emotional word clouds

 In Emotional Intelligence in ESL classrooms

someone in your family, someone you get on really well with, someone quite unusual, eccentric or annoying, someone you admire


When it comes to family and friends students are always willing to talk. Relationships are part of our everyday life, whether at work, in the home, gyms, clubs or neighbourhood there is always this one person you could talk about for hours. And that is so good for speaking activities! Everyone has something to say!!

The proposal today is to ask students to think of people that would fit into these four categories: a family member, somebody they get on really well with, someone eccentric or unusual or annoying, and a person they feel admiration for. When they have picked someone for each of the categories ask them to write their names on paper (one person on each piece), then put all the names in a jar. Allow some days for them all to put names in the jar while you are building up your vocabulary bank with adjectives and expressions to describe people / relationships. You will be able to see how expectation grows until the moment you finally open up the jar and bring one name out, then another, then another… you may wish to ask for one innocent hand to give some assistance in the activity.

As they do students get excited when their teacher is also willing to share some of their life experience, so never hesitate to put in your names as well or even better, should you have the chance bring a special guest into the classroom as a real life prompt as it was our case.

So this very day the lesson begins as usual following normal procedures when very unexpectedly a knock on the door is heard. And it is this stranger whom the teacher starts to talk about and to describe using shaped word clouds projected on the board.

The students will eventually start interacting with this «new classmate for the day» as he presents them with riddles and puzzles to solve as well as the most rare adjectives the students will be able to add to their vocabulary banks. Like «objectionable«.


To create word clouds you can use online resources like this. There are several available on the web and your students will be delighted to create their own to give away as Birthday cards or Christmas cards for instance.



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