How often are your students willing to write? Are they thrilled when you assign them with a task of writing? This is a case that I often confront with most of my students at all levels.
This is the lesson plan of a story that A2 students wrote within the period before Christmas.
But why is it so important for students to write their story?
i. Allow students to explore and express their imagination
ii. Interaction in the classroom in pairs or groups
iii. Practice of English language
iv. Encourage creativity
v.Have a good time during the lesson
vi.Both teachers and students enjoy it
vii. You can adopt the lesson to learners’ age and level.
viii. The topic can be their own
i. There might be vocabulary hurdles for the students to express their thoughts
ii.There might be students who do not participate as much as the rest.
iii. The stronger learners might surpass the weaker ones
i. Tell the students that you they are going to write a story together.
ii.Agree on the theme of the story. Do they want it to be a crime/ comedy/ adventure/romance? Believe me. This is a big issue and it will take them some time to agree on that. Decide about the main character. Is it a female or male?
iii. Write the main questions on the board. They have to write their ideas on their notebooks. iv.The questions should be who/what/when/where/how questions.
1) Who is the main character? What is his/her name?
2) Where is he/she in the beginning of the story?
3) Who is with him/her?
4) What are they doing?
5) How does the story go on?
6) What happened in the end?
v. As homework, let them think about the story plot and note down their thoughts in their notebooks.
vi. The next time you meet, ask them to share their notes with their classmates on each question and decide unanimously on the best version. Write each step of the story on the board so that all students can follow the plot.
vii. To make your story more interesting ,you should suggest adding dialogues in some parts of the story. Let them write these dialogues.
viii. The final stage is to find a title of your story
ix. As a follow-up activity ,you would like to correct some of the most common errors that your students have made. You can write these sentences on the board for the students to correct.
One of the best parts of that project for all of us was the pair teaching I had with my colleague George Raptopoulos. Students loved the experience and there were times that George suggested the students act scenes of the story. I believe that made the learners get involved more and get unstuck.
Here is the outcome of our attempt. I hope you like it.
The lost smile
It was Christmas time. A girl called Emmy wanted to
decorate the Christmas tree at home with her brother
and her little sister. But her mum could not help her
because she had a lot of things to do and she was tired.
Emmy was upset and sad and left home. She found her
friends and they wanted to go for a walk to the
Christmas open market. When they arrived there, they
saw a lot of people who were having fun and a good
time at the stands of the open market. They went to the
shop with Christmas sweets. When they got in, they
were very excited because they saw a strange candy
but they could not buy it because it was very expensive.
All of a sudden, a mysterious glamorous man appeared
behind them and he talked to Emmy.
“Do you like this candy?”, the man said.
“Yes, of course! I love it, I want it but I can’t buy it! It is
very expensive!”, Emmy answered.
“I will buy it for you if you give me your smile”, the
terrifying old man whispered to her ear.
Emmy felt scared, looked left and right for her friends but
she didn’t find them because it started to snow and they
went outside. So, she telephoned her mum but her mum
Emmy turned to the man, she smiled and took the
“Thank you, sir.”
“I thank YOU!”, the man replied and, PUFF, he
Emmy ran to her friends and shouted,
“I have got the CANDY!!!”
The children looked at Emmy.
“What happened, Emmy? Why can’t you smile?”, they
“I don’t know. I am happy but I can’t smile!” Then she
understood and felt sad, upset and very sorry.
“That horrible man stole my smileee!”, and she started
crying. Then she saw him in the corner. “That’s HIM!!!”,
The children started to make snowballs and threw them
“No! No! Stop! Mamma! Help!”
“Give Emmy’s smile back!”
“Ok, here you are!”
And Emmy smiled again…
It is widely known that young learners and especially teenagers love technology and they are much more advanced in handling it than many of us. Inspired by Maria Jose Giavedoni, I stimulated my students to become producers of their own videos.
(i) The project can be adapted to learners level and age.
(ii) Students are wholeheartedly involved.
(iii) No demand of high tech equipment. A smartphone is enough.
(iv) One does not need to be a hi-tech nerd to make their own video. Even newbies can get the hang of editing their video.
(v) Encouragement of pair / team work.
(vi) Practice on writing skills.
(vii) Encouragement of productivity, creativity, imagination, initiative.
(i) Not all students are thrilled with technology or film making.
(ii) Teachers constantly have to remind their students of the project deadline.
(i) Decide together with the learners the topic of the video.
(ii) Ask them to take pictures of moments related to the topic.
(iii) Ask them to write sentences that go with each picture.
(iv) Check their texts in the classroom.
(v) Give them a deadline to make their video. Ask the techno familiarised ones to cooperate with those less acquainted with applications.
(vi) Show the results over a projector in the classroom or they can upload their creation online. You can also create your classes’ channel on YouTube ,adjusting the show restrictions for safety reasons. Especially with learners under age, one should take precautions before exposing them publicly.
Overall, it is an activity that most learners enjoy and they are eager to show their productive skills in speaking and writing.
Here, I am just sharing a sample of my A2 level students who has completed her project.