Thursday, April 11, 2013

Customs/traveling role play fun at the HS

Yesterday’s high school grade 1 class was especially good. I'd been a bit worried because they came in revved up, but their energy paid dividends during the lesson. We did a role play about customs and traveling wherein the students would play travelers and customs officials who’d pretend to be at the airport. To get them ready, I went over the conversation questions and asked for possible responses. The "purpose of visit" question yielded an answer not heard in the five other gr. 1 classes: shopping. Another student said, "Eating!" I was impressed by that, but it got even better when one boy said, "Information stealing!" I had to hand it to the kids for coming up with new reasons for traveling somewhere, and while no one in their right mind would say “Information stealing” when talking to the customs officer, such responses were too good not to write on the board.

And then there was the "Where will you stay?" question. After the usual answers like hotels, relatives' homes, and dormitories, I started hearing "Tent!" "Resort! "Street!" "Subway!" and "Box!" Again, all excellent, if offbeat responses. You know the classes are good when they’re not only getting the lesson, but making it humorous as well.

After demonstrating the conversation, I got them going and saw everything fall into place. It was a complicated lesson that involved speaking and recording information, but they all nailed it. All of the classes did, but this one and the one before it had the most enthusiasm and the best speaking. It's great to see the kids do well and know I helped them get there. What a time.

If you want to do the lesson yourself, I found the materials here:

The link explains how to conduct the lesson. I strongly recommend teaching this lesson with a co-teacher, for it will help with explaining what “Do you have anything to declare?” means and keeping students on task during the role play. The Korean students aren’t always used to doing activities on their own, so it’s best to keep circulating the room.

Also, be sure to explain the difference between nationality and "Where are you coming from?" Many students needed help understanding that people sometimes visit multiple countries on a trip, so a Korean traveling from the USA to Mexico would answer "Where are you coming from?" with "The USA."

All told, it was great to see the kids do well and know I helped them get there. What a time.

Special thanks to for the materials! It’s an excellent resource.

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