In my lessons I like using all different sorts of teaching resources and material. One of them is the poster. Maybe I am wrong, but I haven’t seen many teachers using them, which is a pity because they can be very useful. Posters are attractice, colourful and provide a strong visual focus. We can make a good use of posters and let them help us introduce an activity, a topic or a game.
When I studied the ESL teaching degree, I had a very good didactics teachers who gave us wonderful tips and ideas on classroom games and activities. I still keep all the classnotes I took because I like going through them every now and then to refresh my teaching resources.
Here you have some ideas my university teacher gave us on how we can use posters as an attractive resource for the ESL class:
- Poster quiz
Divide the class into groups and get the children to prepare 3-5 questions about the poster e.g. Can you see … / Is there … on the poster? What colour is…? How many … can you see? Children then take turns to ask each other the quiz questions they have prepared and score points for their group.
- Sort the words
Stick three or four different posters (related to units the children have done) on different walls around the classroom. Make a pack of word cards for these posters and shuffle the cards. Divide the class into groups and give out the word cards. Children walk round the class sticking their word cards by the pictures on the correct posters.
- Point to the poster
Stick three or four different posters (related to work the children have done) on different walls around the classroom. Say e.g. I can see the seaside! I can see some bananas! Children listen and point to the correct poster as fast as they can.
- Poster bingo
Children draw a grid with six squares and draw a picture or write the name of one thing they can see on the poster in each square. When children are ready, say the names of different things on the poster in random order. Children listen and write a cross on the picture or word if they have included it in their grid. The first child to write a cross on all six words in their grid calls Bingo! and is the winner.
Divide the class into teams. Describe the poster orally deliberately including some incorrect information. Children listen and call out ‘Stop!’ when they hear a mistake. If they are right, their team scores one point; if they can correct the mistake they score an extra point.
- I’m thinking of…
Use a poster with different coloured objects. Say I’m thinking of something in the poster and give a clue e.g. It’s yellow. Children take turns to ask you questions e.g. Is it a …? until they guess the object you have chosen. Children can then play the game in groups.
- Odd one out
Say groups of three or four words, including one which is not on the poster. Children listen and identify the word that isn’t on the poster. In pairs children then prepare a group of words based on the poster in the same way. They take turns to say their words to the class and identify the odd one out.
- True or false
Say sentences about the poster. Children look at the poster and stand up if the sentence is true or put their hand on their heads if it is false. Children can then write one true and one false sentence about the poster and play the game again in groups.
- Word check
Hold up word cards one by one as children look at the poster. Include some word cards for things that are on the poster as well as some that are not. Children clap their hands if the word card corresponds to a picture on the poster and fold their arms and stay silent if it does not.
- Kim’s game
Give children one minute to look at the poster and remember as many things as possible. Remove the poster and either give them 3-5 minutes to work with a partner and write down all the things they remember or divide the class into two teams and invite different children to take turns to name items. Give two points for each item correctly remembered and keep a score on the board.