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Resources And Discussion

Online Course Management System - FREE. Would you use it?

Started by ddeubel in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by Mitchell Lee Feb 12. 7 Replies

I'd like to know how many teachers would use a completely free course management system , if offered here? Meaning, you can create a course there,…Continue

Tags: atutor, technology, online, ecourses, elearning


Started by ddeubel in Websites / links / access to new resources / communities.. Last reply by Nadeem Nawaz Jul 16, 2019. 102 Replies

We are now in our 3rd edition of "Site of the Day"! Hundreds of the best sites for teaching/learning. See #1 and…Continue

Tags: collection, list, web 2.0, resources, websites

ABCs - Alphabet Resources or Ideas?

Started by NEWS NOW in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by Amelia Meirizka Jun 20, 2019. 73 Replies

I guess the alphabet is our bread and butter.Got any good ideas for teaching it or using it…Continue

Tags: children, abc, kids, phonics, reading

Learning Designs

Started by Elise in Teaching and Methodology Mar 27, 2019. 0 Replies

I was wondering what you all thought of learning designs pertaining to English language teaching? What are the ways in which you design your lessons to achieve better learning in your students?Continue


Teaching with only a blank piece of paper

Blank Piece of Paper [now view this as a Top 50 list]

Even now, this late in the day, a blank sheet of paper holds the greatest excitement there is for me — more promising than a silver cloud, and prettier than a red wagon. - E.B. White

I've just returned from "a return" to nature. Hiked 30 hours through Killarney Provincial Park. Amazing mountains, nature, wild. I suffered and was "with myself". No gadgets or wifi. Just my mind and foot after foot after foot step.

In teaching, I don't always go with technology.  I'm a big fan of just using a blank piece of paper and having students create content. My Teach | Learn coursebook is full of examples of this and is built on the back of my "blank piece of paper" philosophy.

Language to be practiced, just needs a focus.  The teacher provides this and then delivers content so the students are prompted to produce language around the topic.  Also, see my 50 Ways To Teach With Only A Blank Piece Of Paper list for many more descriptions of "a blank piece of paper" activities. 

But I thought it would be handy for other teachers to list here the possible lessons you can do with "only a blank piece of paper". So here it goes.

1.  Vocabulary discussion: brainstorm vocabulary or write it on the board. (ie. names of family members).  Put up the target language structure (ie. Who is ______?  ________ is my _______ ) Students ask / answer questions to the teacher and then the same in small groups with their own list on a blank piece of  paper. Can  be done with any vocabulary word bank and target language.

2. Vocabulary Guessing: brainstorm vocabulary or write it on the board. The teacher describes one and students guess which it is. Continue until all guessed. Students then brainstorm vocabulary set words on a blank piece of paper and play again in small groups. Works wonderful for celebrities!

3.  Bookmaking. fold a piece of paper, make a book. Draw pictures and write sentences for any topic. Great for closing a unit and consolidation.

4. Grammar Poems. Do one first as a group, then students do their own. For any topic. Then get them presenting their poems.

5. Categories. Students use a blank piece of paper as a graphic organizer. Fold in columns or rows and then categorize brainstormed vocabulary. (ie. food.  Cheap / Expensive / Healthy / Unhealthy)

6. Alphabet lists. Students are given a time limit and must fill in boxes for each letter of the alphabet. Most words got, wins! Fold the paper to make the alphabet organizer.

7. A Piece of paper as a slate / answering board. Make any game interactive and have all students answering by laminating blank pieces of paper and giving students markers. They write answers and everyone answers by raising their answer board.

8. Pass the Paper games. A game I adapted/invented. Students pass around a piece of paper and when the music stops, the others must tell the person with the piece of paper to do something or ask them a question which they must answer.

9.  Drawing and labeling.  Students draw an object (ie. car) and then label the object on the piece of paper.

10. Posters and projects.  Students make posters with important information about a topic/theme.

11. Student made worksheets and wordfinds. Give students a blank piece of paper and let them make the exercises and worksheets! They are experts and have probably done many. They learn a lot through this method/approach.

12.  Writing prompts. Give students a prompt. They write for "x" minutes on a blank piece of paper.  Or prompt and have the students write only one sentence, fold over and pass on. Continue the writing chain and read the funny version at the end.

13. Snowball fights.  Write 3 sentences about yourself. Crumple up and have a snowball fight. Pick up the snowballs, uncrumple and guess who it is!

14. Storyboards. Fold a blank piece of paper so you have 8 boxes. Students draw pictures and write sentences to make a storyboard.

15. Arts and Crafts. Try Origami or maybe making Talk'em Cootie Catchers.


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