Class objects Revisited Pt4: Teaching with paperclips


It’s been a really long time since I last wrote a post on how you can use everyday objects in your teaching. So how come I thought of this old series now? As I suppose is the case for most of us here in Greece, the summer holidays have just begun, so I’ve been trying to tidy/organize/declutter my desk. That’s how – through all the sorting and ordering- I thought of revisiting this objects series and suggest possible activities for more everyday objects. The star this time is paperclips!

  •  Teaching numbers, colours and shapes: It’s the easiest and most obvious way to use paperclips! Also, due to their small size, paperclips are easy to carry around which means students can always have access to them whenever you need to revise the words you’ve learned.
  • Empathy/Manners – Chains of friendship/chains of manners: The first image that pops to my mind when I think of paperclips is of kids making paperclip bracelets with friends. Apart from a fun craft to make, it’s also a great way to introduce empathy or good manners in your classroom. Every time a student or friend misbehaves, a paperclip is removed from the chain.
  • Reflect on the coursebook : Students bookmark their favorite page/activity: It’s very important for students to feel that their views and preferences are respected, especially when it comes to the material(s) used in class. Try to involve them more by asking them to bookmark their favorite book activities and present them in class.
  • Extend the coursebook: Bookmark a moment in their life: Use paperclips for creative writing activities. For example, you could ask them to imagine they could use their paperclips to bookmark the most important pages in their book of life. Which pages would they choose and why?
  • Use them as body parts: Practise the vocabulary for body parts by drawing a body/face around paperclips.
  • Extend the image: Just like the body parts idea, paperclips could be used as a starting point for any object your students would like to draw.
  • Creating maps/paperclips used for directions: Paperclips could be used in the place of arrows in a map or as signs for directions.
  • Fish for words with paperclips: Create fishing poles out of paperclips and go fishing for words students can use in their writing.
  • Making crafts: There are tons of crafts to create with your students; from bookmarks to jewellery, the list goes on and on!

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