I relied on PowerPoints heavily, and would usually go through each class with the same one, hoping it could get me through the 50 minute class. They sometimes came close, but I invariably had 15 to 20 minutes left to kill. It quickly became apparent that PowerPoints alone weren’t going to cut it.
One PowerPoint that I got a lot of traction out of was called Doctors. It showed lots of great pictures of broken arms, people getting sick, and everything else we associate with a visit to the hospital. But what made it really good was that the last few slides outlined a dialogue between two students. That dialogue worked really well, and made this one of my more memorable lessons.
How it Works
- Show the Doctors PowerPoint, or have a lesson that’s similar, explaining health and doctors. Your students will all know it, but they just won’t know all the English.
- Put students into pairs, and explain that one student is sick and the other student is the doctor.
- The sick student needs to explain what problem they have, preferably through lots of funny actions that get the class laughing.
- The doctor student needs to act sympathetic without really caring.
At least that’s how I always modeled my doctor dialogues, and they nearly always ended with the doctor asking for $500, whether he offered a viable cure or not. Students loved it, and I knew I had a real winner on my hands when they got into their characters and came up with some great role-playing.
This activity works well for classes with parents watching, as the students will have fun with it if you encourage them. It can be adapted for all levels, although kindergarten-aged kids, not so much.