Ana Cristina Pratas: Integrating Technology with the Simple Past

Integrating digital technology in the language classroom may be at times frustrating and challenging.

However, by mixing approaches, one can achieve elements of higher engagement by giving learners the opportunity to learn, analyze and create.

This is an example for vocabulary on Toys and the revision of the Simple Past.


  • Begin by brainstorming what toys and games students played when they were children.
  • Show slides on Lego and let students work in pairs to do the mini research questions.

  • Once everyone has found the answers, proceed with giving students time to work through the video at the link below.

  • The Story of Lego : Video on the history of Lego and use of the Simple Past. Students answer questions as they pop up in the video.

Note: this activity may be given out of class as well, however, not all learners are accustomed to being active autonomous learners nor do all students have the necessary conditions at home to actually do homework. By using a tool, which is widely used for flipping the classroom, there is no reason why it should not also be used in class time if that better meets students’ requirements. Asking students to work through the video in class also ensures that all learners have the same learning opportunity.

  • Students then think about a childhood toy they would like to find out more about and do a mini research project. Their findings may be presented in a slideshow to the whole class, embedded in a class blog or shared in their LMS. A possible option for a slideshow is having students use Powtoon, which may be shared as well.

These steps are in line with the SAMR model which focuses on Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition, allowing language learners use digital technology to express and create new meanings in the target language.

For those who would like to know more about the SAMR model, include a short video:

As always, these are suggestions which may be tweaked, changed or even kick off other mini learning projects in your classroom.

Image: Greenbelt Park by Khursten Santos

Average: 4 (2 votes)

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