The Travel Blog ESL activity involves students describing the events of an imagined trip.
A good way to introduce the activity is to show the students some examples of real travel blogs. Prepare samples of these if possible.
- Define a location/length of the trip the students are to describe. With lower level students you students you may want them to write a few short diary-style entries, while more advanced students should normally focus on one longer piece of writing, as one would read online.
- Students write a description of an imagined trip, using the target language.
- Students then swap their writings and peer-correct. The reader also notes down questions they want to ask the writer (e.g. How did you feel when…? Which was your favourite activity?)
- The reader presents their corrections to the writer and asks their questions. They should also give feedback about which parts of the blog they found the most/least interesting.
The Travel Blog ESL activity is very flexible, and can be used to practise a wide variety of grammar and vocabulary topics. As such you can use it for any level from high beginner upwards – just adjust the complexity of the language required as appropriate.
With any level of student, you could focus on the use of narrative tenses. For beginners this will probably just involve the past simple, but lower intermediate students should include descriptions using the past continuous too. It provides a good opportunity to combine the two tenses, e.g. We were walking back to the tent when we saw a light…
Similarly, higher intermediate and advanced students can practise using the past perfect simple (We’d just finished dinner when…) and/or the past perfect continuous (We had been walking for about two hours when…) in these kinds of narratives.
Alternatively, you could simply ask those higher level students to concentrate on creating an engaging piece of writing in a suitable style. This could include the use of interesting and varied adjectives, ellipsis, and even humour.
Due to the subject matter, the Travel Blog ESL activity can also work well with the vocabulary topics of travel, emotions and feelings (ask students to use relevant adjectives throughout their text), sports and hobbies (camping, kayaking, climbing), and outdoor equipment (e.g. tent, sleeping bag etc.).
For a similar activity in which students describe an ongoing trip to a family member/friend, see Writing A Postcard.
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