A New Concept for Materials

With the Corona virus reducing the number of hours that I’m working, it looks like I’ll have time to focus on my materials-making.

So, here’s an overview of what I’d like to get done in the extra time I have at home.

Carla’s House Stories

There are about a dozen stories that I’ve written but not yet published here, aimed at the A1-A2 level. These are very gentle, telling a bit of the history of New Spork City and of the house where things all take place. So far, they cover the introduction of a few characters and some simple interactions.

I’d like to expand them, as well as developing more characters, because I’ve started using the characters from the house in my grammar worksheets.

The Grammar Worksheets

After mastering the art of reviewing vocabulary, I became interested in what seemed like the next step to me: reviewing grammar. To that end, I’ve started a series of grammar worksheets and I have to say that I’m enjoying making them.

I call them “grammar review worksheets” because the grammar is barely presented and instead is used in stories (featuring characters from the house, rather than from absurd fictional companies — my students struggled with the absurdity) and in exercises that include very generic “business” and day-to-day vocabulary. Where it seems appropriate, there are tables to fill out for the students who benefit from that sort of patient rumination on the grammar.

My thought it to have worksheets that can be used one-off (looks like we need to review simple past, here’s a worksheet) or as part of a broader concept. So, I think of them as stand-alone activities, but they do pair best with reading the stories and knowing who the characters are.

Materials to Discuss Other Content in English

If you’re familiar with the Outdoor Calendar series of worksheets that I started making, you’ll know what I am talking about. I really enjoy talking with students about things that interest me. And, if its an opportunity to force a bit of reading or an unusual activity in the target language… color me enthused.

I’d like to expand the Outdoor Calendar (there’s a lot more of the year to cover) as well as experiment with some one-page biographies (I tried something longer with Theodore Roosevelt and my students expressed a clear lack of interest — I think the challenge will be finding activities to pair with the reading).

Watch this space

There’s a lot to do and the return to normality will (hopefully) be quicker than anticipated. So, I’d better get to work!

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