How To Prepare For Cambridge Movers/Flyers Exams Online – in a FUN Way?
February 2021 – Teaching English to CHILDREN is fun. Teaching English to children ONLINE is a challenge. Preparing children for an English EXAMS online is an adventure… if you do it in a fun way. Today, I’d like to give you some quick tips how to do a great lesson with elementary school kids online using comics and preparing for Cambridge A1 Movers or A2 Flyers exams.
ONLINE FUN WITH COMICS
Nearly every child likes comics, but even the ones who might not be into them love making up stories. So I invite you to take your students to the partially free online comics-maker: STORYBOARDTHAT.
The online application gives the opportunity to make two storyboards per week free, more than enough for one lesson. The site is self-explanatory: you are provided with three maximum slides and can choose different backgrounds (scenes), characters, textables (speaking bubbles) and other elements. After clicking onto one category, subcategories open up underneath: as you can see, in the category Characters, there are 14 subcategories from Adults over Teens and Kids to Animals:
So STEP 1: Choose a scene.
STEP 2: Choose your character(s).
Your students will notice that every character is white with white hair. This is because you can choose their appearance: you can change the colour of the character’s hair/skin/eyes/clothes, what’s more you can even change their face expression and/or pose:
Mind, that you can also make a range of changes also in the scenes. Useful to know that you can resize and turn to an angle every single element (not on the scenes, but all the single elements dragged and dropped into them).
So once you showed the basic functions of this web application to your student (by sharing your screen), send them to the website where they can practise without registration. The system asks you to save your project so even if you close the browser for a second, you will find your last project saved for you (good to know since kids tend to close tabs by accident).
CAMBRIDGE MOVERS&FLYERS: FIND THE DIFFERENCE
And now let’s move on to the English teaching part: Cambridge Movers and Flyers are expected to find and describe differences between two pictures: Movers can see the two pictures, Flyers listen to the description and spot the differences on their own version.
So make a storyboard with two scenes, using the same elements, but changing some things, just like in this example:
Ask your students to find all the differences in the two pictures. Help them use the correct expressions:
– in the first picture, in the second picture
– the girl on the left is dancing, while the girl on the right is sitting, etc.
After doing the first exercise together in open class, challenge your students to make similar spot-the-difference visuals for their classmates and continue practising for YLE Speaking.
CAMBRIDGE MOVERS&FLYERS: ‘NOW YOU TELL THE STORY’
Another task at Cambridge Movers and Flyers is to tell a story based on visuals. Movers have four pictures in a story, Flyers have five. The first one is always described by the examiner. The stories have a title and the characters have names written around the first image. Let me show you the story my 6-year-old son made about ‘My perfect day‘:
His story was: Me and my friend are in a coffee. We ordered a hot chocolate. In the second picture, we are in my room. I’m reading a book. My friend is playing with the mobile phone. Here, we are playing a video game. In the game a monster and a ninja are fighting.
Doing the same task with 10-year old boys, we ended up with
– a story about a boy getting the coronavirus
– a picture diary about a day during COVID (kids’ mind is really busy with this nowadays)
– a story about two hockey players and ‘fair play’
– a girl at the fun-fair with a balloon and a dog nearby (no secrets: the dog made the balloon pop and the girl got very angry).
CAMBRIDGE MOVERS: ILLUSTRATE MY STORY
Finally a quick idea how to work using the book and StoryBoardThat: You and your students can illustrate a story from the course book you use in your course. The idea comes from the written part at Movers (Part 5), where students have a story in three parts with one picture about each and need to read the story, then complete sentences summarizing/rephrasing the content.
So choose a story, check that you have the main characters and scenes available on StoryBoardThat (use the Search field). Read the first part of the story and ask your students to make the illustration about it. Read it twice to make sure they understand, ask CCQ (concept-checking questions), if necessary.
After some minutes, ask your students to show their picture about that part to you. This way, you can also discuss the differences between their interpretations (e.g. ‘the mother in my story is young and is wearing a red dress, Giuseppe’s picture is different: the mother is old and is wearing jeans and a T-shirt‘). You can also correct any misunderstandings (e.g. ‘The girl in the story has brown hair, not blonde‘).
Then continue with the second part of the story and so on.
You can also sign up for StoryBoardThat, this way, you can create your collection of comics with more than three slides each and have an unlimited amount of materials for YL exam-preparation.
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