Using a poem to show pupils how easy it is to learn English!
I first used this idea after reading "Grammar Games" by Mario Rinvolucri (Pilgrims). It works!
- Step 1: Find a poem which will fit easily onto your blackboard. (example below)
- Step 2: tell the students NOT to copy it down, but to put all writing materials away.
- Step 3: Write the poem on the board,
- Step 4: explain any vocabulary which may cause problems.
- Step 5: Declaim the poem with all the verve you can muster.
- Step 6: make the students join you as you repeat step 5! As you speak, rub out a few words (starting with articles etc. and other words which are easy for the learners).
- Step 7: Repeat the poem with the class, say, ten times, rubbing out more each time, until finally you are all reading from an empty blackboard!
- Step 8 (optional): Ask one student to say the first line, another the second etc. (allow assistance from others).
Next day a quick check should show that they all know the poem by heart, and will even have remembered new vocabulary from it, without any need to formally learn it. You can then ask them to repeat the poem at irregular intervals over the next few months. I have ex-pupils who have forgotten everything I taught them except the poems we learned like this!
A good example of a poem you could use:
M1 Way of Death - Spike Milligan
Bloody, battered, tattered thing, which is body, which is wing?
What kind of bird? It's hard to say
As you lie squashed on a motorway.
But the marks in your blood are sharp and clear:
A Firestone Safety Tyre has just been here.