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Oh where, oh where has my little dog gone?

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Oh where, oh where has my little dog gone?

It’s been a looooong time since I posted. I had intended to write up some summer school posts, but, well, I got a hole in my leg (no, really) and life got silly. Instead I’m going to recommend that anyone needing to survive summer school check out The Best Ticher. Elly has written a whole series of posts on surviving summer school that are well worth the read. However, seeing her mention dictation gave me an idea for a very quick post.

A cute lesson idea for Summer Camp/School: Dog Dictagloss

I no longer coordinate my school’s Summer Camp, but I do help a bit by giving teachers tips and writing the syllabus. A teacher came to me last week saying “Kylie!!!! Narrative tenses? I thought you said camp lessons were more fun? How on earth do I make that engaging and fun?” Firstly I pointed out to him that it was there to prepare them for a story telling project and that he should think of it as a  ‘preparing for story telling’ lesson rather than ‘narrative tenses’ to change his mindset. Then together we put together a rough outline for what we both think will be a fab lesson. Basically the lesson is a dictagloss. Because who doesn’t love a dictagloss for narrative tenses? I know what you’re thinking ‘Come on Kylie, kids will hate all that grammar’. But wait, the story for the dictagloss? The adventures of his pet dogs. We discussed the possibility of the dogs being secret agents (like my friend Anne’s cats in her published series of books), but I’m not sure if Mr Teacher is going to go with that or just an adventure. Anyway, here is our rough idea. Enjoy! And let me know what you think, will his lesson be great?

Step 1. Mr Teacher is going to show the class pictures of his pet dog photo-shopped into various holiday snaps, tell the students he woke one morning to find his dog gone and then each day received these photos. EDIT: Pictures now added below. Soooo cute! Are yo n love with his dogs like I am?

Step 2. Using the photos, the students brainstorm and try to guess where the dog went, why, what happened etc

Step 3. Mr Teacher reads his story very quickly for the students to check their predictions.

Step 4. Mr Teacher reads the story again, fairly quickly, not too quickly, certainly not as slow as a regular dictation though, and the students must write it down. Mr Teacher will be sure to point out to the students that they wont have time to write down every word, so they must write down key words and leave spaces to fill in the rest later.

Step 5. Once Mr Teacher is done reading the story, students get some time to think about the gaps and fill in what they can.

Step 6. Students get in pairs or groups and compare and together work to fill in the gaps.

Step 7. All students come to the board and together write the story out on the board. Mr Teacher may or may not draw a time line to help them. Then comes feedback eliciting and drawing their attention to time references etc.

Step 8. Controlled practice. Mr Teacher gets students to guess what happens next. Then gives gapped sentences (verbally), holding up a verb card when he gets to the gap. A bit like a pub quiz, teams write down the verb in the right form then after the sentences see which team/pair got the most right and during feedback elicit why etc.

Step 9. Freer practice. Students write the first sentence of a story about their own pet going on an adventure. e.g. This is the story of  XXXXX the XXXXX and his/her big adventure  

They then pass this piece of paper to the student to their left who writes the second sentence. That student writes the next sentence, but then folds down the first sentence before passing to the next person. As the paper goes around the students only see the last sentence written. By the end of the paper, the story is a nonsense story, but hopefully funny. When the student gets their story back they can check the verb forms.


When I googled ‘dog on holiday’ to try find a picture to accompany this post, I found this blog kick ass trips, and  a website that could be a great inspiration for such a lesson, World Woof Tour 

Picture source:


Mr Teacher, AKA Charles Stewart, has promised to fill me in post-lesson how it went and what he ended up doing. The above was just our staff room brainstorm.

If you have any blog posts about summer camp/ school you’d like to share, I’d love to share them for you here. Have a great Tuesday!

Until next time…..

EDIT: Charles has been kind enough to share the pictures his partner created for him for his doggy dictagloss. So let me introduce you to Pierre and Larson, below. They going to be accompanied by postcards with paw prints on the back. Awwww. Enjoy!


About klokanomil

YL Advisor & IH CYLT Coordinator for IHWO. Teacher, teacher trainer, training mentor, writer, presenter, student, mum of crazy twin toddlers (affectionately known as 'the sausages') and coffee addict.

One response »

  1. Pingback: Super Simple Summer Activities Series: Pt 1 | klokanomil

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