Sunday, September 18, 2016

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Lesson plan pages 17-21

Today we are going to finish Chapter 1, Say, these lessons are geared to ESL students so we might go a bit more slowly than for an English Speaker class, you can combine the lessons if the student's level is high enough.

Key Terms
heart in the right place. - metaphorically.

roar    two r  r 's
landed  lan ded
least  leest
simply  sim pli
allowed  a  loud
beard  beerd - one syllable
muscular mus ku lar
destroyed  dis tryoed
curiously  kur i ess li
lightening  lit ning
arms  say s clearly
howl  houlll
spotted  spo ted
doorstep  say p clearly
business buz ness
streaming streem ing
blew  blu
swish  one syllable
hedges  hed ges
woken  wo ken
cousin cu zin

sped - irregular verb past tense of speed  Go here for a great teaching chart:

Dialect -Is when a language is written exactly as it is said, usually without certain letters, to approximate the speech. The grammar may also have mistakes.

Hagrid speaks in a dialect, and when you read it you sound a little different

Why doesn't Professor McGonagall trust Hagrid?
Describe Hagrid.
Why does Dumbledore say that scars can come in handy?
How does Professor McGonagall  calm down Hagrid?
Whydoes Professor Dumbledore feel that the growing up with the Dursley's will be the best thing for Harry?
What does Professor McGonagall feel about Harry growing up with the Muggles?
How does Professor Dumbledore leave the scene?
Why is the Wizarding World going to call this day Harry Potter Day?
What would you have done with Harry?
What other way could have Dumbledore have given Harry to the Dursleys?


Draw Harry Potter's Family tree

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Tale of Despareax the Mouse

What can I say about the book that doesn't give away the plot?  Well, it's cute, has nice illustrations, has a exciting plot line, is interesting for adults and kids, well, mostly kids!  

Kate DiCamillio has written many stories for kids and the most famous has to be "Because of Winn-Dixie", which was made into a movie! 

When you start to read this book you are drawn into the story and don't want to stop!

So if you want to study this book with me, write to Rachael, (take out the spaces)
and we can set up a lesson time! 

See you in Class!!
Rachael Alice 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Job Opportunity to Teach English on-line

If you are an English teacher from the US or Canada, I invite you to watch this short little video and apply to become part of this exciting English school in China!

Send your resume to:

I look forward to seeing you as part of the team!!

All the best,

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Lesson plan pages 11-16

 Harry has not yet arrived in Privet Drive.  There are strange happenings all around Great Britain!
What would you do?
Professor McGonagal after waiting all day in front of #4 Privet Drive

Key Terms
precious little to celebrate
pin pricks

realize real i z
flicked  flict
noble nobl
glumly  glumli
distance dis tnece
ru mers
ad mire

Background links:
Surry Little Whinging

Owl behavior

What has happened in the story so far?
How is Mr Dursley taking the situation with the owls and strange people in the street?
Who has been waiting all day in front of #4 Privet Drive?
Who arrives suddenly?
What time is it?
How does the new arrival recognize the cat?
What are the rumors?  Are they true?
Where is Harry going to live?  Why?
How is everything going to be explained?

Write the letter that the Dursleys are going to receive.  Tell Harry's Aunt and Uncle what happened in a way that they are going to understand.   

Monday, September 12, 2016

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Lesson plan pages 1-10

The most famous book series for children in the past 15-20 years is the Harry Potter Series.

I am studying this book with a student so as usual to help organize myself I write up a lesson plan. 

You can use this lesson plan to help your own reading, if you are ESL, or if you are teaching the book as well. 

How to learn new vocabulary:  It is useful to learn new vocabulary words by learning the following points about each new word: 

How to say the words
Their meaning
how to spell
Useful to write a sentence using the word

Key Terms

noticed  c is s sound
street one syllable
usual  u ja el
enraged  en raged 
his  hiz
spectacles  spek ta kles
judge hard g

 He'd  He had  or He would

In the third person in the present tense there is always the letter s and this rule, as far as I know is not broken,  Look at this example: 
I don't
you don't
we don't
they don't
he does't
she doesn't
it doesn't
Mr.Smith doesn't


What strange things have been happening in the book so far?  
How does Mr. Dursley react to them at first? 
How does his reaction change? 
What can we tell about his character from this change? 
Why doesn't he want to tell Mrs. Dursley about the strange events? 

Homework:  Write about the relationship between the Potters and the Dursleys.  
How do the Dursleys feel about the Potters, and why don't they get together?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The word "learn" - 5 minute end of lesson activity English pronunciation

This is a mini-lesson that you can use when you have a few minutes at the end of a lesson, or to start a lesson, while students are settling down. 

I came across this idea when I was reading Penny Ur's books.

The word learn is very interesting.  the proper pronunciation is: 'lern'

Why is this?  

The usual rule when we have two vowels, the e and the a is: 

"When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking!" 

Well, this doesn't work in this case.  Usually we find that if there are two vowels, e and a, the e is long and the a is silent. 

Here are some examples of this:  eat, beat, seat.  You get the idea. 

but with the word "learn" we have an exception.  not only is the e not long, but we also have an r.  

In English we don't usually think of the letter r interfering with pronunciation, but other languages do.  Hebrew categorizes the r sound as changing the pronunciation of certain words, and in Asian languages, the r and the l sound are the same sound.  (comments welcome) 

So back to our word learn.  Here the r makes itself felt and the rule of two vowels is disregarded. 

When we add the ing, we say lernin  the g is almost not there in this word. 

So have fun with learning the word LEARN! 

Rachael Alice Orbach - professional English teacher 

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