“Uses” PowerPoint

It’s February.  First semester is a distant memory, Spring break isn’t anywhere on the horizon, and don’t even mention summer yet.  Kids have cabin fever, and you do too, if you’re honest about it.  A teacher I really respect once said that if you have any really dynamite lessons in your repertoire that you usually hold in reserve, save them for February.

It’s February.

With this in mind, last week I dusted off a collection of pictures that I stumbled across a couple of years ago dealing with “repairs.”  In other words, these photos include the most contrived, crazy or flat out dangerous way to repair something that anybody has thought of.  It occurred to me that the common linguistic denominator to these is the word “uses”, which is incredibly useful and doesn’t usually get a lot of burn.  With that in mind I made the following powerpoint

Benutzt (German version)
Uses (English version, in case anybody wants to rewrite it for their language)
(If you mouse over the bottom of the screen you will see a menu labeled “Actions” that allows you to download and edit this for your own needs).

What I do is put the class into groups of two or three, give each group a whiteboard and tell them to draw pictures as answers to the questions I will ask them.  We do the first one together (without drawing) so that everybody gets an idea what the activity will be like, and then we’re off.  Be sure to employ the word “uses” as much as you can, and the reps on this activity go through the roof.  You could probably also sneak in the word “repairs” pretty easily, but I forgot to this round.

My students have always loved this activity.  Their ideas are often more creative than the “answers” featured, but the fact that somebody actually did these things are amazing. This year I found I had a bunch of housekeeping details to deal with during class (our annual fruit sale, correcting tests, etc.) so I split this up over two days and it gave me two days of burn instead of the usual one.


2 responses to ““Uses” PowerPoint

  1. Danke, danke, danke – this is perfect (and hilarious). Thanks so much for sharing.


  2. Yeah, Nathan…I’m getting observed the first school day after our big competition. I have only been looking forward to that as getting “back to normal.” This lesson is going to be great. It will be March, not February, but we’ll all be ready to collapse, and this will give us fire.


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