I never quite know what to do with my gymnasium students. They are, by and large, a clever lot, and most of them can express themselves very well in English. There are one or two who don’t speak up much, but they’re certainly a more attentive group than in other schools I’ve worked in.
But, they are young and restless, and get bored easily, so finding a way to challenge them is difficult. This morning I still didn’t have any kind of lesson planned and it was time to leave the house, so I grabbed some flash cards that I use with 4-7 year olds, and thought about it on the bus.
It worked out really well. I just gave them a card, told them they had 30 seconds to speak about it (divided them into teams, because that makes it a game rather than an exercise, and also they don’t want to lose points for the team, so they’ll at least try). One girl, who is smart and quite good at English but always giving me attitude, got very excited to deliver a speech about socks, another informed me that if you touch a butterfly’s wings they will die, which I don’t know if it’s actually true or not but it was interesting, the speech about pants led to a mini-lesson on feminism, and the girl who was talking about frogs, who is such a shy, soft-spoken, timid little girl, talked about the fairy tales where a girl kisses a frog and he turns into a prince and she added ‘I used to do that’ and I gave her team two extra points for that.
Flashcards are a Rohrschach test. Actually, everything is a Rohrschach test.