Home > No. 51 October Halloween Goodies

No. 51 October Halloween Goodies (2009年10月10日)

カテゴリー: The Treasure Hunt Club
Marcel Van Amelsvoort
(Kanagawa Prefectural College of Foreign Studies)
Welcome to October. Though the column this month features Halloween as
its topic, I’ll be introducing a variety of sites―something for
academic searching, a place to be creative or let your learners get
creative, and a tool that just might save you some time.

On the train the other day I saw a poster for Disneyland with that
unmistakable orange and black design. Disneyland has really embraced
Halloween as one of its seasonal themes, just one of many signs that
students in Japan are now familiar with the festival and its imagery.
The history of Halloween is more interesting than just pumpkin faces,
however, and can be good content for an English lesson. Here are two
sites that you can use as a resource, or even send your more advanced
learners to.

CBBC (BBC News Learning Site) has a nice short summary of the festival
and its history and images.

History.com’s Halloween page is a wealth of resources including
videos, background information, pumpkin carving suggestions, and
related stories.

A Free E-book Search Engine
It is remarkable how many books are now being released online for free
these days under the Creative Commons license, usually in pdf form. I
have recently downloaded Opening Up Education, edited by Toru Iiyoshi
and Vijay Kumar, and A Designer’s Log: Case Studies in Instructional
Design by Michael Power. And recently I came across a new search
engine for e-books, which should make it even easier to find free
books online. It’s called Free E-Book-s. http://www.freebook-s.com/

Get Creative
Looking for a nice writing project for your learners? Storybird gives
you the tools to write storybooks (like children’s picture books)
online. Artists post their work at the site and you can just browse
for images to use, choose a few, and write a story. The results are
simple (as in not so much written text) but are surprisingly
sophisticated. The completed stories can be viewed online and in the
near future you will be able to print out your stories too.

Save Some Time
The Scholastic Vocabulary Quiz Maker: Here is a vocabulary test making
robot brought to you by Scholastic. Go to the page, input your
vocabulary (just the vocabulary, not the definitions or examples) and
let the system create a vocabulary test for you. The system provides
the definitions for you. And you can select the grade level of
difficulty to control the difficulty of the definitions. It’s all in
English―sorry, no translations are allowed―but it makes a test that
you can easily adapt (copy and paste and edit) for use with your own
learners. http://wordwizard.scholastic.com/quizmaker/

Well that’s it for this month. See you next month.