Weekly activities mean the activities we did in the society every week. It always lead by the activity planners and it always will be some lessons like English grammars, extra knowledge in other country. Weekly activities can let members learn more things that they can’t learn from the textbooks. Hence, we can know that weekly activities can improve member’s improve English grammar by being in an environment which using English to communicate. Thus, our society has held 42 weekly activities in total, 23 times on Wednesday and 19 times on Saturdays.
- 1. Audio, Visuals, Videos and Hands on demonstration
- 2. Activities for Reading
- 3. Speaking Games for Language
- 4.Fun Writing Activities
- 5. Listening Activities
1. Audio, Visuals, Videos and Hands on demonstration
Activity Planners have planned dozens of interesting topics which includes British and America English, Music Genres, National Geography, Historical Buildings, English Grammar. Although it looks boring but we intend to make our members to be more relaxing for society time. `Never judge a book by its cover’, before all of the activities, activity planner have to work hard to do plan out an interactive lesson for members. The PPT has to be good for understanding. Activity planners learn and improve every time about the problem and mistake from the experience. After PPT lessons will be some games or activities that related. After hours of preparation, activity planners can finally present their hard work to our members. The PPT usually includes some pictures and examples so that members understand easily. After the presentation, Activity planners will hold out quizzes or games so members will be able to test themselves.
2. Activities for Reading
Select five to ten words from a book the members were reading. Print each word clearly and boldly on separate 3×5 inch index cards, making pairs of each word.
Shuffle the cards and place them face down in neat rows. Take turns turning up two cards at a time and reading the words aloud. If the two cards match, the player keeps them and takes a second turn. If they do not match, the cards are replaced face down and the next player takes a turn. Play until the cards are matched. The player with the most pairs wins. If the members has trouble recognizing a word, say the word- do not ask the member to `sound out’ the word. The purpose of this game is to build automatic recognition of whole worlds.
The difficulty of the game by the choice and number of words used: for very beginning readers, choose meaningful words that are visually distinctive: “ghost”, “dark”, “sister”, and keep the number of words low. For a more challenging game, include some words that are less distinctive: “when”, “what”, “this”, “that”, but be careful not to overwhelm the member.
Instead of matching pairs, we use rhyming pairs: look, book; dark, park.
This game can also be used to build letter recognition and letter/sound association. Paste or draw simple pictures on one set of cards; and on the other set, print initial consonants to go with the pictures. For example, paste the picture of a dog on one card, and write the letter “D” on a matching card.
Note: This game can be adapted to use with older children, or more advanced readers: variations can include vocabulary practice such as using homonyms, (words that sound alike but are spelled differently and have different meanings: cent/scent; dear/deer, etc.) or contractions, (can’t; cannot, etc.).
B) Go fish
This game is good for early fluent to fluent readers.
Select ten to 20 words from a book (or books) the member is reading. Print the words clearly and boldly on separate 3×5 inch index cards, making pairs of each word. Two to four players can play this game.
Shuffle and deal three to five cards to each player. Place the rest of the deck face down. Players take turns asking each other for a card to match one held in his or her hand. If the opponent has a matching card, it is given over, and the first player takes another turn. If the opponents do not have a match, he or she says `Go Fish’ and the player draw from the remaining deck of cards, and the next player takes a turn. Each time a player has a match, he or she reads the words, and put down the pair, face up. Continue the game until the cards are all used up.
Instead of matching words, rhyming words can be used. In this case, player asks for a word that sounds like `night…’ At the end, the player can earn extra point by dictating or writing additional words that rhyme with the base words, or creating `silly’ sentences using the rhymes.
3. Speaking Games for Language
A) Descriptive drawing activity: Pair up the students and give each student a picture, placing it face down so partners cannot see each other’s cards. They must describe the picture for their partner to draw.
B) Comic strip descriptions: Give each student a portion of a comic strip. Without showing their pictures to one another, the students should attempt to describe their image, and put the comic strip into the correct order. After about 10 minutes, the students can guess the order, show one another their portion, and see if they were correct.
C) Secret word: Members are given a random topic and a random word that is unrelated to the topic. The students must hide the word in a speech about the topic—they’re trying to make sure the other students can’t guess the secret word. The other students listen carefully to the speech and attempt to guess the secret word.
D) Debates: Give each student a piece of paper with “agree” written on one side and “disagree” on the other side. Read aloud a controversial statement, and have each student hold up their paper showing agree or disagree side depending on their opinion. Choose one student from each side to explain their position and participate in a short debate.
E) Impromptu speaking: Prepare a list of topics that students will be able to talk about. Split the class into two teams, and have each student choose a number—that’s the order they will go in. Each student will respond to a statement without preparation. They must continue speaking for 45 seconds. As the student is speaking, the other team listens for moments of hesitation, grammatical mistakes, and vocabulary mistakes. If the other team can correctly identify an error, they get a point.
F) Desert island activity: Give each student a piece of paper and tell them to draw an item—any item. Collect the drawings and pass them out again; no student should receive their own drawing.Next, tell the students that they’ve been stranded on a desert island, and only half of the class can survive and continue to inhabit the island. The only thing each student will have on the island is the item depicted in the drawing given to them, and their goal is to convince the class that they should survive based on that item.
G) Storytelling activity: Bring four members to the front of the classroom. Three of them should sit in a row, and one should stand behind them and act as a controller. Give the controller a stack of cards with nouns written on them.The controller will hand a noun to one of the three members, who will start to tell a story. The member continues telling the story until the controller decides to hand another noun to another member, who will then take over the story.
F) Comic strip descriptions: Give each student a portion of a comic strip. Without showing their pictures to one another, the students should attempt to describe their image, and put the comic strip into the correct order. After about 10 minutes, the students can guess the order, show one another their portion, and see if they were correct.
G) Secret word: Students are given a random topic and a random word that is unrelated to the topic. The students must hide the word in a speech about the topic—they’re trying to make sure the other students can’t guess the secret word. The other students listen carefully to the speech and attempt to guess the secret word.
H) Two Truths, One Lie: Each student should write three statements about themselves on a piece of paper. Two of them should be true, and one should be a lie. Students read their three statements, and their classmates question them to try to determine which statement is a lie.
I) True/false storytelling: Give each student a piece of paper with either “true” or “false” written on it. Each student should tell the class a story that is true or false, depending on which word they received, and the class must guess whether it’s true. To add to the activity, you can allow the other students to question the student telling the story. I Have Never…: All students in the class should start this activity holding five fingers in the air (you can use less fingers to do this more quickly). The student who goes first tells the class one thing that they have never done. The students who have done that activity should put a finger down, and tell the class a story about this activity. A student is out of the game when all of their fingers are down.
4.Fun Writing Activities
1. Poetry Scavenger Hunt
The Purpose: This activity encourages students to see the poetry in the everyday language around them, while helpfully reinforcing their understanding of some of the conventions of the genre.
The Process: Encourage students to ‘scavenge’ their school, home, and outside community for snippets of language they can compile into a piece of poetry or a poetic collage. They may copy down or photograph words, phrases, and sentences from signs, magazines, leaflets or even snippets of conversations they overhear while out and about.
Examples of language they collect may range from the Keep Out sign on private property to the destination on the front of a local bus.
Once students have gathered their language together, they can work to build a poem out of the scraps, usually choosing a central theme to give the piece cohesion. They can even include corresponding artwork to enhance the visual appeal of their work too, if they wish.
The Prize: If poetry serves one purpose, it is to encourage us to look at the world anew with the fresh eyes of a young child. This activity challenges our students to read new meaning into familiar things and to put their own spin on the language they encounter in the world around them, all while reinforcing the student’s grasp on poetic conventions.
2. Story Chains
The Purpose: Writing is often thought of as a solitary pursuit, and for this reason alone it can be seen as a particularly unattractive activity by many of our more gregarious students. This fun activity not only exercises students’ understanding of writing structures, but engages them in some fun, creative collaboration too.
The Process: Each member starts with a blank piece of paper and pen. The activity planner writes a story prompt on the whiteboard. Each member spends two minutes, for example, using the writing prompt to kick start their writing.
When they have completed this part of the task, they will then pass their piece of paper to the student next to them. Members then continue the story from where the previous member left off for a given number of words or paragraphs, or length of time.
If organized correctly, members receive their own initial story back at the end for the writing of the story’s conclusion.
The Prize: This fun writing activity can be used effectively to reinforce student understanding of narrative writing structures, but it can also be fun to try with other writing genres too.
Working collaboratively can really motivate students to engage with the task as no one wants to be the ‘weak link’ in the finished piece. But, more than that, this activity encourages students to see writing as a communicative and creative task where there needn’t be a ‘right’ answer. This encourages students to be more willing to take on creative risks in their work.
3. Acrostic Associations
The Purpose: This is another great way to get members to try their hand at writing poetry – a genre that many members find the most daunting of all.
The Process: Acrostics are simple poems whereby each letter of a word or phrase begins a new line in the poem. Members can start off with something very simple, like their own name or their favorite pet and write this vertically down the page.
For higher level, members can take a word or phrase related to a topic they have been working on, or that they have a special interest, in and write this down the page before beginning to write.
The Prize: This activity has much in common with the old psychiatrist’s technique of word association. Members should be encouraged to riff on ideas and themes generated by the focus word or phrase. They needn’t worry about rhyme and meter and such here, but the preset letter for each line will give them some structure to their meanderings and require them to impose some discipline on their wordsmithery; albeit in a fun, and loose manner.
4. The What If Challenge
The Purpose: This challenge helps encourage students to see the link between the posing of interesting hypothetical questions and the creation of an entertaining piece of writing.
The Process: To begin this exercise, have the students come up with a single What If question which they can then write down on a piece of paper. The more off-the-wall the better!
For example, ‘What if everyone in the world knew what you were thinking?’ or ‘What if your pet dog could talk?’ Students fold up their questions and drop them into a hat. Each student picks one out of the hat, before writing on that question for a suitable set amount of time.
The Prize: Students are most likely to face the terror of the dreaded Writer’s Block when they are faced with open-ended creative writing tasks.
This activity encourages the students to see the usefulness of posing hypothetical What If questions, even random off-the-wall ones, for kick-starting their writing motors.
Though students begin by answering the questions set for them by others, encourage them to see how they can set these types of questions for themselves too the next time they are suffering from a stalled writing engine.
5. Listening Activities
A) Listen and draw a story
Activity planner reads or makes up a story and as the members listen they draw the different scenes. Activity planner can help them by explaining which scene to draw. This can be done individually or in small groups on larger paper. This really helps you to see if the members understand and they will often ask questions if they don’t understand.
B) Adjectives draw
Give each member a piece of paper. Then, the activity planner says an adjective or noun combination and the members have to draw it (e.g. draw a long snake; draw a big house, etc.). It is fun to make silly words (draw a small elephant). The activity planner should also draw so he or she can compare with the members’ pictures at the end.
C) Blindfold walk
This is really fun. Teach: go forward, go backwards, (3) steps, turn right / left. Then place a blindfold on a member and direct him or her around the room to eventually pick up a flashcard or object (e.g. “Go forward 3 steps, turn right, go forward 5 steps, now go backwards 2 steps, turn left, etc.). Finally, have members work in pairs – one blindfolded and one giving directions.
D) Listening with flashcards
Scatter a lot of flashcards that members have already leaned around the room and have the members sit on floor. Make up a story and incorporate all of the flashcard pictures … as the members say the flashcard word the member nearest the card must touch it. For example, player1 starts the story with `Once upon a time there was a farmer who had some cows (touch), sheep (touch) and pigs (touch). One day he was surprised to see lots of new animals on his farm. Next to the gate was a zebra (touch) and in the pond was a hippo (touch …), etc’
E) Secret Message
Make two teams and have each stand in a line (parallel with each other). Take two members from the front of each line outside the classroom and whisper a sentence to them (e.g. “Tonight it is going to rain and tomorrow it is going to be sunny”). Then the members come back and whisper the sentence to the next one, who in turn whispers it to the next, and so on down the line. The member at the end either writes the correct sentence on the board or says the sentence to the activity planner. 2 Points are awarded for a perfect sentence, 1 point for nearly perfect and a bonus point if the team finished first and got the sentence right. Then do it again with two new members.
F) Guess what it is
Put members into teams of 3 or 4. Then everyone sits and listens carefully to the activity planner for a description of something or someone (e.g. “This is an animal which lives in Africa and Asia loves taking baths. It flaps its ears to keep cool. It has a really long nose” – answer: elephant). Then each team discusses what they think it is before giving an answer. Members can give the description sentence by sentence, encouraging the members to guess each time, until one group wins. Members can start off with easy clues and slow speech but then progressively choose more difficult words and speak more quickly so that the members really have to concentrate.
G) Put in order
Put the members in teams and have them sit together. Give each group around 10 objects or picture flashcards – each team must have the same things. The first member now says all the words for items in front of the second member and the other members listen but mustn’t touch the objects. Finally, the activity planner says “Put the objects in the correct order” and the teams have to put in order the objects in the order that the activity planner said them.
H) Listening dialogs
Before the activity time, the activity planner has to prepare some dialogs based on the lesson theme. Also, activity planner has to prepare some comprehension questions based on the dialogs. While staring the game, have two members read the dialog and the other members have to listen and then answer the questions. For higher level challenge, make groups and give each group 15-20 minutes to write a dialog and questions. Then each team reads their dialogs while the rest of the class answers the questions which have been taped to the whiteboard.
I) Number / Word bingo
Playing bingo requires members to listen carefully. Activity planner can use either numbers or words. Before the lessons, the activity planner has to creates the bingo sheets and words.
J) Spelling Messenger
Put members in teams of three. The first member is given a word on a piece of paper and mustn’t show it to his/her team mates. He or she stands at the end of the room furthest from the board facing the wall. The second member is at the board facing the board. The third member acts as the messenger. The first member whispers the first letter to the third member who then runs and whispers it to the second member, who in turn writes it on the board. The third goes back and forth until the word is written on the board. All the teams compete – they have different words but all with the same number of letters. The first team to complete the word correct wins a point.
How Members Learn From Weekly Activities
Members usually learn lessons from PowerPoint Lessons during Wednesday and Saturday. Activity planners will explain the lessons to members. During Saturday, members have games or activities more often. Those activities will lead by activity planners. Activities can let the members learn about cooperating and also have fun with the lessons. The PowerPoint Lessons include English grammar and some general knowledge so that members can learn something from them. Members can use them for later in their lives. We usually have grammar revision before examination as we want to help members to score in their exams.
Furthermore, the latter activities are the alternative ways to develop members’ secondary skills which are not learnt from the study of books. These secondary skills such as teamwork, communicating skills, confidence and trust to just a name a few, are learnt by being proactive in the activities planned by the committees. Members can also experience working under pressure, which give them a chance to experience a simulation of the real society outside the walls of our school. Their flexibility and efficiency can also be improved by copying with the ever changing rules of regulations of the games. These skills are extremely difficult to master, but these activities proved that greatness comes from great commitment. From a different perspective, the friendship and relationship among the members have also shown a significant improvement throughout the year. Our members used to be shy from the start of the semester, but all of them have become more comfortable among each other. With that being said, the learning opportunities can be endless if members are committed to do so.
How Members Achieve Aims from Weekly Activities
From the PPT (Power Point Presentation), members have to read the information which is projected into the screen while the activity planners provide more information through speech. This can train member’s reading and listening skills while the activities are going on. At the same time, members are also required to answer those quizzes which are related to the Power Point Presentation which is designed to engage all members in the lessons. It is important for letting members have a clear understanding about the presentation since the knowledge gained from the lessons may be useful later in their lives.
The grammar revision which is prepared by activity planners is very useful to our members as a preparation for who are going to have their examinations. Members are allowed to ask questions when they are facing their problems while the activity is ongoing. For those members who doesn’t speak much during lessons, there are questions ask depends on their ability. This has greatly improved their English language and their speaking skills efficiently. Therefore, PowerPoint presentation has been a great way for members to learn.
The commitment to enhance teamwork has never been absent in our activities. Most of the activities require teamwork to complete the task within the shortest time possible. Members are usually divided into groups and complete the task together.
Achievement of Committee Members during Weekly Activity
Based on the learning opportunities provided by the activity planners, it is obvious that most of the committee members have taken the weekly activities seriously in case. The committee members have been trying to do their best in doing their job and have tried many new activities to look for members’ opinion. The members were also giving their cooperation whenever the activity planner wanted to carry out the activities. Other than that, the secretary was also paying attention to the situation during the weekly activity so that the secretary can hand in the report and report the situation of weekly activity of the members to the president. Whenever the committee members have something to report to the members the activity planner will give out some time for them to report. This is also because the weekly activity time is the only time that all of the members are all together. Also, this did not affect the progress of the weekly activities if the committee members have borrow the time properly from the activity planner. The committee members also give help whenever the activity planner is absent or busy at the moment. The committee members give help by take over the job temporarily; maybe it would not be as smooth as the activity planner but they also try their best .