Cambridge English Southern Europe

Experts in Language Assessment

Centenary Competition for Schools 2013 – Project 6

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This is the description of the sixth Project in the currently running Centenary Competition for Schools 2013.

Project 6: My street (ages 5+) 

Description of project: Create a photo story about the people who live in a street and look at how their lives are connected through their hobbies and interests.

Age group: The age groups within this project are very varied, so please check the individual activities to match them to the age of your students. Remember that some of the activities can be adapted to suit younger children.

Activity 1 (aged 5+) 

Review the language used for describing people. Cut some pictures of interesting-looking people out of some magazines and put them on the whiteboard. Ask your students how they would describe these people. As you establish the structures they need to use, write them on the board (for example: she’s got blonde hair; he’s wearing brown trousers; he looks friendly). Students then take it in turns to describe another student in the room; the first student to guess who it is puts their hand up. If they guess correctly, it is their turn to describe a student.

Focus: Language Development and Speaking 

Activity 2 (aged 5+) 

Prepare a picture of a row of doors with different colours and shapes with different numbers (there should be one door for each pair of students in the class – so for a class of 30, there should be 15 doors). It is a good idea if you can draw these doors on a long piece of  aper rather than on the board as students can then add to the picture later in the project. Let each pair of students choose a door. The students then work together in pairs to decide what kind of person lives behind their door. Encourage them to think about the person’s appearance and personality.

Focus: Speaking 

Activity 3 (aged 7+) 

Get the students to walk around the class as the characters they have created. They should introduce themselves to the other students one by one. When they introduce themselves they should describe exactly what they are like, what they are wearing, etc. At the end of the activity, students sit down in their pairs and they talk about who they met, who they liked, etc. They should then decide on two connections that they have with other characters. For example ‘Bella is my sister’, or ‘I go swimming with David’. They then need to agree with the other characters what their connections are (hopefully Bella will want to be your sister, etc.).

Focus: Speaking and Listening

Activity 4 (aged 8+)

As a class, create a list of hobbies and interests for the classroom wall. Focus on vocabulary development. Ask your students to decide on the hobbies and interests of the character they have created in their street and add this to the description of the character. The more unusual and creative the better!

Focus: Speaking and Writing 

Activity 5 (aged 6+)

Now that students have worked on their character and know them well, get them to decorate the character’s front door and draw the house around it. Do they live in a little cottage or is it a big mansion?

Activity 6 (aged 9+) 

Talk about register: How do people talk to each other if they know each other and are friends? How is this different from people talking to people they don’t know? Ask students what register they would use with each of the characters in the street (this would depend on whether or not they have some connection/relationship).

Focus: Language Awareness

Activity 7 (aged 9+) 

Show students examples of photo stories (from teenage magazines, etc.) and talk about the topics and scenarios these stories usually cover. Give out a photo story with some of the speech bubbles blanked out. Students must read the parts of the photo story that remain and predict the dialogue that is missing.

Focus: Reading and Writing

Activity 8 (aged 9+)

Split the class into groups (you could split partners at this point). In their groups students are responsible for the character that they have created for the street. Ask students to think about the relationships between the characters that are in their group. What kind of storyline could there be? Can they plan the plot of a photo story? Some students may not have any problems with this activity but some groups may not have many ideas. The teacher will need to monitor closely and help groups that are struggling, by suggesting some dramatic story lines. For example, Mr X has found some money outside his house. He kept it because he didn’t have enough money to pay his rent. Now he has heard that Mrs Y has lost the money she was saving for her grandchild’s operation. Mrs M is building a huge playhouse in her back garden. It is starting to block out light to Mr O’s garden and he’s not very happy about it.

Focus: Speaking and Listening

Activity 9 (aged 9+)

Ask your students to use the plot from Activity 8 to create the actual dialogue for a photo story. Remind them to think about register when they write the dialogue. Students also need to think about the picture that would accompany the dialogue in a photo story.

Focus: Writing, Planning, Organisation

Activity 10 (aged 7+)

For the next class, ask your students to bring a costume that they think their character would wear. They dress up as their character and take the photos they planned in Activity 9 using a digital camera. Print out the photos, stick them on a large sheet of paper and add the speech bubbles of dialogue. Display the finished photo stories on the classroom walls and enjoy the dramas that other groups have created.

Focus: Writing

Written by Cambridge English Southern Europe

June 12, 2013 at 10:00 am

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