Toontastic 3D – Get your students dubbing – great oral practice!

Toontastic is a great smartphone storytelling app by Google which allows you to create animated videos with the touch of your hands. It is very easy and inviting, and most importantly: intuitive! You don’t need to teach your students how to use it.

Purim activity: 

  1. First, you have to ask the students to download the app on their phone BEFORE coming to class, so it wouldn’t take time.
  2. I asked the students to write a script for a Purim story, with a twist. (For example: a pirate – Megilat Esther).
  3. I haven’t had much time. But ideally, you’d want to review the script a few times before the video is recorded.
  4. I told the students to work in groups of 2-4 and have as many characters as the participants in the group (they could have more). This way, I assured that everyone will dub a character and practice speaking. THEY HAD TO “SHOOT” A FEW TAKES SO IT WAS A GREAT PRACTICE.

The students showed creativity and I have decided to repeat this with them next time, taking more time for planning. All in all, it was really fun and we only had a little more than an hour! One result is here before you:

The app allows you to choose between three different types of stories:

  1. A short story – 3 parts: beginning, middle and ending (3 scenes).
  2. A classic story – which includes 5 scenes: setup, conflict, challenge, climax and resolution.
  3. A science report.


For every scenes, you choose the setting (a pirates ship, Lost Atlantis, a classroom and more…) and characters. YOU CAN CHANGE THE CHARACTERS AND THE SETTING AND EVEN DRAW THEM YOURSELVES!!!

When you click “Start”, you start recording the voices of the characters and moving them.

The result is great!



Actively watching – a small idea for watching videos in the classroom

Hello everyone,

Today I began a new unit in our 8th grade book, about laughter. I found a great Ted Talk by Sophia Scott about laughter and what’s it all about. It is a 17 minutes talk and although it stands for itself, I still prefer students to have something to do while watching. If they’re doing something it means they are more focused, they learn more and will be able to use the experience of watching the video better in the future.

Here is a link to the video

I began writing on the board: “Choose 5 interesing facts from the video….” but then I realised that I could try something a little bit nicer. I wrote the following words on the board, arount the word: Interesting, funny, new, old, boring, nice around the word “facts”. I told the kids to choose one fact for each adjective and write it down.


During the video, the kids were concentrated and laughed (it’s a very good talk) but most of them were also quite busy taking notes.

The following lesson that day, I gave them a sheet of paper I made for them, where they could put the facts that they collected, write it down clearly and grammatically correct and color it, if they wanted. They were very busy collecting data.

Another interesting outcome was that the kids understood that there is not one answer and their answer is personal. They compared each other’s work and were surprised to see that what they defined as “new” was “old” for someone else, that their “boring” was “interesting” for their friends and so forth.


interesting – pick up an interesting fact.

Funny – Pick up a funny fact.

New – Pick up a fact you didn’t know before.

Old – Pick up a fact you already knew.

Boring – something that wasn’t that interesting for you.

Nice – something that is nice to know about.

Sad – A fact that you consider sad.

Here is their work. I enjoyed it because many times you bring a video like this and there’s little attention, some of the kids get lost…here they have a chance of doing something that has choice on the one hand, but has clear rules on the other hand.

I’d love to know what you do for watching movies…be in touch! Irit.


Phrasal Verbs – a great topic for fun activities

“Phrasl Verbs” is always a fun subject to teach. It has a lot of creative possibilities. I’d like to share with you what I’ve done in two classes this week. One is an 8th grade class and one is a 10th grade class. So the difficulty is matching the age of the pupils. In both classes, I started by explaining the topic on the board, and working on exercises in the textbooks. Later, we continued with the more ‘fun’ parts.

Phrasal Verbs – 8th grade

First activity – An online game

A very nice game from the website “Tim’s box”.  There are 5 interactive games and the students loved them. The practice took about 20 minuets.

phrasal verbs game


Second activity – Translating.

I’ve taken a few images from google. I haven’t checked the usage rights because the use is internal and password protected. However, you may ‘google’ “phrasal verbs” in google images and find images with lots of phrasal verbs examples.

I put 2 images in a presentation and had the class add comments with translations of the phrasal verbs in the pictures. Every student had to translate at least 3 phrasal verbs to Hebrew. They had to be careful not to translate the same one as their friends.

phrasal verbs google

Activity 3: SMS Generator

The next task includes using a website and the same shared slideshow.The students choose 3 different phrasal verbs and make up an sms conversation with 10 m
messages, including these phrasal verbs. They  do it on the “Iphone Text Generator“.

When I approve their work, they save it as a picture and upload it to the shared slideshow/presentation. They also add a matching picture to their conversation.  Later, they can observe their friend’s work and comment.

Below is an example of a slide – before correction. Spelling and Grammar Errors included 🙂

eden hadar

Phrasal Verbs – 10th grade

The 10th graders obviously worked harder. I’ve found a great online source: The Phrasal Verbs Dictionary. Students can look up phrasal verbs, read the different meanings and read examples.

phrasal verbs dictionary

My students had pretty hard exercises in their textbook. They had to look up the phrasal verbs on this website and try to decide if it fits. I think it was a high order thinking skill experience. They had to think in English, try the different meanings and apply them to the sentences given. They looked as if they were sweating 🙂

On the next lesson they created the same “sms slideshow” but had to use 5 phrasal verbs instead of 3. It was quite challenging – but fun!

Have fun with phrasal verbs!


If students practice conditionals in a fun way…they will remember it!

Here is a nice activity I did with my 11 graders today. I’ve used it to practice the 1st conditional but it may be applied to practicing all conditionals. I have also done this in groups of 2 or 3 students. Students can do it individually as well.

The idea is based on the following slideshow by :

After studying the conditionals, the students read the slideshow, which demonstrate a cause and effect chain of facts. Than, they create a similar slideshow, in which they create the same game but with a different story. They have to make up a story of 10 slides, add matching pictures and make it interesting or funny. My students really enjoyed.

If you want a nice game to further practice conditionals, here is a challenging Billionaire Game.


Have fun and share your students’ work! 


Keep Calm and Carry On – Lesson Plan

It is sometimes exciting to find something that you really want to teach – right now! But although I can’t gather my students at this very moment, I can at least outline this lesson for me and you.

It all started today when I was thinking that I would like to give virtual stickers for my students when I grade an online or digital assignment. When I grade a hand written assignment, I always have great stickers, such as “Keep it up” and “Good work” like those in the picture on the right, which were given to me by ECB publishing house.


I couldn’t find online badges without copyrights, so I thought I’d do it myself, when I came across the images of “Keep Calm and Carry On”


posters. Hey, I thought, I could make my virtual badges look like these:


Then I realized, I don’t know anything about these very familiar posters. So I started digging in and as it turns out, I think that it can be an interesting English-History lesson for my students. Moreover, if I do decide to use these as badges, They will understand the source for it.

Here is the lesson plan. I will be happy to read moderations and suggestions for making it better.

Activity 1: Streetview of Barter’s Bookshop.

Since the original posters were found in London’s Barter’s Bookshop, I thought starting there would be nice. With Google’s service Streetview I will show the place to the students and ask them: What is this place? Where is it in the world? Why do you think that it’s interesting?

Barters Bookshop

Second activity: Reading

I will tell the students that in 1999, something interesting was found in this bookshop and refer them to the website “Keep Calm and Carry On”, to “History”.  

While reading, the students will answer these comprehension questions:

paragraph 1

  1. Before reading: Find the meaning of “propaganda” and write it down.
  2. Why did the British government decide to create “moral boosting posters”?
  3. What are “testing times”?

Paragraph 2

  1. Translate the first two poster to your language. How do you find them? Are they motivating in times of war?

Paragraph 3

  1. Translate the third poster to your language.
  2. Why wasn’t the first poster used during the war?

Paragraphs 4-6

  1. How was this poster re-discovered?
  2. In your opinion, what makes this poster so popular nowadays?

Activity 3: a video.

After reading, the esl/efl students may find this video interesting as a visual representation of the story.

Look at these parodies and find one that is especially funny or interesting in your eyes. Write why you chose it (If you have the digital option, the students can copy their choices to a shared wall and write the answer next to the picture.

Activity 5: Generate your own poster.

This activity can be done around a certain topic or without guidance.

Go to the “Keep Calm and Carry On” generator and create your own poster.

Good Luck – you are more than welcome to share your student’s work!


Further reading:

Wikipedia – keep calm and carry on.

Know your meme – Keep Calm and Carry On