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The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

Let the dog see the rabbit

Or in this case, find the rabbit, the rabbit being the way through the maze. This maze focuses on months and seasons and you will need two copies of each maze.

Give a blank copy to the players. On the other draw walls around the squares so that there is one way in at the bottom and one way out at the top. It's important that no square is closed off and that it is possible to get to every square.

Starting at the bottom, students take turns calling out squares and attempt to navigate the invisible maze to reach the goal. Movement through the maze is up and down and side to side but not diagonally. Move from one adjacent square to another. Every time a wall is hit the group must return to the start. Can they find a way through the maze?

It's best to laminate the mazes and put them in plastic see-through pockets. By using whiteboard marker pens to draw the walls the mazes can be reused.

It's a good idea to use a timer. Either give the group a time limit to get through the maze or record how long it takes the group to get through. Then next time they try they can try to beat their previous record.

While moving through the maze players can use a counter to keep track of where they are. To make the game easier allow them to draw in a wall when it is encountered. But the real challenge is to navigate a blank maze using memory alone.

The most difficult maze to navigate is one that only has one good path and requires the group to move backwards away from the goal at one or more points.

It's possible for students to work in pairs and design mazes for each other but make sure to limit the number of walls they can draw to between 12 to 18. The rule about being able to visit every square and not closing any area off also needs to be understood and recognised.

An alternative to just calling out the names of squares is to make a sentence about each square in order to move to it. In this case the rule about returning to the start may be waved unless the group is fluent. Decide in advance whether a new sentence is required to revisit a square or whether the same sentence can be used more than once.

Show more about mazes...

The dogs of war and such

Here is another This Week In History episode from BBC World News. This episode features the Gulf War, a report on smoking, the Kobe earthquake, education in South Africa and the death of Agatha Christie:

How many children took advantage of new laws?
How many countries united against Iraq?
How many countries united to defend Kuwait?
How many days had the play run before the writer died?
How many people were killed in the earthquake?
How old was the person who died?
What adjective was used to describe the earthquake?
What did the children join?
What did the expert committee say?
What did the play management consider?
What did the woman say about the authorities?
What does smoking cause?
What happened 11 January 1995?
What happened on 11 January 1964?
What happened on 17 January 1995?
What is America's oldest industry?
What kind of government made new education laws?
What name was given to writer?
What started on 17 January 1991?
What was special about the start of the attack on Iraq?
What was the name of the attack on Iraq?
What was the name of the play?
Where was the earthquake?
Where was the women in Kobe standing?
Which country did Iraq invade?
Which country invaded Kuwait?
Which country were the children from?
Which industry became nervous?
Who died on 12 January 1976?
Why was America's oldest industry nervous?

Show possible question list

A dog's breakfast?

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Humans, dogs, cats - we all have to eat. For teaching the meals of the day I use the following chant. It doesn't look like much but comes into its own with the right sound effects and gestures. Repeat at least once gradually speeding up:

Number one - breakfast!
Number two - lunch!
Number three - tea!
Number four - dinner!
Number five - supper!
Number six - good-night!
Number one....

Like a dog with a bone?

Months of the Year WorchsearchHere's one more worksheet focusing on months of the year. This time it's a wordsearch puzzle. Two formats are provided. The first has words to trace and the second requires the students to spell the words themselves. The first is also easier in that the words all run horizontally. In the second some of the words are vertical. In addition to the twelve months the four seasons are also hidden, an extra task for anyone who finishes early.

In case you are wondering about the rainbow mark top right that indicates that this sheet is irregular and falls outside the normal phonics progression used at Wise Hat English.

Why keep a dog and bark yourself?

The Wise Hat Top Page now comes with sporadic sound! Just refresh your browser a few times to find out. Sometimes the sound is random, sometimes it isn't and sometimes it isn't there at all. Annoying or not?

Like A Dog With Two Tails?

Japanese New Year Zodiac Year of the DogNo! More like a zodiac with two dogs! Here are some wordchain puzzles based on the Chinese and Japanese Zodiacs. A wordchain puzzle is like a crossword but without the clues. Instead the words are know or can easily be guessed. The challenge is to work out which word goes where.

As an example, take a closer look at the picture to the right. There are twelve words. First students write the words using the pictures as clues. Then place the words into the chain. The way to do this is to find words with a unique number of letters and put those in first.

The 12 words in the Japanese Zodiac puzzle in order are: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster dog and boar. The list for the Chinese Zodiac is a little different: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, chicken, dog, pig.

There are two packs each with 12 different puzzles, that's 24 in all. And if you would like more wordchains let me know. Woof!

Another dog's age?

Months of the Year WorchchainProbably not, but this worksheet does feature all the months of the year. It is in wordchain format and hints are provided in the form of syllables. The idea is to write out the months in the boxes and then fill out the wordchain before completing the sentence. A wordchain is like a crossword but without the clues so the way to tackle it is to count letters and fill the ones with unique lengths first. I've never been able to decide whether to have the wordchain at the top which makes the page more visually balanced or have the tasks in order. Anyway, the PDF file for downloading contains both so you can decide which you prefer. I've actually got 12 different wordchains, one for each month. A request or two and I'll put them all up.

Blow this hot dog stand?

Done with this page? Then consider the first link-away of the year: The 2017 Dispatches "Are you Serious" Awards may raise a dour chuckle. For example, find out who squandered $28 million dollars on lush forest camouflage uniforms and then sent them to an arid country almost 98% desert. No Joke

Or if something more directly connected to education is your whim have a look at this Truth Out article about unschooling in the US.