Teaching third year lyceum students at the 2nd Experimental Lyceum Athens, Teacher: Maria Hioni

17/03/2011 14:07


Grade: 3rd class of Lyceum, 14th March  2011

Lesson Plan

Purpose: To learn new vocabulary, practice group work and reaching a consensus after discussion, initiate critical thinking skills


A)     Warm-up exercise (5 minutes):  Vocabulary Exercise (work in groups)

Students find Greek words for the following words:

turblance, plane crash, raft, crew, float, Pacific Ocean, island, FEDEX delivery, coconut, stranded, inhabited


B)      View Video (about 3 minutes)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TWYDogv4WQ

Students watch trailer for popular movie 'Castaway' and focus on details


 C)      Ask Comprehension Questions (5 minutes)

1) Why was the plane having much turbulence?

2) What finally happened to the plane?

3) Where did the plane crash?

4) What helped Tom Hanks to float on the high seas?

5) Was the island inhabited?


D)   Group Activity:

Students should imagine themselves on a sinking ship and they must decide what to take with them. There are 6 groups of objects but they can only choose 3 from each group. Teacher should explain any unknown vocabulary words before the students start working on it. Group activity D.pdf (296,2 kB)


  castaway demonstration lesson.pdf (192 kB)

 Homework writing exercise given



Thinking Beyond the Box! Dealing with the Third Class of Lyceum By  Maria Hioni

 I would like to begin by thanking you all for coming today.

In this presentation entitled Thinking Beyond the Box! Dealing with the Third Class of Lyceum I will first give a very brief description of what I did today and then I would like to focus on how to deal with the last class of senior high school.

Today’s lesson was easy to apply because this class has done a lot of group work. They have been taught to do it properly. In other words, during previous times I have gone around explaining what they should be doing, making sure that they are using English and that everyone is participating.

The topic of survival was chosen because I see them struggling on a daily basis preparing for the Pan-Hellenic exams. The next step was to add audio-visual stimulation because students enjoy this. Finally, I went to my trusted site Onestopenglish to download a lesson plan and adapted it to our needs.

You might be asking yourselves how I managed to calm the students down enough to participate. This has also taken a lot of effort and understanding from both parties involved.

Make Things Clear

From the very first lesson I make some things clear to my students. I write give and take on the board and I explain that we are stuck with each other for one year so let’s make the best of it. Under give I write how the lesson can be done: videos, music, role-playing and cultural aspect of the language. I go on to explain that I hate teaching in a conservative way. Under take I write what I expect from them: bringing their books to class (they get bonus points for this and I check every time we have a lesson), doing their homework (with the promise that I will not put too much), class participation (which counts towards their final grade). I then ask them what they expect from me. This year one female student raised her hand and said “No pressure”. I agreed.


Another important factor we should keep in mind is choosing interesting and relevant material. Some examples that I have chosen this year are:

1)      Job interviews (role-playing)

2)      Relationships (Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, debate)

3)      Dealing with pressure. Stress relieving exercises (yoga)

4)      Strange customs from other cultures (training video from a charity organization)

5)      How to spot a liar. (group work and role-playing)

Show Compassion

Apart from the official things we do as teachers I feel that we should also show compassion every chance we get. I always ask how their studying is going and offer encouragement. To be honest I’ve reached the point that I’m happy I’m old and don’t have to sit these exams! I have also offered to help the students on a voluntary basis to prepare for the special English exam. I do all this because I care about them and I show it.  Students in Greece have something called “FILOTIMO”. I don’t think this word can be translated.


                For some reasons students become excited when they discover I have facebook! I communicate with those who have asked to be added on. For example, when the 3rd class went on its 5 day trip and posted pictures I commented how good they all looked and that we miss them. I have also started a second site on facebook where I ask them to help me set up the new media room. By the way, whoever wants to be added as a friend I go under the name of Maria Chionis. 

Video Room

                We are lucky in this school to have extra unused classes. I have taken the initiative to establish a language media room. This is a golden opportunity to make my students feel involved in the process of learning. I am surprised at the positive reaction I have received. Some 3rd class students have even volunteered to come in one weekend and help me clean!


                To conclude I would like to put it in a nutshell and say that establishing a good rapport with the students is the key to being able to do our job well and getting them to listen and participate.


castaway demonstration lesson.pdf (192 kB)