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 General GameMy Journal



DATE ADDED: Mar 20, 2008


 Large Classes (16-39 Students)Ó


5-10 min.

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BRIEF OUTLINE: This regular activity will help your students express themselves better.



  • Ideally, a small notebook for each student.



  1. Give each student their own notebook and have them write 'My Journal' plus their name and class number.
  2. One time a week, the student should write as much as they can on a given topic. Students should know that it's OK to make mistakes. Dictionaries OK but should be discouraged; instead, the students should use words they know and not have to look up more advanced words. They should learn how to write about a topic using easy English rather than their usual translating practice they do in class.
  3. The first time will be the hardest, as they will struggle with expressing their own feelings from scratch rather than filling in a blank or re-arranging words. Tell them they have 10 minutes to quietly write whatever they'd like on the topic. The next time, should lbe easier and the time after that they will be used to the format and you will see their output dramatically increase. Set a strict, short time limit on this, from 5-10 minutes each class. This way they won't feel overwhelmed. Some topic ideas include: food, summer, spring, fall, winter, school festivals, local marathons, summer vacation, hobbies, sports, the perfect day, my average day favorite movie, music, animal, pet, etc.
  4. You can also make the journal entry relevent to the grammar point currently being studied.  For example, 'my average day' could emphasize the present tense and time: "I wake up at 9:30. I eat breakfast at 9:45."
  5. The most important thing to remember is to keep the pressure off so they feel like writing isn't a chore. 


  • Correcting/grading is up to you. I prefer not to correct small mistakes so they don't become discouraged. The point of this activity is for them to be able to think more in English, not worry about their spelling.
  • You can award prizes every few months. I gave prizes for the most creative, the most improvement, best spelling and grammar and the most writing. I felt that these different awards appealed to different students so even the slow learners would be encouraged to try.




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This page was last modified on Monday, March 19, 2012 01:42:08 PM