Andreza Lago has a BA in Letras from UFAM (Universidade Federal do Amazonas) and an MA in TEFL from Universidad de León in Spain. She has been working in ELT for over 20 years as a teacher, teacher-trainer, materials writer and online tutor. She is the author of Tasks that Work and is currently teaching at a public school in a rural area of the Amazon.
The activity “Read, Write and Draw” was designed to give students opportunities to practice the language using the four skills – reading, listening, writing and speaking – and to encourage teamwork, creativity and students’ world awareness. By performing the task students will be able to collaborate with each other, and develop critical thinking and autonomy.
Practising the four skills
As we have few resources at our disposal at public schools, I often create activities in which students do not need extra materials or technology. They always use what we have in the classroom and in the natural surroundings – in our case, the Amazon Forest.
The activity “Read, Write and Draw” encourages students to practice the grammar structures and vocabulary items through the four skills. To perform the activity, students had to use the present continuous and action verbs, however, other grammar structures and vocabulary can also be used, such as simple past/future.
Activity name: “Read, Write and Draw”
Materials: Pencil, coloured pencils and sheets of paper
Skills: Reading, listening, speaking and writing
The activity is divided into 4 steps:
1. Students are divided into groups of three and each group receives a short text, which relates to the topic that was taught in the classroom. Each student in the group has a specific role to play.
2. Student A chooses a sentence from the text and reads it to student B, who has to write the sentence and read it to student C, who will have to draw what was read. For instance: “Peter is climbing the açaí palm tree”. Students can help each other if they have difficulties throughout the task.
3. Then, it will be Student B’s turn to choose a sentence to read to student C, who will write it and then read it to student A who will draw it. Students keep on taking turns until all the sentences from the text have been read, written and drawn.
4. By the end of the task, students will have to retell the story they got by explaining their drawings to the rest of the class.
I noticed that my students were self-confident by the end of the task because they were able to accomplish it, by writing and speaking in English successfully. I believe that happened because, first of all, they started the task in a small group and then they moved on to sharing with the whole class. Another positive aspect of it is that my students are not afraid to make mistakes because they feel they comfortable within the group, and know mistakes are part of their learning process.
All those aspects maximize students learning opportunities, making the learning process more meaningful, personalized and autonomous. In addition, learners can develop their creativity, critical thinking and teamwork skills which are very important life competencies in real world situations.
Check out more activities you can use in your classroom on our World of Better Learning blog.