An Autumn day. A poem by EFL-Lorraine

With the energy of a spring lamb,

I embrace the autumn winds running late for the bus.

Witness to the aftermath of the gales the night before

Strewn leaves making every puddle a delight.

I arrive to watch my bus leaving, and waiting for another,

The river flowing past carrying debris from the night before.

Life is good today

Spring inside

Autumn outside

Bumpy bus, you take me high and low through a winding world of wonderful views

Houses dotted, rivers entwined by the divine.

Flooding in the fields, shining in the sun

New born lakes mark the tempest of the night before.

Country roads dressed in autumn, orange gold and red.

Cows, sheep, all to pretty to eat, chomp the grass to lawn effect

Hardly moving through the day.

Big bellied clouds ride the sky then drop to wash the bus and all.

And in between the sun shines as if the storm had never happened,

Glistening the leaves and torn branches to leave them dancing.

Setting sun

I wish you’d stay fixed forever like that in the sky.

Your golden light to match the fall.

Falling, as on my way I go

Home to light the fire.

Where orange glow reminds me of the day and dancing leaves the flames.

AUTUMN images by Lorraine


Space is a fascinating topic to teach in the classroom. On this post I put together my own resources and other resources I found on line. To set the scene I open the lesson with this video and song by Bobby Mc Ferrin entitled “Ladeo” to get in the mood.

Lets focus on the moon. Use the video to start a conversation in your group by asking, “What do you see?” A man singing, the moon, trees, planets, stars. Ask your group “Who wants to live on the moon?”. Then play them this short video from NASA for kids. Tell the the group that after they watch the video they are going to play a domino cards game and so they need to listen carefully to the video in order to play the game.

Please download this free domino card game I made to go with the video here. Space moon Q&A card game. Print it on A4 card or heavy paper and then cut out the boxes. The students need to match a question to an answer. You can edit this template to suit your own questions or you can use the template for an entirely different subject and create endless domino games. Print enough sets for the group to work in pairs or small groups. After you finish this game you might want to try my rocket launcher and moon grammar activity to go with a song about the moon. I chose Simon and Garfunkel’s “Song about the moon”. First listen to the song.

Get your group singing the intro humming, and clicking their fingers to the beat. Here are the lyrics and the video.

If you want to write a song about the moon

Walk along the craters in the afternoon

When the shadows are deep And the light is alien

And gravity leaps like a knife off the pavement

And you want to write a song about the moon.

You want to write a spiritual tune

Then nah nah nah Hey presto! A song about the moon

So where do the rockets come in? Here is a fun activity I created to teach grammar. The focus here is nouns and adjectives but you can change this to whatever grammar you like. Listen again to the song and try to learn it and then when you sing it or read the words the nouns should hold up their moon when they hear a verb and the rockets should hold up their rockets when they hear an adjective. I used this activity with primary school, secondary school and even groups of  adults and teachers. It is fun and interactive. 20140331_135459_resized_1 20140331_135544_resized 20140331_135551_resized 20140331_135611_resized                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Back of the Moon Noun

You can find these images I used on Google free clip art search.Print them on thick paper and attach a lollipop stick to the back.

I prepared a few PowerPoint presentations also for this topic and you can download them free here. Space Exploration advancedSpace Web quest

Moving on now to the solar system and the planets. Great free resources at Lanternfish ESL and you can also download them here. 1: SolarSystemFlashcards 2: thesolarsystem, 3: thesolarsystem, 4: solarsystem2PlanetsWordsearch, 5: solar system-scav-hunt_, 6: Space_Rhymes, 7: From the British council stories-our-colourful-world-worksheet-final-2012-11-04_0 8: stories-our-colourful-world-transcript-final-2012-07-13 9:, 10:, 11: SolarSystemSuperlatives 12: Coloring pages solarsystem01 planets01 Check out the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for activities and resources

Spelling game from the British Council Free Teachers Resources

Thank you to the British Council’s free resources for teachers with these great flash cards. I printed on bristol card. You fold the card in half and on one side there is an image of an item and on the other half the word. I used this to work with weaker learners and improved their spelling. We chose together 6-12 items and agreed we were going to spell them correctly by the end of the game. We turned the cards around and then wrote the word on a page. We played snakes and ladders after every move the student chose a card. Students love this game and don’t seem to notice that they are learning to spell at the same time. I used this game in the classroom in small groups and also in a one to one private setting and both worked amazingly well and the spelling improves as we go along learning and remembering the letters in the huge bank of words I downloaded free. Flash cards   20140224_170244_resized

Free download from British council

Free download from British council

Spelling checkPic cards

PBL or Project Based Learning


Teachers and EFL bloggers are invited  to share their information and ideas on Project based learning or PBL. My own experience with this way of teaching and organizing lessons was very interesting. Students were engaged, busy and motivated as basically there was less involvement from me the teacher.

I was teaching the subject of clothes and the weather and, climate within a general topic of travel to a 5th grade EFL class in elementary school and created a PBL lesson to include reading, writing, comprehension arts and drama. The lesson involved three teachers at three different stations or classrooms. Station 1:I opened the lesson with an airport setting with some old suitcases. The skills and objectives are to recognize, choose, locate, classify, and select items necessary to pack and take with you in a suitcase on (a) A hot holiday (b) A cold holiday. The various items names were printed and displayed on two tables with a sign that said New York (it was winter) on one table and Eilat Red sea on the other. You can download a set of these flashcards here. Print and cut the items and place them on the two tables. Project based learning is co-operative learning. The class was divided into groups of five and each student was given a number from 1-5. To make the activity more interesting, the students won a holiday. The first task is to read the winning ticket and its instructions.

1= student reads the winning ticket instructions

2= goes to recover the item from the New York or Eilat table.

3= student writes it down in a sentence why I need to take this.

4= student reads the sentence allowed to the group

5= student needs to write a mail for someone to meet them at the other side.

Task student 1 Reads the ticket Winning ticket 1  Winner-logo PMSStatue of liberty     You have won a holiday to New York on American Airlines. Your flight will leave at 11.45 am Monday 17th March 2014. What to bring The weather in New York will be very cold, maybe it will rain or even snow. You need to take with you

 A woolly hat,   a coat,   a scarf,   some boots, An umbrella, A cell phone, Some pants,   camera, sweatshirts, shoes, socks, __________________________________________________________________ Winning ticket 2 : Winner-logo PMS You have won a holiday to Eilat on British Airways. Your flight will leave at 11.45 am Monday 17th March 2014. What to bring The weather in Eilat will be very hot and sunny. You need to take with you

A dress, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, sandals, a towel, some shorts, some T shirts, a swimsuit, a skirt, a camera, a cell-phone


Task 2: Student goes to the table to recover the item

Task 3: Task student 3 You need to pack your suitcase, what do you need to bring? Write or say sentences saying why you need to bring these things. Examples, “I need my camera to take pictures;”  “I need my sweater to stay warm.” 1:_____________________________________________   2:_____________________________________________   3:_____________________________________________   4:_____________________________________________   5:_____________________________________________   6:_____________________________________________   7:_____________________________________________   8:_____________________________________________  

Task 4: Student reads the sentences to the group  

Task 5: student 5 writes a mail

Dear Aunt _________ I won a free trip to New York. I am coming on __________ My flight arrives in New York at ________ o’clock   Can you meet me at the airport? I am very excited I know the weather will be cold in (Season) so I am bringing ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Love ____________________________________________


At the end of this session the students were given their airline tickets and continued to a 2nd station in a different room where they would complete a questionnaire about the information on the ticket in the form of a passport.

Station 2: (personalize,  print your free tickets at this link)





passport to ENglish

My name is: ______________________________

 Look at your ticket

 You are going on a holiday to a (hot/cold) climate.

 Where are you going to? __________

 When are you going? (date) _________

 What is the name of the airline?       __________

 What time does the flight depart? (leave)__________

 What time do you arrive there? _________

 What gate are you leaving from? __________

 What does delayed mean? ______________

 What does on time mean?_____________

 What is the lost and found office? ______________


Station 3: Drama 

After the students have completed these two stations the third section is drama. Travel dialogues about going through security with their suitcases with all their items and passports filled up.

Divide into groups of 4 or 5. Have one student act it out as the security guy at the airport and another checking the passports, the other students are the passengers. Improvise the dialogue text or use what I have written. A great resource for this section is found at

A: What do you have in your bag madam/sir?

B: I have ……(list the items)

A: Where are you flying to?

B: Say destination

A: It must be cold/hot there now, Can I see your tickets and passports?

B: Yes of course, here they are.

A: You can to board your plane at gate _____ go through the doors and look for the signs.

Have a nice trip!

B: Thank you very much.


Jerusalem Market

Jerusalem Market

Creating a website for your class has never been easier

If you want to create a website for your class it has never been easier. offer a free website builder that is so simple to use it’s a winner. Here is my most recent class site created recently for my 8th grade students. h

Many school sites are complicated for teachers who have no formal training in computers. Its so easy with weebly to learn how to post and organize lessons, tasks, homework notices. Many kids don’t really go into their school sites to check and also parents. Weebly works for me and in seconds I can update homework, plan the week ahead, post enrichment videos that we may not have time to see in class. You can also use Weebly for any other website purpose such as afternoon activities or anything else. I found it works for me and particularly with my students who have extra private lessons. They just give the link to their private teacher and she continues where I left off. Parents can also check in to see what’s going on in class. Just choose from the list of media you want to post, text, videos, presentations and drag and drop. Hit publish and your done. I tried other education blog formats and used them in schools but because Weebly allows you to plan your page as a blog or a regular web page, it offers more flexibility. I post homework on a blog setting and so each new post receives the date also so students know daily what they need to do. There are many templates to choose from but if you’re a teacher I suggest using one which has the pages on the left side dropping down because as you go through the year you have plenty of room to keep on going.

Literature in the EFL/ESL classroom

England with its wealth of poets and writers has many a rich tale to tell in the EFL/ESL classroom. Why not introduce your higher level students to one of Englands most  modern and vibrant poets Strider Marcus Jones. When reading his poetry I am reminded of the freedom that exists in words when all too many times we are limited in how to express ourselves, in an essay or description or test multiple choices questions and so on. Strider crafts his prose by using small case letters at the beginnings of the sentence which I really like as he reminds us that poetry has no rules.

My favorite Strider poem so far is “Water and Mist ” as it is reflective of our modern times.

WATER AND MIST            

let the world do what it does,
and when the desert
comes for us
we will be water-
so the seeds of new ideas
can replace the wars and fears
of decadent thrones
spying on the homes
of those they slaughter.

bring on the peoples revolution,
that returns our stolen
land into our hands
from these swollen
fat cats, with their final solution
and fascist FEMA plans.

let the world do what it does,
and when the guns
are turned on us
we will be mist-
eclipsing everything they’ve done
when we resist.

strike them like ghosts
in the halls of their hosts,
topple their temples of sin-
dissolve all their banks,
then their missiles and tanks,
leave no corrupted survivor-
cleanse what’s within
for a new way to begin
by severing each head from this hydra.

Strider Marcus Jones Poet

Strider also sells his books and poetry collections on Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Good reads and Wattpad. Amazing stuff! Just coming up to the pomegranate season here in Israel and Strider’s new book “Pomegranate Flesh” is an enchanting read.


Hello to all my members and thank you for your participation in EFL-Lorraine’s database of ideas to help make your lessons interesting and save you time on preparation. I created this powerpoint from a collection of cute animals playing musical instruments and I use it to teach animals of course and musical instruments. It’s a great attention grabber and it will focus your students on the topics as the images are so cute and the photography amazing.

Get your free download here

This file was created in powerpoint but I have since switched to “google drive” to create presentations and they are easily shared on line.


How to use the internet to create an interesting story for your younger students.

The recent pictures on the internet of a baby elephant’s first trip to a beach in Thailand had all the world saying ‘So cute and funny”. I took a few videos from you tube and turned the material into a lesson and story. Video 1, the baby elephant is rolling, tossing, turning, playing, on the sand. Great opportunity to teach present progressive.

Baby elephant plays in the sea for the first time. Another great video to enhance your story. Teach ” sea, waves, fun. All kids love the beach, but don’t forget your sunscreen!



Look at these apple lips. marshmallow teeth, and something sticky to stick the teeth with. Suggestions are peanut butter, jam, honey, nuts and honey spread, almond spread. It’s a great way to learn by doing and how attractive to eat this edible mouth.  I will substitute bananas for teeth as I try to avoid synthetic food, such as marshmallows, when i can, and sliced bananas will do the same job.


Another example of a food face with pretzels and pink cream or cake frosting.