Showing posts with label ctjteacher. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ctjteacher. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

QR Codes Treasure Hunt for Beginners

Learn more about QR Codes

I have a group of teens 1 at CTJ South Lake Branch with few students. For this very reason, I'm always looking for extra activities which can keep them motivated. I heard about QR codes last year. I was teaching at Maristao (a high school in Brasilia) with Dani Lyra, and she mentioned how she had used it in one of her classes and how engaged students were trying to find out what the codes were about. Since that time, I wanted to develop an activity in which students depended on the codes to solve a problem. That's how I came up with the idea of the treasure hunt.

LEVEL: Teens 1
When: After all unit 1
Objective: Ask personal questions (third person)
People involved: teacher, students and staff


  1. If you are going to use students´ device, one class before the activity, ask them to download a QR reader app (there are free QR readers available for iOS and Android).
  2. Think of the person you want to be your "secret" one. Look for information about this person. In our case, it was Romero Britto. 
  3. I did the activity in the second part of my class, so in the first part, I had the the opportunity to revise all the questions they were supposed to ask. This was of undue importance because I asked all people involved not to answer students questions if they were incorrect.
  4. Create the codes which contain the instructions. I created mine on a site Carla Arena suggested -  qrstuff.comGive the Qr Codes to the other people involved with the questions students should ask and  the answer they should give. In  my case, I wanted students to practice the questions orally, so the codes just led them to where they should go.
  5. Students were to find out who the secret famous person was. So, they had to go to the places I indicated in the secret messages (QR codes) and follow all the instructions given. For example: The first code was in the classroom. They had to scan it, using their mobile devices,  and it said, "Go to 'Secretaria'. Look for Juliana. Ask her if it is a man or a woman.After asking the question correctly, students would not only receive the answer but also another code which guided them to the next person. For example, after asking Juliana, they received the second code, that was:Go to the library. Look for Dalva. Ask her how old he is.
    The process was the same until the last code, which was in class again. In this code, I led them to a google page where they saw Romero Britto's paintings.

Follow-up:  I asked them to create a page in Skitch (a mobile app), including Romero Britto's picture. They were supposed to make sentences with all the information collected.

Conclusion: I loved the result! Thinking of all the steps and procedures was hard, but my job during the activity was just monitoring them and check if they were speaking English all the time. I love when I can integrate other skills in my classes. It wasn't just another language practice activity. They had to download apps, learn how to use them, include photos and text... They were autonomous. I was there just to help. That's it! They were responsible for finding the clues, the answers, writing the text. They were responsible for their own learning process, and it was magic!

Our contributor for this post

The Ed Tech Team RESOURCES:
Here´s a QR Code Treasure Hunt Generator you might want to try:
40 ways of using QR Codes in the classroom 

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Online Storytelling

Storytelling is an art and it is as old as speech. Stories can educate and build rapport. Telling a story can provide the opportunity to gain deeper understanding of a specific topic or experience and a way of doing so is by taking your kids to the school’s library and exploring this awesome environment. Kids are able to explore the book and learn not only to enjoy reading, but also learn that books are a way to find out lots of useful and important things.  

However, technology has opened a new dimension to this fantastic educational tool. There are myriad online resources that can be used for this purpose. Children will be fascinated by the fantastic illustrations, and captivated by the animation, music, and sound effects that enhance the narration. Furthermore, there are some websites where students can create their own stories, providing students with an opportunity for personalization.

I have often used storytelling as a means of presenting a new unit or a new topic and what I have found is that stories can be used not only to communicate, educate and inform, but also to establish connections, inspire and encourage students. My experience has told me that students tend to get more motivated and also this type of warming-up might help activate schemata and lead to better long-term retention of the target language focus.

Some useful websites for online storytelling:

Some useful websites to create ebooks:

Lilian Marchesoni

Friday, September 16, 2011


Students were studying Relative Clauses (who,that,which). They were divided in 5 groups. Each group had a cell phone to take a photo. I talked to some people in the branch (previously) (Cláudio Azevedo, Thelma Peres, Vera Cerejo, Louise (trainee) and Silvania (secretaria). I asked these people if my students could ask them some questions and take a photo with their cell phones. They gave me their permission. After the break, I explained students that they would talk to a person and ask these people some personal questions, take notes and take a photo of him or her. I gave them 10 minutes to do it. After that, they came back to the classroom and sent the photo of the person to my e-mail. I gave them 5 minutes to come up with sentences using relative clauses and pronouns to introduce the interviewed person to the class. I opened my e-mail and as I was showing the photos(using the data show) the group was talking to the class about the person they have interviewed. In this particular activity I needed the internet connection, which was working just fine that day. But they could have also shared their photos and information in groups. They get together with people from other groups and show the photo using the cell phone itself. It took 20 minutes to do everything and they had a lot of fun, talking to other people and especially using their cell phones!