idioms explained in a minute

The use of the images and logos on this post is intended for noncommercial and educational purposes. The images were taken from http://learningenglish.voanews.com/