Explorace (Part 1) : Elements in poem


Last Wednesday I made an explorace for my Form 3 students. I did it only because I’ve accidentally made a promise the day before, haha… Hence, I had to fulfill my promise by preparing a real explorace. Thanks to teacher Izi for brainstorming together at the same day I was about to do the explorace.


Some of the materials needed

First and foremost, you need to prepare the materials for the explorace. Some of the things that you need to have are:

  • Checkpoints mark (with materials that they need to collect)- As for me, I put in different elements of poem in each number of checkpoint.
  • Colour-coded stickers (to show that they have been to the checkpoint)
  • Tasks and clues handouts

You may see in the photo that I had 5 different colours of stickers to differentiate each group.


1. Checkpoints


One of the checkpoint labels that I put at the library

Put the labels anywhere needed. There are places where you may paste the checkpoint labels ‘clearly’ or not to paste them at all…


So here’s an example of ‘clearly stated’ checkpoints (This is the teacher’s copy. Students’ copy has no place mentioned. They need to understand the clues given).

For certain checkpoints, you may give them tasks to be completed before they get their next clue…


This includes speaking skill (to interact with people properly). In this case, my students had to interact with makcik kantin– the canteen workers. I was lucky that she agreed to help me! 🙂


This part is funny, when you see all of the group members read at the same time. Haha

You may download the clues here:

2. Stickers

It’s all up to you! You may use coloured stickers that you’ve bought earlier, or print out colour coded stickers from the internet and paste them!


3. Tasks and clues

The tasks are all depend on you! You may combine all skills they’ve learned before- it could be speaking to others, reading a poem correctly, or even solving a puzzle at every checkpoint. In my opinion, the tasks should vary.

How I did it?

My target was reviewing the poem that we’ve learned in class before- ‘Poisoned Talk’ poem. Hence, the explorace was done in finding different ‘elements of poem papers’ at each checkpoint so that they could prepare an i-think map afterwards. I had 6 checkpoints altogether.


  • To ask questions politely to get information
  • Reading instructions and respond correctly

Students interviewing canteen workers

After they’ve finished all checkpoints, students were given a piece of manila card to prepare an i-think map on the ‘Elements of poem’ in the Poisoned Talk poem.

The lesson was postponed. The next lesson would be discussing the elements of the poem. You may do gallery walk, or three stray, one stay learning techniques. You may refer to PAK21 learning to get some ideas on the learning techniques. I found that as quite interesting. 🙂

My students’ response

Most of the time, when it gets hotter and students are tired in class, it’s best to get them out. I could see that everyone participated, at least in finding the checkpoints by reading the clues given. It’s a funny sight to see my students talked to the security guard politely in English and interviewed canteen workers to get their next clue! Haha…

A female student told me that she never liked English before, and now the interest grows little by little. They’ve started to flip the dictionary to understand the instructions. Well, I also got some funny response- “Teacher! If you do something like this for every class, I’m going to lose so much weight!!”. I just laughed listening to their responses!

“Do you like the game?”, I asked.

Most of them replied a “Yes”. I was relieved…


I hope yours will turn out well. Mine was for intermediate and low level of learners. If yours are excellent students, they should be doing pretty well, and the tasks or clues can be a little bit challenging.

Good luck!

’till then!

#teachwith ❤

Chinese New year

New year, new resolutions. You may introduce them with new cultures as well.

As written in the Teaching Organizer, students should be able to read  and understand the printed media. Since the theme is about people, I am going to introduce two different celebrations of two different cultures which are Chinese New Year and Indian New year celebration as well.


Chinese New Year teaching materials

Here are the links where you may find the texts and materials for Chinese New Year celebrations:


Teaching writing simple continuous tense sentences

Hi! We meet again…

This post is something in which I don’t know where I got the inspiration from. Seeing my standard 6 student not being able to write even simple sentences, I came out with this table in which I think might create some ‘sparks’ of ideas on how simple continuous tense works in sentences.

I will share how I teach my student so that she can at least write simple, yet correct sentences in English.

Okay, before you start the lesson, you might want to have a simple set induction… Well, that depends on your creativity. As for me, I love using charades (verb-guessing game). Then, you can write down the verb on the whiteboard.

For example;

“She is crying

Then, you may relate to simple continuous tense and go to the main content of the lesson.


“Is, am, are, was, were- WHAT ARE THOSE??!”

Take it easy Taylor, we’ll explain more down there…



First, you need to focus on the concepts and rules of the present and past continuous tense. Make sure students get the rough idea of its functions and differences.

Here are some notes for you guys!

note sct

Introduce the basic forms first


singplural forms

Then, proceed to how singular and plural nouns affects the verb-to-be!


Secondly, you may proceed to the writing part once your students have understood the forms.

Prepare a table like this one on the whiteboard, and start writing sentences! 🙂

continuous tense simple sentence building

Okay. For the first column, you can do some adjustment (Pronouns/nouns).

Do some sentences together in class…. Let students contribute their ideas by making their own sentences and you write them down on the whiteboard…


Thirdly, let your students do some more exercises on their own! As the saying goes; “Practice makes perfect!”. If it is a tuition class, I will ask my students to write 20 or more simple sentences in the table so that they are familiar with the forms.


That’s all for now!

I hope this really helps teachers and students (and also future teachers) out there!

Good luck!

#teachwith ❤

Quick reflection


I did not go to school today. It’s ‘summer’ in Malaysia, and I had little rest, did not drink a lot of water, and had no proper eating time. Hence, I catch a cold, and a fever. So, today I decided to have  a proper meal, have breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and also a personal timetable. I used to be an organized person. I am a visual type of person, so I need to write every single thing that I want to do, and follow them. Quite complicated at first, but believe it or not, it makes your life even easier, because you have this kind of mindset of what you need to do at certain period of time. And that makes my life happier! 😀

Tomorrow is going to be my first experience of being observed by my mentor, Teacher Lin. She used to be the teacher of the class that I am teaching right now, a form 4 class. I am planning to teach writing, on creating dialogues. I also decide to add some grammar elements (teaching punctuation) and a bit of listening and speaking (stress and intonation)- as that’s what people do in a real conversation, isn’t it? And I can see that quite a number of my students do not really make use of punctuations in their essays such as comma, question marks, and apostrophe.  I’ll go through these elements perhaps in the beginning of the lesson (Gosh! This reminds me of Dr. Ainol’s class; “Yes?!” “No??” Haha.)

punctuation cards

Teaching reading comprehension: 5 reading strategies and practice

My final observation was with my mentor at school. Teacher Lin requested to observe me teaching reading comprehension. I was super nervous (like usual), and finally thinking of my previous class during my foundation period. I used to take College Reading Skills course and personally, I think the subject helped me a lot in becoming a better reader. Just imagine, you do not have to refer to the dictionary each time you come across unfamiliar words, and still understand the whole text. Isn’t that awesome? Well, I think it is so awesome that you don’t have to flip through your dictionary frequently, and especially during examination (in which you do not have the chance to open a dictionary at all!).


Since I did not bring my College Reading Skills book, I just turned on my laptop and googled on the simple strategies to become a better reader. You can always use any kind of strategies, but these are the strategies that I introduced to my form 4 students;

reading strategies

My objective for this lesson is to make sure that my students know how to be a better reader. Instead of reading word by word, they should know how to read faster and guess the meaning through context. For instance, read the whole text and get the main idea.

  1. Previewing: Get to know the structure of a text.Review the titles, sub-headings, or photo captions.
  2. Predicting : Guess what the text is all about. Look at the vocabulary or words used repeatedly to get the general idea about a particular text.
  3. Skimming & scanning : Have a quick survey on the main ideas from the text.
  4. Guessing from context : Use prior knowledge or read the whole sentence to guess or find a clue about the meaning of unfamiliar words.
  5. Paraphrasing : Restate the information in your  own words, based on your own understanding. It’s like making a general conclusion about what you read.


Here are the steps that I used for the lesson:

  1. Ask students to take out a piece of paper and list down things that they like and dislike about reading in English. (I told them that I will play 1 song- which became the timer. They needed to stop writing when the song ends.)
  2. Ask students to share their answers and write on the whiteboard. Compare their answers and discuss.
  3. Tell students that you are going to give them tips to become a better reader. Then, explain the 5 tips (or you may use any other tips available). 😉  You may use printed materials with a mind map or just draw them on the whiteboard beforehand!
  4. To practice the skills, use any reading materials that you can find. As for me, I prefer to have magazine articles as they are more organized rather than a short story. So my students can start searching for main ideas as recommended in the tips.
  5. Test your students’ understanding by asking them to highlight the main ideas from the excerpt, or answer some questions regarding to the text.

Make sure you find a suitable text for this practice. The text itself has to suit your students’ level of competency. Do not use a very difficult text with so many bombastic words for beginners, or you might have an awkward moment standing in front of the class with your students giving no response. Seriously, you don’t want to face that kind of condition…. It’s freaking awkward and embarrassing!

All the best!

#teachwith ❤

Form 1 poem: Sad I ams (By: Trevor Millum)


In the previous entry, I posted a poem entitled Sad I ams by Trevor Millum, since I felt very sad on that particular day.

Consequently, I am going to teach the poem tomorrow! Therefore, I prepared a slideshow with pictures that describe each line of the poem… I know, even me myself have problem in understanding the meaning of carburetor, chromium trim, sparking plug, etc. A lot of unfamiliar words in the poem. I am afraid that my students will not be able to understand if I only describe them verbally. Hence, I decided to use pictures and come out with a powerpoint slideshow for the purpose of tomorrow’s class. I hope this will benefit teachers out there. 🙂

Click to download the slideshow:

Poem-Sad I Ams

Good luck! 😉