A last-minute change that was a visual treat for my student
"It's snowing, teacher!" This is how Ryah, one of my Bulgarian students greeted me last Tuesday. ️ Seeing how much joy the snow had brought into the teenager's eyes, an idea popped into my consciousness. "Use your visualisation "Winter Wonderland", it whispered to me cheekily. "But she'll struggle with the B2 vocabulary," my rational mind didn't wait long to reply. ️
I knew I didn't have much time to waste and had to make a decision quickly. I created this particular winter visualisation inspired by two unforgettable experiences in my life. One of them was a work trip to Poland in January 2010. As a counterpart of a big Comenius project, I was invited to visit the Polish school which was in charge of it. The week-long stay in this beautiful country deserves another post but a memory I will always cherish is a magnificent evening in a snowy forest.️☃️ The organisers had arranged a horse-drawn sleigh ride amongst the enchanting tall white trees for the foreign visitors. It was that very magical occurrence that I wanted to recreate while writing the script and hoped it would cast a spell on my Bulgarian student.
You can probably guess I decided to listen to my gut and proceed with this mindful lesson. After pre-teaching and practising the specific words and phrases, I was sure that my Bl student would be fine with the visualisation. Plus, I trusted that the sound effects would weave their magic again. ️ And then I just had to sit back and watch my student's reactions while she was listening through her earphones. ️ I couldn't help noticing when she *took deep breaths mindfully,
*dropped her shoulders to relax
*stamped her feet as if she was feeling the crunching snow
*Perked her ears suddenly (I bet it was when the horse neighed)
*moved her lips (Did she taste the mulled apple cider?)
*Wiggled her nose and smiled "It was so beautiful," Ryah said with gleaming eyes when this mindful sensory trip came to an end. "Thank you," she added gratefully. My student didn't give me the chance to ask her follow-up questions. She was eager to tell me about everything that happened to her while visiting "Winter Wonderland" and most importantly using all the key vocabulary which she didn't know 30 minutes ago. ️ I wonder if you have ever changed your plans for a lesson on the spur of the moment. ️ The aforementioned lesson plan is part of my bundle "Sights and Sounds of Winter" which you can find here.
The bundle includes three lesson plans:
1. The little snowman
This is a visualisation-based lesson for young learners, in which the students will visualise their own snowman. They'll practise speaking, listening and writing skills. In one of the steps, they'll learn vocabulary related to comparing pictures.
2. Winter Wonderland
This is a visualisation-based lesson for teens and adults ( level B2). The students will learn new vocabulary and play a game to practise it. The visualisation is followed up by a reading comprehension task. Finally, they'll put their heads together to create their own Winter Wonderland.
3. Winter hot-air balloon race
This is an image-based lesson for teens and adults ( level B1/B2) in which they'll have to put on their creative hats and practise speaking and writing skills.
The lessons are a gentle mix of mindfulness and modern language teaching.
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