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Lesley Ito's WE CAN!Teaching Tips
Lesley Ito Lesley Ito
Originally from Florida, Lesley Ito has been involved with ELT in Japan for 18 years. She is the owner of BIG BOW English Lab in Nagoya, the author of the WE CAN! Teacher's Guides and has made numerous teacher training presentations all over Japan, from Hokkaido to Kyushu. She has also written numerous articles on teaching young learners and is active in teaching organizations in Japan. Currently she is the Program Director of JALT Junior and the Program Chair of the TC SIG.
Lesley Ito's WE CAN!Teaching Tips Fun with the WE CAN!
Starter for the Class Who Needs More

【No.5 : for WE CAN! Level 2】

I am very lucky to be connected on the Internet to many teachers around the world and I often find inspiration in the things they have to say. A while ago, someone made the comment that the students can only be as enthusiastic as their teacher. I thought this was very true. I’ve noticed over the years in my own classroom that the class tends to go more smoothly and the students are more willing to participate if we are playing a game or doing an activity that I personally enjoy. There is nothing wrong with feeling more comfortable doing some activities or games more than others; this is all about your journey of personal discovery as teacher. It is about finding the style of teaching that best fits YOU!

As for me, I have always enjoyed games that use a pair of dice. There is something exciting about rolling a pair of dice and seeing what you will come up with. Also, games that use dice are equalizers because the weaker students in the class have just as much chance as the stronger ones. One dice game that I have enjoyed using in class over the years involves making sentences about household objects and what rooms they can be found in.

Lesley Ito's WE CAN!Teaching Tips
Lesley Ito's WE CAN!Teaching Tips

After teaching the rooms in a house in WE CAN! Level 2, Unit 7 (My House, page 57) and the prepositions and furniture on page 60 in the same unit, go to Starter Unit 30 (My House/pages 70 and 71) and teach more rooms, furniture and things you can find in a house (Don’t forget to teach the words, “bathtub” and “stove”).

Lesley Ito's WE CAN!Teaching Tips

Then, go to Starter Unit 31 (My Room/pages 72 and 73) and teach (or review, as many students studying out of WE CAN! Level 2 might already know most of this vocabulary) the things you can find in a bedroom. Now you are ready to play the game.

Lesley Ito's WE CAN!Teaching Tips

Write the numbers 2 – 12 on the board. By each number, write a household object you can find in the house in Starter Unit 30 (My House/pages 70 and 71).

For example:

2= bed  3= bookshelf  4= chair  5= cupboard  6= fridge  7= table  8= mirror  
9= lamp  10= window  11= bathtub  12= stove

(If students need help reading the words, draw a simple picture by each.) Then,
write on the board, “The ______________ is in the _________________.”

Students roll the dice and then make sentences about what they rolled and what the see on the Starter pages. For example, if they rolled a “6”, they would say, “The fridge is in the kitchen.” You can either play this game as a non-competitive class game where the whole class wins for rolling all numbers between 2 – 12 and making a sentence about each or divide the class into teams, play a set number of times and the team who has made the most sentences about the most household objects wins the game.

Lesley Ito's WE CAN!Teaching Tips

It’s always a delight, after years of teaching, to find a new game or activity that I really enjoy. Ever since I became acquainted with the True or False game from WE CAN! Level 2, Unit 3 (Things We Do, page 23), I have been using it in many different ways in my classes!

To play the True or False game on page 23, just write a big “T” on one side of the board and an “F” on the other side of the board. Act out one of the actions and say, “I’m _______ing.” If you are saying and doing the same action, the students run to the “T”; if you are saying one action while doing another, the students run to the “F”. After playing using the actions taught in Level 2, Unit 3, expand the game by going to the Starter Unit 6 (Action Words (Verbs), pages 14 and 15) and review the verbs on the page. Go over the verbs again, this time changing them to the “-ing” form (for example, “crawl” becomes “crawling”). Play the game again, using the verbs on the page.  

Lesley Ito's WE CAN!Teaching Tips

For more advanced classes, let the students have a chance to act out an action and say what they are doing. That way, this game is not just practicing listening comprehension, but also about students learning to speak clearly and loudly enough to make themselves understood so the game can be played.

As it is always good to take a close look at what you are doing in the classroom, why not take some time to sit down and make out a list of the games and activities YOU really like to play and do?

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