Author Archive

Speaking:Jigsaw Activities

Traditional classroom speaking practice often takes the form of drills in which one person asks a question and another gives an answer. The question and the answer are structured and predictable, and often there is only one correct, predetermined answer.

In contrast, the purpose of real communication is to accomplish a task, such as conveying a telephone message, obtaining information, or expressing an opinion. In real communication, participants must manage uncertainty about what the other person will say. Authentic communication involves an information gap; each participant has information that the other does not have. In addition, to achieve their purpose, participants may have to clarify their meaning or ask for confirmation of their own understanding. To create classroom speaking activities that will develop communicative competence, instructors need to incorporate a purpose and an information gap and allow for multiple forms of expression.


Jigsaw activities are more elaborate information gap activities that can be done with several partners. In a jigsaw activity, each partner has one or a few pieces of the “puzzle,” and the partners must cooperate to fit all the pieces into a whole picture. The puzzle piece may take one of several forms. It may be one panel from a comic strip or one photo from a set that tells a story. It may be one sentence from a written narrative. It may be a tape recording of a conversation, in which case no two partners hear exactly the same conversation.

  • In one fairly simple jigsaw activity, students work in groups of four. Each student in the group receives one panel from a comic strip. Partners may not show each other their panels. Together the four panels present this narrative: a man takes a container of ice cream from the freezer; he serves himself several scoops of ice cream; he sits in front of the TV eating his ice cream; he returns with the empty bowl to the kitchen and finds that he left the container of ice cream, now melting, on the kitchen counter. These pictures have a clear narrative line and the partners are not likely to disagree about the appropriate sequencing. You can make the task more demanding, however, by using pictures that lend themselves to alternative sequences, so that the partners have to negotiate among themselves to agree on a satisfactory sequence

  • More elaborate jigsaws may proceed in two stages. Students first work in input groups (groups A, B, C, and D) to receive information. Each group receives a different part of the total information for the task. Students then reorganize into groups of four with one student each from A, B, C, and D, and use the information they received to complete the task. Such an organization could be used, for example, when the input is given in the form of a tape recording. Groups A, B, C, and D each hear a different recording of a short news bulletin. The four recordings all contain the same general information, but each has one or more details that the others do not. In the second stage, students reconstruct the complete story by comparing the four versions.

Taken From: The National Capital Language Resource Center



Tips on HOW to make literature INTERESTING to students

One of the challenges that English teachers face is making literature interesting for their students. Often the material is old, as in Shakespeare, or it is confusing, as in Whitman. There are ways to teach literature without your students falling asleep at their desks. Here are a few tips to waking them up.

    • 1
    • Bring literature to life. Have the students perform the story they are reading. Assign each student a role to play. They must study that character carefully. This activity engages the student in the material, which is essential in holding their interest.
    • 2

      Have the students create artwork. They can draw maps, paint scenes, make a character collage, build a story website or build a model of a setting in the literature. Again, the key is to have them connect to the material.

    • 3

      Play games. There are plenty of games you can adapt to the literature text you are studying. You can adapt Jeopardy, hangman, Wheel of Fortune or just about any other game show you have seen on TV. Another great idea is to have the students themselves create a game that fits the text you are studying.

    • 4

      Assign the students to be Teacher for the Day. Put the students in groups, and assign each group a section of the literature being studied. The group will be responsible for teaching the class the assigned section.

    • 5

      Write it out. Assign each student a character from the book and have them write letters to the author, discussing the story. They can ask the author questions and comment on the story. Another way to have them write about the story is to keep an online blog that discusses the literature they study throughout the school year.

    • 6

      Laugh a lot. Nothing makes literature more boring than a teacher who reads the material in a monotone. Much of literature is very amusing, and you should encourage the students to laugh with the author.

    • 7

      Participate in the above activities! Students love it when their teacher joins in.

    • 8

      Ask the principal if you can display the students’ artwork in the hallway or library, or if your students can perform their play in during an assembly.

By Qadariah Jalok



Literature? BOOOORIIING~~~ So here are some tips on how teachers can make literature more bearable in the classroom…


Role-playing is a tried-and-true way to engage students, spark creativity and build vocabulary. Spice it up even more with improve: after reading, split students into teams of three or four and assign each student a character from the story. Give every group the same situation; for example, if you’re reading “The Fruitcake Special,” the situation could be that Anna and Amos are fighting in the restaurant. Tell everyone to stay in character and be creative, but to behave as they believe their character would. This checks for comprehension, not only of the words, but of the more subtle character descriptors the author supplies.

Or, ask students which parts of the book they didn’t like, and why not. Allow them to form groups and act out the scene the way they prefer. You could also have students act out a new ending for the book; for example, maybe Anna rejects Armstrong  instead. You could also split students into teams and have a debate about a point of contention in the book. This will test students’ reasoning and comprehension skills. Or, split students into pairs. One will be a character from the book, the other will conduct an interview with that character.




Give the class a drama project, where they have to dramatize a play from the syllabus. Give the students freedom to write their own script and also the freedom to manipulate the way the drama will evolve and end. This will evoke the students creativity and also will improve their team work.


Using any literary text from the syllabus, ask the students to create a newspaper front page using the issues in the literature text. As teachers, we have to make sure that we have listed down what we want them to have in the front page, for example:

1. The right column –> follow newspaper format (give specific format of they can just follow any newspaper format)

2. The appropriate advertisement (TIME SETTING)

3. Catchy Headlines

4. Main News (main issue in the text chosen by the students)

5. Related news (related issue that arises due to the main issue)

p/s: teacher should determine how many related news the students should have in the front page AGAIN,   remind them to refer to newspaper format.

6. Number of words

7. Pictures and captions

8.  Newspaper name

9. What’s Inside (other news in the paper) JUST A THUMBNAIL



Instead of doing the LAME or BOBOBORINNNG classroom

activities, TRY THIS ACTIVITIES INSTEAD~~~!!  =)




using video to introduce parts of speech

using video to start a lesson is very interesting. it attracts students’ attention BUT make sure that the video is appropriate.  Enjoy~~!


by Qadariah bt Jalok