Getting To Know Canada

Level Aims Grammar Time Materials
junior high school to senior high school To introduce your country (not necessarily Canada) and review the English the students have already learned. any 45 mins Large map of the target country

Begin by affixing a large map of the target country to the blackboard; it should be at least 3 x 4 feet (1 x 1.3 meters). Divide the class into two teams. Basically this is not necessary, but turning an exercise into a competition keeps the students involved and interested.

Give a speech about your chosen country using a series of prepared statements, each with a corresponding picture card. For example, "Canada has tall mountains. They are called the Rocky Mountains." As you say this, hold up a picture of the mountains. Next, put the picture down, pick up a small coloured magnet and say, "They are here", while placing the magnet (not the picture) on the appropriate spot on the map. This continues until all the statements about your country have been made. If, for example, there are two teams of twenty students in the class, then twenty statements should be made.

After the twenty pictures have been shown, and twenty magnets are spread across the map, pass out small 2 x 3 inch (5 x 7.5 cm) copies of the pictures that were shown. 1 picture to each person on the team. You can now begin to ask questions related to the statements you previously gave: "Where are the Rocky Mountains?", or "Where is the capital of Canada?" The two opposing team members who have the corresponding picture must race to the board and place the picture under the appropriate magnet. At this point you can ask either student to give a statement about their particular picture.

This activity takes a bit of preparation, but the results are worth it. Obviously it can be geared to any level. A printout with the prepared statements and a breakdown of the map by province, prefecture, or state which is distributed to the students allows them to read along and enhances comprehension. Remember to tailor the statements and questions to the students level. This is a 'revision of learned material' exercise.

Teaching Tip

Give stamps from off your letters from home as prizes. It costs you nothing, and the students get more excited than you would think.

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