Lesson Plans

Death By PowerPoint Comprehension Questions

I am currently trying to improve the general standard of presentations my students at Martino Martini Social Sciences school, it’s not as easy a task as you’d think! ūüôā
To try to help them out a little I’m going to show them the “Death By PowerPoint” presentation by Alexei Kapterev.

As the presentation is quite long, I wondered whether the students would remember all the important information while I go through the presentation with them. In the end I’ve decided to talk through the presentation once, and answer a few simple questions. Then I’ll ask the students to look at it again themselves on the Slideshare site. To help them with this, I’ve written a short worksheet for the students to work through as they read.

I hope you find it handy! You can download your own copy here.

All the best,

Seth ūüôā


Speaking Philosophically – CLIL Lesson

students-at-work2This year I’m working as a CLIL/ICT teacher at Martino Martini, a high school in Mezzolombardo, Italy. It’s a really interesting project where I co-teach different subjects together with the “regular” class teacher. The difference with this CLIL project is however that I don’t just help teach the subject in English, but I have to use technology to teach the subject too.¬† This means that so far this year I have taught subjects as diverse as History, Biology¬† and Social Sciences using all sorts of different Web 2.0 technology such as wikis, web-based video, online surveys and so on. I tell you what, it’s been great fun! Take a look at our wiki if you’d like to see some of my students’ great work.

For one of my philosophy classes recently I decided to do a speaking activity based on one of the arguments from the BBC World Philosophy Day article from last year. As philosophy is often taught as a fairly dry subject here in Italy, I decided to “spruce it up a bit” by using some of the great creative commons photographs from Flickr to illustrate the arguments. I put them together as a Powerpoint presentation and I hope you’ll agree that the results are pretty good!

Although the PowerPoint presentation deals with philosophical ideas that Kant had, I’m sure that many speaking classes would really enjoy the subject. The references to Kant are infact only in the last slide. I used this lesson with a class of 17-18 yr olds. It does deal with some pretty “full on” issues, so have a good look through the slides before taking it into your class.


Click on the image to download the PowerPoint file. It’s 14 MB so it might take a minute or two!

Talking Philosophy PowerPoint


Thanks to some great ideas from The Webheads, I’m now also going to do this lesson as a VoiceThread. So, if you (or more likely your English class) fancy joining in the debate, click on the comments button in this VoiceThread version below:



Interactive Scoreboard for Smart Notebook 10

Inspired by the fantastic activities James Hollis talks about on the Teachers Love Smart Boards blog I decided to try out a “Error correction game” with my 4th year class recently.


I wanted to have some sort of scoreboard to keep track of how much each team had “won” by guessing which sentences were correct or not. I thought I’d use something like the excellent Powerpoint scorecards that Dave Foord has on his A6 training site (they’re great – check them out if you haven’t yet). Unfortunately it seems that there isn’t any equivalent for the Smart Notebook 10 software. Undeterred, I thought I’d try my hand at making one myself. I must say I’m quite pleased with the result.


Basically I used the “Flip Along Axis” animation to produce a scoreboard which students or teachers can use with any Smart interactive white board. If you have a look at James’ blog there is a good tutorial on how to do this.

This interactive scoreboard also contains “hyperlinks” so that you can insert a series of¬† questions (up to 10 at the moment, but you can always add more) then you can jump straight to the question you want and jump back to the scoreboard again when your students have answered it.

I hope you enjoy using my lesson. Do let me know with a comment if you find this useful. If you have any questions about how to edit the lesson, again – get in touch with a comment.


Interactive Score Board-With-Timer

Web Search Skills for Language Learners

Google Logo

Many of the lessons I choose to do with my students involve internet search skills. Webquests, research for web-based projects, searching for definitions, there are all sorts of reasons why we ask our students to search the internet. However, we often take it for granted that our students know how to use Google and other search engines effectively. However (as I know to my frustration in Italian) it is actually very difficult to do web searches in another language. For this reason I decided to give my students a helping hand the other day and showed them a few of the useful “search operators” Google has.

After getting the students to brainstorm a few of the words they’d expect to find on Key websites we looked through the worksheet below.¬† This basically talks them through the reasons you need to put quotes around certain search terms, how to search for Word documents, PDFs and other file types and other useful hints and tips.
Feel free to use it with your students, I hope it comes in handy!

All the best,


Internet Search Skills Worksheet.doc

Go to Top