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Author Topic: Medium- High level high school lesson ideas (help!)  (Read 3822 times)

Offline Rafiqua

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Medium- High level high school lesson ideas (help!)
« on: March 24, 2014, 07:40:30 PM »
So this is my forth week of teaching HS. I have a range of medium to high level with the odd low level kid who is smart nontheless.

My kids told me outright today that my lesson was 'too easy' for them. I have been unsure of how to make suitable materials for their level as I came from an elementary school which is obviously miles away.

Thus far I have done a lesson on inventions, restaurant (role play + menu), a writing lesson, phobia and a game of jeopardy.

While overall my lessons have gone well they haven't been challenging enough? I would like them to speak more but a debate I think will not get the whole class involved because while they are all smart some of them are too shy to speak.

I have poured over the current pools of highschool lesson ideas but I'm still feeling a bit lost. Does anyone have any tried and tested lessons.

Offline jennatuuta

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Re: Medium- High level high school lesson ideas (help!)
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2014, 10:46:15 PM »
There's a Lost themed "Who would you save" ppt somewhere on waygook.

Students discuss advantages and disadvantages of the characters. You can get them to explain their reasoning and all that (get them to elaborate on their answers i.e. so if you choose this person what can they do for you on the island? Will they clash with another person you want to save?)

Also another I recommend is "Animal Wars" also floating around on this site

- sounds pretty brutal and actually does have videos of animals fighting but they're in the wild not forced to fight (with the exception of Bull/Lion). ANYWAY in this lesson the students predict what animal they think will win and give reasons for why they predict it (i.e. "I think the Bear will win because it's stronger" you can get teams to kind of debate too. And they bet which is quite fun).


Offline Denevius

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Re: Medium- High level high school lesson ideas (help!)
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2014, 12:05:24 PM »
You sound like a first year teacher. If you aren't, sorry for assuming so. If you are, inherently, there's nothing wrong with that, but it's curious that your school district wouldn't give a high level school to someone with more experience.

I would kill for high level students.

Either way, try this website for help in building more complicated lesson plans: http://en.islcollective.com/. I can't use much of what I find here because it's too advanced, though there have been some good ideas I've burrowed from.

A lot of what's on Waygook is extremely useful. Besides the chat section, it is the best ESL website I've found over the years. But if your class is high level, you'll have to modify a lot of material posted here, as most people contributing on this website are dealing with mid-level to low-level disinterested Korean students.

I have a BA and MFA in English, so coming up with more complicated lessons wouldn't be too hard for me. But if you are a new teacher with a bachelors in something else, I can see how you might feel ill-equipped for the job (though again, I can't believe, if that's the case, that there weren't more seasoned teachers in your district who are probably now languishing their skills in low level classrooms).

Offline metzy244

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Re: Medium- High level high school lesson ideas (help!)
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2014, 01:03:32 PM »
Don't worry, it takes some time to get used to your students and to figure out what they need to work on--it's just part of teaching, and something that takes time regardless of what your background is.  I had a degree in Education and teaching experience in a high school back home before I came to Korea, and I still found that it took some time to figure out what works in the classroom here. 

I also work with high-level high school students.  I use conversation cards every so often, and I've found that it's a good way for students to get more comfortable speaking.  I just arrange them in groups and have them take turns asking each other questions (I cut up cards with one question on each card). It's really easy to find TONS of conversation questions online.  I usually start by introducing the idea of follow-up questions and tell them that for every question they have to 1)answer in a complete sentence and 2) answer follow-up questions from their group members.  Sometimes I pick a topic that I'll be talking more about in class (such as food) and make all the conversation questions related to that topic.  Other times I just put a bunch of assorted questions together and let them begin the class with some practice.

I also try to do some pronunciation exercises with my students.  Sometimes I just spend the beginning part of class working on a particular sound that I want them to practice.  Tongue twisters and minimal pairs exercises work well.  My students are serious about learning English, so they really put in a lot of effort and concentration when we do these exercises. 

 A lot of the stuff on this site is good, but not always aimed towards high-level students.  There are a ton of games on here, but remember that you don't always need to play games with them.  If you have high level students, just take the opportunity to do different things with them. Not every lesson will be successful at first, but just keep adjusting things until you find what works. 

Offline bird212

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Re: Medium- High level high school lesson ideas (help!)
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2014, 01:38:48 PM »
There's an infomercial lesson in the high school section I'm about to use with my students--we did inventions one week, where they made their own, and this time will be making infomercials for their inventions.  just google "infomercial waygook.org" and it should come up. 

Also, a fun thing for my students that I found here for Halloween was play the first few minutes of a movie (for Halloween, Scream) and they  have to write a script and act out how they predict the first scene to end.  I also did this at my camp with the movie Twister.  It was hilarious!! And it makes them really apply some English and speaking skills.  Everyone enjoyed it!
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Offline laschutz

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Re: Medium- High level high school lesson ideas (help!)
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2014, 03:23:16 PM »
I don't have very high level students, but here are some thoughts for you off the top of my head.

In terms of Lesson Topics, some that I've been wanting to try but need to work on leveling for my lower levels--

Debating
Story telling
Advertising (I LOVE the Inventions and Infomercial lesson ideas)
World Trade (http://www.waygook.org/index.php?topic=49476.0) - I have used this in camp and it's amazing. The kids get SO into it. But if you want them to speak English instead of Korean... you really have to pre-teach some terms and be strict about enforcing a no-Korean rule.
A lesson on the "Words" video (http://www.waygook.org/index.php?topic=8598.0)
National Geographic "World's most typical person" lesson
This one from breathy vowel: http://breathyvowel.wordpress.com/2011/05/28/questions-questions/

The way I see it, you can tailor your lessons a couple of different ways. You can keep doing what you're doing and use a lot of the standard topics from waygook---travel, shopping, sports, movies, music---some of which are really good---and just beef up the material. Throw in an idiom relating to the day's topic; get them to do more improvisational dialogue, rather than writing out or following a script.

Or you can really try to tap into their interest and creativity. Teach English through other subjects: Have a logic lesson, a few debate lessons, a math lesson (even high level students have issues with numbers bigger than 1,000!), an economics lesson, etc. Get them using their entire brains, not just the corner they reserve for English class.

I'd also recommend this site if you have reliable technology in your classrooms: film-english.com

Good luck and enjoy all the amazing banter that comes with high level classes!!
« Last Edit: March 25, 2014, 03:25:58 PM by laschutz »

Offline Aqvm

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Re: Medium- High level high school lesson ideas (help!)
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2014, 09:23:45 AM »
Or you can really try to tap into their interest and creativity. Teach English through other subjects: Have a logic lesson, a few debate lessons, a math lesson (even high level students have issues with numbers bigger than 1,000!), an economics lesson, etc. Get them using their entire brains, not just the corner they reserve for English class.
This is my strategy for my top high school classes. It's called CLIL. I think it's great. I used a heavily modified version of this one on blue whales last year and it went really well. Leo's 'Strange Foods' lesson, which is half about nutrition and calories, is another great example of this kind of thing. They can learn a little about animals or science or whatever, and learn a little English at the same time.

I usually do 3 weeks on a theme (animals, food, relationships, etc) and then do a fun song/game lesson in between themes. It's been going well. We also keep journals in my class. I gave them all cheap 20 page notebooks from gmarket and they are supposed to write 1/2 a page every week. About 90% do the full journal each time, and do a good job at that, which is way more than I expected when I started the journals. I give them prompts but high level kids don't need the prompts, just a topic. I write a few notes of feedback for all of their journals. This would be a lot harder in a bigger school, mine is only about 300 kids.

I find high school students to be really fickle and jaded but when they're actually engaged and doing a good job they are much more rewarding than other age groups.

Offline Rafiqua

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Re: Medium- High level high school lesson ideas (help!)
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2014, 10:22:04 AM »
@ Denevius  I' taught elementary last year, so its quite a bit different going from a text book and co-teacher to no textbook and no co.