The mistakes students make are ideal for learning. They are much more complicated than any mistakes in textbooks and it is more motivating to correct your own mistakes. Moreover, students often make mistakes in areas not covered by textbooks or covered on a place which is remote from the time when the student makes the mistake. That is why I collect my students’ mistakes and try to deal with them.
This collection of mistakes comes from my students´ essays about their last holidays. I hope that they will help you or your students avoid these mistakes in the future.
Common mistakes – mind map
There is the collection of the mistakes in a mind map. In the first column there are the wrong sentences. In the second column there are the corrected versions of the sentences. The third column contains the explanations.
If you use this mind map in a classroom it might be a good idea to explain the mistake yourself and ask the students to fill in the explanations in their own words into the mind map below.
I have produced two games to practise the correct versions of the wrong sentences. The first game is called Basketball and your task is to choose the correct answer and then stop the sliders in the middle of the basket. Can you score ten time?
Common Mistakes Basketball
The second games is a simple quiz. Answer the questions correctly and then play the game called Word boggle. All the answers are based on the mistakes from the mind maps above.
Common Mistakes Quiz
Common mistakes – Classroom ideas
I love using the following activity with my classrooms. It comes from the book Teaching Unplugged by Scott Thornbury and Medding
. Before the lesson I write each sentence on a separate slip of paper and I hang them around the classroom (do not forget to number the slips). Then I ask my students to take a piece of paper and write the correct versions of the sentences on the paper. They can help each other as much as they feel necessary.
Once most of the class have finished, I elicit the correct version of each sentence. It is a nice and really useful activity.
You can find some interesting activities connected to holidays at British Council pages.
If you prefer a game-like activities, there are several at British Council pages again.
It is a common problem that many teachers have interactive whiteboards but no internet connection. You can download the games here and use them offline or on your webpages. However, you are not allowed to sell any of the activities on this site.
Common mistakes holiday
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