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Can We Go Outside Today?

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Jim Solomon, Tokyo [email protected]
It was a beautiful fall day and I didn't want to stay inside so I came up with an idea to take my classes outside and still sort of conduct a high school esl class in Japan. In advance I made a print of one page with the alphabet evenly spaced out on it. At the beginning of class, after I took attendance, I told my students we were going have class outside and they couldn't have been happier. I told them to take a pen or pencil and meet by the school picnic table. There I divided the class into five teams. I gave each team one copy of the print and then sent them away with instructions to look for "outside things" and to list those things near their corresponding first letters on the print. Sky was to be written near the S and pond was near the P, etc. They were not to wander off school grounds. They were to return to the bench in 20 minutes and there we would compare lists. The most comprehensive list won the game. An easy day in the fresh air for me and the students, happy to be outside, were forced for a short time to think of their environment in English.

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