Using postcards in class can be a motivating writing task and add a level of stimulation for students. My students have always been very fond of this activity as they don't have to write too much and it involves a level of communication and imagination.
You'll need a stack of postcards (1 or 2 for each student). If you don't have any, you could just provide a piece of paper and get the students to draw their own picture on it. Alternatively, if your students have Internet access and email addresses they can write e-cards.
You can find free e-cards on the BBC Learning English or the British Council LearnEnglish websites.
- Give out the postcards (1 for each student or pair of students if you prefer) or get the students to choose an e-card from one of the above sites.
- Ask the students to look at the picture on the postcard and imagine that this is something they saw whilst on holiday. (If your students are drawing their own pictures, get them to draw something from their last holiday.)
- Now ask them to write the postcard to a friend telling them about their imaginary holiday and how the picture relates to it.
- Once they have written the cards ask them to exchange them with someone else (if you've used e-cards, they can email them to someone else in the class)
- Ask the students to read the postcard they have received and then write a response to it.
- During the activity it is best to concentrate on communication rather than accuracy, but at the end of the activity you can collect up the cards and see what errors were made and prepare a correction slot for the next class.
Nik Peachey, Teacher, Trainer, Materials writer, British Council
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