Fun activities for junior high class? (Studio Classroom)

I’m in the process of planning for a new job teaching about 20 kids between the ages of 13 and 15. It’s supposed to be a low-stress, high activity kind of class, designed to get the kids talking as much as they can and enjoying it. Or else! Haha.

I don’t have much experience with this age group. Their level is good enough to handle the Studio Classroom magazines, and that’s what we (the boss and I) hope to be using. They don’t get a lot of hours with me. No homework. Friendly foreigner has fun with kids and hope for more kids. Good money.

I’ve been watching and listening to studio classroom stuff and I think I have the hang of it for now, but I hope to be adding to it in creative ways. I hope to make some worksheets and have some other things to do besides stick their noses in the magazines.

What do you think? Any experience with this age group? They seem like nice kids.

Thanks in advance.

Don’t look at it as teaching Studio Classroom – look at it as teaching reading.

Google materials on teaching L1 reading. The things that are hip these days in “ELA” (English and Language Arts) will fill the bill. Things like group reading activities, how students are led to “react” to texts, having students bring in materials (songs with lyrics in English, etc.) that relate to the theme of something you’ve read or are going to read, roleplaying, debates on “opinion” type articles (although it’s fairly easy to know what the opinion of Studio Classroom is going to be before you read it), and so on. Have them draw pictures to react to an article and then explain the pictures to the class.

Activities listed as “PAT” (known as “preferred activity time” in the US these days) were formerly known as “games” for the most part, and some of them might be good for your situation. Just find ones that can use vocabulary or English input.

Don’t limit yourself to EFL, although there are lots of good activities to be had from those sources as well. Think of it as reading with extension activities to address the other skills.

AFAIK, studio classroom is high school level. That may be a bit “mature” for the age group you’re dealing with. The English may not be too difficult for the kids as you say they already have a good command of English, but the subject matter may seem boring to them. The chat room segment especially is pretty adult-oriented. The much livelier Let’s Talk in English (also published by SC) is more for that particular age group.

I taught a junior high class that used Studio Classroom as their main text before. The text wasn’t really my choice as it was selected by their main teacher-- and I have a feeling this is the case in many of these classes.

The students hated the magazine. I found the best way to get through it was to promise more fun activities once the magazine exercises were completed. My class, in particular, loved to study English pop music lyrics. I bought CDs, downloaded lyrics, blanked out selected words and played the music for the kids to listen for the missing words. After, I gave simplified explanations of the lyrics’ meanings.

I should have been more concise. I am using “Let’s Talk in English” in one class and “Studio Classroom” in the other. Thanks!

One of my favorite resources for improving and exploiting course materials is Mario Rinvolucri’s Humanising Your Coursebook. This book has some really interesting teaching ideas. I’ve read dozens of teacher resource books, and I think this is one of the best.

Go here for a preview. Highly recommended.