The Chinese Zodiac/Adjectives of Personality
Lesson based on a TELL (Technology Enhanced Language Learning) methodology.
I believe that motivation is one of the keys to successful language learning. Keeping our students engaged in our lessons is definitely one of the most challenging and daunting tasks. The majority of learners use the internet on daily basis so why don´t we let them use it in the class as well?
The authentic internet websites do not only increase motivation, but they can also be chosen according to students´ interests. Moreover, through internet we can provide our students with numerous ways they can practise and study English outside of the classroom. The following lesson idea is based on the Chinese Zodiac (who wouldn´t like to find out whether they´re a Monkey or a Snake?:-D) and an authentic internet website.
Level(s): (B1) Intermediate/(B2) Upper-Intermediate
Aimed at: Teenagers/young adults/adults
Aims: Speaking/To provide an environment where students practise their reading skills using an authentic internet website/ To encourage pair and group work to be learner centred/To enhance students´ knowledge of adjectives
Materials: A website link: http://www.astrology.com/chinese-astrology/ One PC per pair of students (depending on the available resources)/ A4 paper sheets/card, coloured pencils and scissors.
Time: +/- 60 min
- Have students work in groups of 3/4 and answer the following questions about the Chinese Zodiac (you can have the questions written on the board or simply read them out for the students):
- According to the legend, who created the Chinese Zodiac?(Buddha. He summoned all the animals to a meeting. The first twelve to arrive got their own zodiac sign)
- What are the twelve animal signs in the zodiac? Make a list!( Rat/ox/tiger/rabbit/dragon/snake/horse/sheep/monkey/rooster/dog/pig)
- Can you think of two personal traits that go with each of the signs? Make a list!(E.g. Ox: stubborn and healthy/ Monkey: humurous and easy-going, etc. – no wrong or right answers here!)
- Can you guess what your animal sign is?Have a brief class feedback and provide the students with the correct answers to the first two questions.+/- 15 min
2. Have the students work in pairs in front of their PCs now and ask them to go to: http://www.astrology.com/chinese-astrology/. Students ask their partner about their date of birth (year, month and date) and type up this information in the box provided on the website. At this point, they should inform their partner about their animal sign and start reading the sign´s characteristics.
Explain that they don´t have to understand absolutely everything in the text. Their task here is to provide their classmates with as many personality adjectives as they can, based on the sign´s description in the text. Their partner should make notes of the vocabulary (adjectives). Have students change the roles and repeat the procedure.
+/- 15 min
3. Distribute each student an A4 paper and ask them to draw an animal head of their sign. Have them fill in their heads with personality adjectives from the previous activity. At the end of the activity they should have prepared something similar to this:
+/- 15 min
4. Have a brief class feedback of each student talking about his/her personality traits. If you think that some students are too shy to speak in front of the class, have them do it in groups. Don´t forget to make the Chinise Zodiac class display!:-D
+/- 10 min