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After my students have worked on three texts in the textbook and done various comprehension and grammar exercises, I use this activity to revise.
- First, I tell my students to read the first text we did for exactly one minute (I tell them not to read the whole text, just to scan the main points). When the time is up, I tell them to close their books, but they may open their notebooks.
- On the board, I have already written five questions they need to answer:
- What is the text about?
- Who are the people in the text?
- What do they do?
- What can we learn from the text?
- What are the new words or expressions?
- What are three important verbs (or adjectives, prepositions, etc.)?
- I prompt their answers by writing sentence starters next to the questions:
- The text is about ...
- The people in the text are ...
- They ...
- We can learn that ...
This is important because it means weaker students can easily get to grips with what I ask them to do, while more advanced students put their efforts into making more complex sentences.
- Then for each question I call for three different answers from three different students. That way, each student tries to give a better answer, or someone combines two previous answers, or someone gives a whole new idea of the context, etc.
- I praise their comments, even if they are simple. And we all benefit from this quite lively and competitive spirit in the class.