Optical illusions- a PPT for your English/ EFL / ESOL classroom

This picture is not animated - it just looks like its moving!

This picture is not animated – it just looks like it’s moving!

I’ve just found more another optical illusion powerpoint on my hard drive.

I don’t know where it came from or who made it, or how I got it.

It’s an old favourite and perfect for a warmer, filler or just for when you have nothing else.

To get the most out of it

  1. Put students in pairs
  2. Have them discuss each one for a couple of minutes
  3. Ask for feedback.

You don’t have to do this for each one, but it will allow students to speak and produce more English.

Click the link below to download it.

If it was useful, please pass it on.

OpticalIllusions : https://chrisspeck.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/opticalillusions.pptx


Reported Speech – a quick ppt to show your intermediate ESOL/EFL students

Here’s another one from the vaults, a good introduction or warmer for your ESOL or EFL class on reported speech.

Click here to download the ppt: reported_speech_arrange_the_sentences

There’s not much to say as it’s pretty straightforward. The first slide gets students to arrange the words into meaningful reported speech sentences (some of them have more than one possible answer). Once students have done this, get them to write the sentences down as they would be in direct speech as well.

The next ten slides all have pictures of people saying things that students can report back. Have them shout out the answers at you, write them down or even work with a partner or group to get them perfectly correct.

Here’s the ppt again https://chrisspeck.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/reported_speech_arrange_the_sentences.ppt

http://www.englishlanguagespacestation.com/


Adjectives for describing character – a quick ppt show

Can be bothered to read the post?  You don’t need to anyway – get the PowerPoint lesson here https://chrisspeck.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/find-four-words-to-describe-you.pptx

Here’s another quick PowerPoint show that I found on my hard drive. I fgot the picture above on Facebook or somewhere – it’s quite famous. It struck me that it would be nice to use with a class.

1. I showed my students the picture for three or four minutes and asked them to write down all the adjectives they could see. They could check the meaning of any new words on their phones or dictionary.

2. I then asked them to write down a sentence for each word that they found.

3. Now students shared two of the sentences they wrote with the rest of the class.


Talking about paintings – Norman Rockwell – a ppt cooler, warmer or filler.

Here’s another PowerPoint warmer, filler or cooler for your English lesson. If you can’t be bothered to read the short blog – download the ppt file here. https://chrisspeck.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/rockwell.ppt

This week I’ve been talking about the paintings of the American painter Norman Rockwell. His pictures are great for generating conversation and speculation, although they are quite culturally ‘American’.

You can just show the ppt to your students, but it’s much better if you put students in pairs and ask them to answer the following questions.

– Describe what you see in the picture.

– Can you tell each other the ‘story’ in the picture?

Lots of these pictures reveal more about themselves the more you look at them and the story comes to life the more questions you ask. For example, why is the huge sailor getting another girl’s name tattooed on his arm? What is the expression on his face, it’s not happiness, is it?

Have fun


Describing People – A quick ppt show

Here’s another PowerPoint show with loads of different types of faces and people for your students to describe. I’ve put down a few ideas on how you could get more out of it below, but if you just want to get straight to the content, click below.

Portraits https://chrisspeck.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/portraits.pptx

How to run this lesson
This ppt will work best to help practise vocab and structures used to describe people. You can pretty much use it with any level, higher students will be able to say more and lower students will be able to say something like ‘He’s got…’

1. Split your students into pairs and explain that the first student is number one and the second number two. Tell them that they are going to have two minutes to describe the face/person to their partner. Depending on how good your students are you might like to have them focus on one special aspect of the person, such as
– What they look like
– What their life history might be
– What their personality migfht be like.

2. Now show the PPT to students. Student 1 will talk about the first picture, then you tell them to ‘swap’ and the second student will describe the next picture. Repeat this until the end of the slide show.

3. When students have finished you can feedback on the language that you heard students producing (negatively or positively) or scroll back up to some of the more intereting faces and ask individual student to tell you what they think.

Here’s the PPT file again : https://chrisspeck.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/portraits.pptx


Create your own Superhero! – A computer room lesson using PPT for teenagers and younger learners.

Thanks to mhealthwatch.com for the image

I’ve been teaching functional skills IT this year to my pre-intermediate teenage ESOL learners and the materials we have to use with them are fightningly dull. Here’s a lesson I knocked up for them on designing your own superhero using PowerPoint and the superb super hero generator   http://www.ugo.com/games/superhero-generator-heromachine-2-5 . The worksheet asks them to design a PowerPoint show around a superhero that they create or research,and broadly speaking, covers their IT requirements as well. Getting students to work in pairs and to present their show to the rest of the class adds a bit more fun and well-meaning speaking practise.

Here the worksheet: Make your own Superhero https://chrisspeck.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/make-your-own-superhero.docx

How to run the lesson.
For this pre-intermediate – intermediate lesson you will need.
– Computers that can connect to the internet with PowerPoint installed, preferably one between two students.
– Some way to show the student PowerPoint presentations to the class, such as a projector or and IAWB.

1. Write the name of a superhero you like on the board, like Spiderman or Superman. Ask students to tell you about him. Ask ‘What can he do?’ Generate discussion on what powers the person has, where they live, who they fight and so on. You might also like to show students something from youtube.com

2. Now explain that students are going to make a PowerPoint presentation about a superhero they create, they are then going to show this to the rest of the class and answer any questions asked.

3. Pass students a copy of the worksheet and ask them to read through before they start. Make sure students understand what you want them to do before they start.

4. Now ask students to work in pairs to create a superhero. Set a time limit of 20 minutes and make this the deadline for students to email you the presentation. Monitor students constantly to make sure they are on task and to discuss any superhero problems they might have.
***Some students might not have the creative spirit to do this, in this case you can ask them to make the same presentation about an existing Superhero from this list: Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Captain America, The Hulk, Thor, Wolverine, Iron Man or any other superhero they like!***

5. After the time is up or everyone has finished, ask each pair to come to the front of the class and explain/show their presentations to everyone. If time, encourage questions and ask a few yourself.

*This lesson will only work if students are familiar with the concept of a superhero as a western ‘hero’. Many cultures across the world do enjoy American films and students who are familiar with the genre will find this task easy to understand. Students not familiar with the genre will be confused and this won’t be a good task for them.

*If you think that creating a super hero will be too much of a difficult task them you could ask students to research an existing superhero that they already know.

Here’s the worksheet again https://chrisspeck.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/make-your-own-superhero.docx


The Royal Wedding ppt – a quick ten minute chat for your intermediate English class.

Can be bothered to read the short post?  – download the Royal Wedding PPT here.   (can you find the puctuation error?)

English Language Space Station.com

It’s the most important wedding since the last important wedding but, like it or loathe it Prince William’s marriage to Kate is big news and it might be a good subject to get your students chatting.

Here’s my own royal wedding powerpoint that I’ve been using with my students. Click here to download the powerpoint.

Royal wedding lessons on the net

Breaking News English has a good Royal Wedding lesson here http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1102/110218-royal_wedding.html

The TES has a few Royal Wedding lessons but you have to be a member http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/Royal-Wedding-Procession-Route-6073740/

Some great material for the Royal Wedding here at Michelle Henry http://www.michellehenry.fr/williamkate.htm

Really good lesson plans and a PowerPoint show from Guardian Teaching Resources, discussing, among many things constitutional changes. You must be a member to view these. http://teachers.guardian.co.uk/resources.aspx?q=The%20Royal%20Wedding