Character Development

Students can create characters that they’ll use throughout the year. Each month, the character progresses a little closer to their goal, but in the meantime, they can be used to answer questions and for other activities, providing different experiences, skills, and limitations from what the students themselves have. The possibilities are wide open.

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From a Picture, a Thousand Words

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  Indeed, there is so much one can say about any given image.  So let's see just how much we can say about one picture.

This project is divided up into sessions, and each session has a number of questions. The students need to describe, analyze, and speculate on everything they see in the image.

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Story Prompt: Show, Don't Tell

A common adage among writers is "show, don't tell".  Writing in this way prompts students to think of different ways to express the same thing.  Students will have to use expressions and imagery - like native speakers do in most situations - instead of being straightforward.  It may also expand their vocabulary usage and develop their reasoning skills.

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Customized Apples-to-Apples

Apples-to-Apples is a fun game of pairing nouns with adjectives, often with hilarious results. Hey, your students learn nouns and adjectives, right? Why not get them to list all the ones they've learned over the past year, then put each on its own card. Play the game tailored to your own class's knowledge, skill level, culture, and interests.

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Essay Prompts: This vs. That

Make your students form an argument as to why something is better than the alternative.  Of course, you should first go over the structure of an essay, and maybe various phrases one could use in an argument.  But to prompt them for further practice, here are twenty topics.  They should choose which of a pair to support, and their arguments could be subjective, objective, or both.

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Design a Town

Students create their own towns!  But before they draw maps, they need to consider where the town is, what it's known for, how big the town is, and more.  They'll need to figure out how many of each type of building to include.  Students reason with their group-mates and come to decisions.  Then yes, at the end, they can draw a map.

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Class Newspaper

Writing for a school newspaper on a monthly basis can encourage students to write about things they're interested in, can foster collaboration, and can help students practice writing in different styles.  We're not expecting hard-hitting journalism or award-winning writing; just something that lets the students show off what they can do while allowing them to try something new.

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Story Prompts: First Sentences

Whether you're doing a fun exercise of flash fiction or you're practicing a particular language topic, sometimes your students need a little push to get started.  Here are ten first sentences of potential stories, ranging from different genres, featuring different tones, and using different points-of view.  Where to story goes next is completely up to the writers.

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Make Your Own Zodiac

Zodiacs incorporate a lot of different elements and group the specifics together in interesting ways.  Getting your students to design their own zodiac allows you to review multiple topics and requires students to call upon a breadth of knowledge.  It also requires reasoning and encourages creativity.

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