The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds…
No one can deny the importance of curiosity in learning. But as teachers how do we integrate curiosity into the ESL classroom? This post is going to offer some suggestions as to how you can create curiosity in the classroom.
Riddles are one way in which you can create curiosity. I have used these in the ESL classroom and have had some great interest in them. I usually have one riddle written on the board before class starts. This is a great way to get students who arrive early something to think about before we start. I have used these with teens but they could be used with adults too.
Examples: (Answers can be found at the bottom of the post!)
How many people are buried in cemeteries?
What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries?
What can you catch but you can’t throw?
Ciphers are great for young learners, especially those who are mathematically minded. They are easy to set up and a great way to revise the alphabet and spelling and vocabulary. You assign a number to a letter so A=1, B=2, C=3 etc and write coded messages on the board or get the kids to write their own in English and get their friends to crack the code!
Our Cipher making tool can be a handy way to write messages quickly on your computer for printing
3. Word Squares
Another way to break up your class or an activity to keep early finishers occupied while they wait is with word squares.
This is a quick activity to put together, simply write 9 letter in a square, like above. Your class then have to create as many words as they can in a given number of time. This can be done in pairs or individually.
Riddle answers: 1. All of them! 2. A towel 3. A cold
Activities based on a workshop given by Nina Lauder at the TEFL conference, Seville, Spain 2011.