Monday, July 6, 2015

Activity Roundup: 2 Kinds Of People, OldNYC, and It's All Greek To Me

Here are a few ideas to get you started in the summer term!

2 Kinds Of People is a blog created by an illustrator from Portugal. Every few days he (or she!) publishes a new illustration that divides people into two camps. Do you watch your favorite programs on a TV or a computer? Are you more analog or digital? The whole blog is lighthearted yet thought-provoking and full of fun conversation starters. Some ideas for teaching:

  • Assign different illustrations to different groups of students. Ask the students to work with their groups to write a description of the illustration, including what the key difference in the illustration is. 
  • Then, each group of students can select a person to describe the illustration out loud to the class. 
  • After each description, take a class poll. How many people eat their pizza crust first? How many people eat their pizza pointy part first?

OldNYC is a project that maps old photographs from the New York Public Library's Milstein Collection onto the layout of the city. Some ideas for teaching:
  • Ask students to think about their home, their workplace, or any other location they frequent. Have them find a historical photo near this location - then, have them take a photo with their phone of the same location as it looks today. Assign a compare and contrast essay describing the two photos.
  • Select the pin on the Brooklyn Bridge, and flip through the many photos in chronological order. Have the students tell the story of the construction of the bridge based on what they see in the photographs. (There's a lot of internet research that could be done to support this topic.)

Lastly, I created an activity to go along with a short clip from All Things Considered. This activity is appropriate for students in intermediate and high levels in any skill area, given that there is a focus on current events, vocabulary generation, vocabulary research, a common idiom, and listening comprehension.

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