Interactive Notebook / LapBook for irregular verbs

English Irregular Verbs … Every English Language learner I know and anyone that has ever been a learner of it can tell you numerous stories on how boring and torturing it has or it had been to memorize the past tense of the irregular verbs in English! And just when they thought they had been over with this long list, there came the third column with the past participle, only to make matters worse, more complicated and more boring! Well, being an English Language learner myself back in the … (let’s just say) years of no internet or any other realia in the classroom, I can still remember these long afternoons with my mum dictating the verbs, me writing the two columns and then studying the whole list again to memorize what had not been successfully memorized … ugh …


Being a huge fan of interactive notebooks and having already used them in tutoring my daughter (plural nouns, demonstratives, subject/object pronouns and possessive adjectives), I have decided to exploit their educational and recreational value in order to create a lapbook this time! Using an A4 size folder with a rubber band, we created together a lapbook that was actually fun to make, engaging to fill in and easy to use as a resource or revision! First, we started cutting and gluing the templates that I had made for this reason (after categorizing the verbs in terms of their irregular forms, I created a template that would best serve our needs)! You can download the templates here and print them in colour A4 size paper, if you like:

Then, using our course book, my daughter filled in the past tense and past participle forms of the irregular forms while flipping each piece of paper!

Interactive Notebook / LapBook for irregular verbs

The categorization of the verbs helped her a lot to first guess the form and then verify it with the help of her course book! Therefore, she said that she studied them while doing the task! When she finished, she decorated the cover of the folder and kept it in her bookcase, saying that she prefers to study them from this lapbook rather than the coursebook! A few months later, she decided that it would be more helpful to stick it on the wall, so that she can refer to it more easily when needed! And, in case you wonder, no, she did not memorize everything perfectly in one teaching session, but she liked studying them this way and she does not sigh in despair when we refer to irregular verbs and that is awesome!


Lapbooks in general have proved to be the kind of materials that

  • help learners achieve a higher level of retention,
  • can be adjusted to any curriculum,
  • are able to drift learners along paths of excitement and creativity,
  • motivate learners to write,
  • involve all learners, of all ages and levels and
  • portray the learner’s personal taste, making them thus more attractive to use and objects to take pride in!


These are only some of the benefits of lapbooking, as they have been presented in numerous articles and, anyone who regularly uses them, has probably a few more to add! Yes, it took some time to categorize, set up the templates and print everything to be ready for the lesson, but the actual cutting, gluing, filling in of the correct forms and decorating took no longer than a teaching hour that would have probably been even more entertaining and involving if we had the chance to work on it in pairs, or in a group! Therefore, this is something that we can probably try with the 5th and 6th grades of the Greek public Primary School, provided that we can obtain the necessary materials and maybe do some cutting on our own, before introducing the activity to our learners, so as to keep it restrained in one teaching session!

1st graders

1st graders

Everybody knows it, 1st graders in Primary Schools are heart stealers! It is unavoidable, teachers, no one can resist bright eyes, smiley faces, lively creatures,cheerful attitude, positive aura and readiness to be part of a team!

This year, at the Primary School of Efxeinoupoli, Magnesia, Greece, after discussing with the 1st graders about what is the English language and why it is important to speak it well in the future, they realized that they already speak English without ever knowing or noticing it! Having recognized all of the words included in the following presentation, we started pronouncing them like English people do! And they did so well!

Dear ELT colleagues,

I am talking to you, who love your job and do it the best way you can! I am talking to you, who do not blog about it, or share your ideas through social media because you do not happen to know how to, or do not have the time to! I am also talking to you, who may not particularly enjoy what you do for a living and blogging or posting about it would be the last thing on your mind!

Let us all take a moment and think … When other EFL teachers share what they do in class with the world, are they just bragging, showing off “what an awesome teacher” they are, or are they just sharing ideas, in an attempt to connect? Well, the truth is that it is only fair and reasonable that I talk about myself and my view of things, but following numerous ELT blogs all these years and connecting with colleagues all around the world via social media, I believe my thoughts coincide with the majority of the people who post their professional practices in public.

Blogging and/or sharing in social media ideas and approaches related to your job initially contributes to the dissemination of good practices. As teachers, we always try to find ways to develop, introduce innovative activities in our classrooms and become more effective at what we do. Internet seems to be an abundant source of inspiration, just because some colleagues have taken the time to share their experience! Secondly, it allows everyone to share original materials that have been created for specific purposes. These materials, most of the times, can be used freely, can be adapted to serve other learners’ needs or can simply inspire some colleagues to create their own worksheets or ELT games!

Additionally, sharing your professional practices and approaches does not only address to colleagues, but also to learners and parents. Learners, on the one hand, can use a teacher’s or a school blog for extra practice, retrieval of useful materials or even access to differentiated activities and exploitation of interactive tasks that can be posted to serve their needs. Parents, on the other, have the opportunity to get a small idea of all the incredible things teachers have been working on with their children, things that they sometimes accuse us of not applying or introducing in class, mainly because they have never asked their children about them or their children have never shared what they have done or learnt with them! Aside from assisting the learners and informing the parents, blog posts seem to be like school journals, that will always be there to remind everyone of those days, those activities, those events and those lessons. Many learners who have now finished school and their parents, go nostalgically back to these posts that remind them of the past and its quality.

Last, but definitely not least, sharing teaching practices and/or materials allows EFL teachers to connect with other colleagues that are in the same situation with them, other colleagues that live in countries near or far away from theirs, with other beliefs and other ideas on their professional field, with younger teachers full of spirit, or more experienced ones full of wisdom, with learners and parents in their school or other schools … Blog posts or posts on social media are normally followed by phone calls, emails and personal messages among colleagues that focus on sharing feedback on practices, exchanging of ideas, clarifications on steps to be followed or bureaucratical procedures that are required, theoretical support of the suggested/recommended approaches and the list goes on and on … And it is this part that is even more time-consuming than posting, occurs unseen and unnoticed by others, is more demanding professionally and socially and brings the writer’s responsibility and accountability forward for everything s/he posts.

So, thousands of EFL teachers around the world who post articles or videos related to their job, may appear to some people and some colleagues as show-offs, bragging about programs, tasks and innovations, but, in reality, they are far from claiming to be “the best”, or “coolest” teachers! They actually happen to have the time to employ their technological know-how in order to pursue all or some of the afore mentioned benefits! On a more personal note, blogging and connecting through social media is my (and many, many other teachers’) way of actually working. I love my job, like you do. It did not just happen to me, I chose to be an English Language teacher many years ago. I am at work in the morning and I feel I am still at work even when I am at home, with my family and friends – and I am not the only one, you know! There are thousands of EFL and non-EFL teachers out there who are better teachers than me, more creative and innovative than me, do what I have been doing and suggesting in ways more attractive and effective than mine and are definitely more experienced and passionate than I am … and they do not share it with the world … being modest, feeling shy, being afraid to be accused as show-offs! Isn’t that a shame?

So, for this once, allow me to brag! Allow me to brag about sharing, as I am definitely not sharing to brag! And, you know what? This is the case with thousands of other ELT teachers here in Greece and around the world! We have all entered the wonderful world of sharing and caring, exchanging and connecting, providing and receiving assistance, developing and achieving! It is more demanding than you would have ever thought, it does not bring you more money in the Greek public sector, although it is more time-consuming than it looks, and it requires organization, responsibility and lots of planning that goes unnoticed. However, it is more rewarding in so many aspects, not only the ones mentioned earlier!

Therefore, try posting, or not … It is absolutely fine whether you do it or not! No ELT colleague should judge or point fingers if you choose not to, as you should not judge or point fingers to those who do. Comment, evaluate, assess with an eye to cooperating, but do not accuse others of bragging, as others do not accuse you of following more traditional approaches, working less than you could have and selfishly keeping all the expertise to yourself! These last accusations sound crazy, right? That is exactly how crazy being accused of showing off sounds to those who post and exchange professional suggestions and ideas!

Sincerely and Respectfully Yours,
Vivi Hamilou

Πώς θα σας φαινόταν η δωρεάν απόκτηση βιβλίων γραμμένων σε διάφορες Ευρωπαϊκές γλώσσες; Φαντάζομαι πως … μοιάζει πολύ καλό για να είναι αληθινό! Κι όμως, υπάρχει ένα βιβλιοπωλείο που δίνει σ’ εσάς και τα παιδιά σας αυτή τη δυνατότητα! Πρόκειται για ένα online βιβλιοπωλείο της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης όπου μπορείτε να βρείτε βιβλία και κόμικς στα Αγγλικά (και σε άλλες γλώσσες) και να τα παραλάβετε δωρεάν! Θα σας σταλούν ταχυδρομικά και μπορείτε να τα διαβάζετε στον ελεύθερο χρόνο σας, να τα κάνετε δώρο στα παιδιά και τους μαθητές σας για εξάσκηση, να εμπλουτίσετε τη σχολική δανειστική βιβλιοθήκη, ή ακόμα να εκμεταλλευτείτε αποσπάσματά τους στην εκπαιδευτική διαδικασία!

Οι μαθητές της Στ΄ Τάξης του Δημοτικού Σχολείου Σούρπης παρήγγειλαν τα δικά τους βιβλία τελειώνοντας το δεύτερο κεφάλαιο του βιβλίου τους, που τους ζητά να εξοικειωθούν με τις αγορές προϊόντων μέσω διαδικτυακών καταστημάτων. Το υποθετικό σενάριο της παραγγελίας έγινε πραγματικό, και σήμερα οι μαθητές κρατάν με πολύ χαρά τα πρώτα βιβλία στα χέρια τους, αφού ακολούθησαν τις οδηγίες που τους δόθηκαν μέσω του σχολικού blog και παρατίθενται παρακάτω:

ΒΙΒΛΙΑ, Ε.Ε. , ELT, Greek schools

Να πώς θα παραγγείλεις τα βιβλία:

1. Πήγαινε στον ιστότοπο

2. Κάνε εγγραφή:

Βρες το “Log in” στη δεξιά πλευρά της σελίδας και κάνε κλικ στο “Register”

– Γράψε ένα Username (Όνομα Χρήστη)

– Γράψε ένα Password (κωδικός, τουλάχιστον 5 χαρακτήρες θα σου ζητηθεί δύο φορές)

– Διάλεξε μία από τις ερωτήσεις ασφαλείας και γράψε και την απάντησή σου (πχ. η πρώτη ερώτηση αφορά το πατρικό όνομα της μητέρας σου)

– Γράψε το μικρό σου όνομα (First name)

– Γράψε το επίθετό σου (Last name)

– Διάλεξε τα Αγγλικά (English)

MHN γράψεις το τηλέφωνό σου

– Γράψε το email σου (ή των γονιών σου)

– Διάλεξε τη χώρα σου

– Γράψε διεύθυνση, ταχ. κώδικα, πόλη ( Address, Postcode and City) (στον ταχυδρομικό κώδικα μπορείς να βάλεις το GR μπροστά από το 37008 σε περίπτωση που σου βγάζει ότι είναι λάθος, ή να αφήσεις ένα κενό: 370 08!)

ΜΗΝ συμπληρώσεις την κατηγορία State

– Κάνε κλικ στο “Register” στο τέλος της αίτησης.

3. Πρόσθεσε βιβλία στο καλάθι σου:

– Στα αριστερά της αρχικής σελίδας βρες τις κατηγορίες “Comics” και “Kids’ corner”.



– Κάνε κλικ σε κάθε βιβλίο, έλεγξε αν έχει PAPER version που να είναι διαθέσιμη (available) στα Αγγλικά και πρόσθεσέ το στο καλάθι:



Αν δεν υπάρχει το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο, δίπλα στο Paper version θα λέει Unavailable. Αφού προσθέσεις ένα βιβλίο στο καλάθι σου, μπορείς να πας πίσω για να παραγγείλεις κι άλλα κάνοντας κλικ στο “EU Bookshop” στο πάνω μέρος.

4. Ολοκλήρωσε την παραγγελία σου

Κάνε κλικ στο “My basket” όπου θα δεις όλα όσα έχεις επιλέξει. Κάνε κλικ στο πορτοκαλί κουμπί “Next”:

Θα εμφανιστεί μια νέα σελίδα με τη διεύθυνσή σου. Κάνε πάλι κλικ στο “Next”.

Τέλος, βάλε στο “I accept the General conditions of sale” και κάνε κλικ στο “Order now”.

ΥΓ: Μπορείς να παραγγείλεις 1 δωρεάν αντίτυπο από κάθε βιβλίο και μέχρι 20 βιβλία κάθε φορά που κάνεις παραγγελία. Αν κάποια βιβλία δεν είναι διαθέσιμα τη στιγμή που κάνεις την παραγγελία σου, έλεγξε ξανά μετά από 1-2 μήνες. Κάθε χρόνο εκδίδονται νέα βιβλία!!

(Το κείμενο μας δόθηκε αρχικά στα αγγλικά από τη Σχολική μας Σύμβουλο Αγγλικής Γλώσσας, κα Βασιλική Παπαϊωάννου. Συντάχθηκε στα ελληνικά από την εξαίρετη συνάδελφο κα Μαρία Καμμένου, η οποία είχε την καλοσύνη να μοιραστεί με όλους εμάς, τους συναδέλφους της Μαγνησίας, τις οδηγίες που απέδωσε στα ελληνικά, προκειμένου να βοηθήσει τους μαθητές της να παραγγείλουν δωρεάν βιβλία από το βιβλιοπωλείο της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Την ευχαριστούμε θερμά για την ιδέα, τις τόσο κατατοπιστικές κατευθύνσεις και την άδεια δημοσίευσης!)

Αφού μάθαμε να χαιρετιόμαστε και να συστηνόμαστε, περνάμε στο επόμενο βήμα με τους μαθητές της Β΄ Τάξης του Δημοτικού Σχολείου Σούρπης: Πώς λέμε τα ζωάκια στ΄ αγγλικά? Με τη χρήση flashcards μάθαμε τα ονόματα των ζώων στ΄ αγγλικά, αλλά και διασκεδάσαμε μαθαίνοντας πως η αγγλίδα πάπια δεν κάνει ‘πα’, ‘πα’, ‘πα’, η αγγλίδα γάτα δεν κάνει ‘νιάου’, ‘νιάου’ … τραγουδώντας ένα … αυτοσχέδιο τραγουδάκι με τα ονόματα και τους ήχους των ζώων στ΄ αγγλικά!

Κι αφού εμπεδώσαμε τα ονόματα και τους ήχους των ζώων, ήρθε η ώρα για παιχνίδι! Bingo με τα ζωάκια!

Animal Bingo - Primary School of Sourpi

Animal Bingo – Primary School of Sourpi

Τα κολλήσαμε στον πίνακα και ξαναθυμηθήκαμε τα ονόματά τους …

Animal Bingo - Primary School of Sourpi

Animal Bingo – Primary School of Sourpi

Τα ζωγραφίσαμε στον πίνακα …

Animal Bingo - Primary School of Sourpi

Animal Bingo – Primary School of Sourpi

Animal Bingo - Primary School of Sourpi

Animal Bingo – Primary School of Sourpi

Επέλεξε ο κάθε ένας έξι ζώα και τα ζωγράφισε στον πίνακα που έφτιαξε …

Animal Bingo - Primary School of Sourpi

Animal Bingo – Primary School of Sourpi

Animal Bingo - Primary School of Sourpi

Animal Bingo – Primary School of Sourpi

Animal Bingo - Primary School of Sourpi

Animal Bingo – Primary School of Sourpi

Και το παιχνίδι ξεκινά!!! Ο νικητής σε κάθε γύρο κερδίζει ένα αυτοκόλλητο της επιλογής του!

All of us, English Language teachers in public Primary Schools of Greece, are familiar with the Sports Song presented in our coursebook, in Unit 2.

English Coursebook - 4th Grade - Sports Song Lyrics

English Coursebook – 4th Grade – Sports Song Lyrics

This school year this, normally rather indifferent to the learners, song was taken to a different level with a little bit of imagination and enthusiasm! Instead of just singing the lyrics, we simply added motions for every line of the song! And that is how we pursued learning sports in English and learning like + -ing structure while having fun! What you are about to see on the following video is a group of learners following directions as to where to stand and how to move, so that their face will not be exposed during the video-making process! What actually took place in class while learning the song, cannot be put into words and is only for the teacher to know and appreciate and the learners to remember for a long, long time! For me, the English teacher, it was the perfect end of a busy, tiring week, that you fortunately cannot see depicted on my face for video-quality reasons!

P.S. If you really liked what these 4th grade learners have presented, please, leave a note on their related school blog post, because they are afraid they will be the only ones watching their video!