Puzzle Time for Flyers

Title: Puzzle Time for Flyers
Author: Jon Marks
Publisher: Delta Publishing
Reviewed by: Kaithe Green
Review date: April 2005
Summary: A book of phocopiable activities for young learners, based on the Cambridge Flyers syllabus; one of a series for young learners based on the Cambridge Young Learners Exams syllabus.

Puzzle Time for FlyersA handy and user-friendly book of relevant, interesting and fun activities, this is more than just one more book of photocopiable activities (although that is never unwelcome). What makes this book particularly useful is that it provides excellent supplementary material for any group of children preparing for the Cambridge Flyers exam. For such students, the activities in this book can be used to supplement a course book, as focus and practice for lexical or grammatical items that address the Flyers syllabus, as a homework worksheet or as an assessment tool.

This publication sets out to provide fun, an enjoyable challenge, and opportunities for developing learning skills and strategies for young learners- whilst providing teachers with an excellent set of classroom materials which are equally useful for both exam and non-exam classes. These aims are realised by a wide range of crosswords, word- and picture-matching activities, gap-fills, wordsearches, quizzes, story-based activities and games. There is also a useful introduction, full instructions for each activity, and grammar and topic indices.

For inexperienced teachers the introduction will be a godsend in terms of advice for integrating the activities into their syllabus and suggestions for extension activities. It also includes a section of general activities that can be adapted to the required target language. The grammar and topic indices on the back page make for quick and easy aid for selecting activities.

Some of my favourites activities are ‘Rhyming pairs’, ‘Which word is different?’ and ‘Silent letters’ ? all young learner pronunciation games. In my experience kids love pronunciation games- which must, must, must be activities and not, not, not explanations. Pronunciation is, after all, something we do rather than something we think and talk about. Another favourite is ‘All about elephants’. This is not just because it is an interesting and informative worksheet and great practise for question words, but because having done all the grammar, vocabulary and oral work it becomes a creative poster production task and then a teamwork quiz. Enough material for three or four classes ? and all from one page! That’s what I call good value!

All in all, a useful and useable book of fun language activities. I would recommend it to anyone teaching young learners, not just for the activities themselves, but also for ideas about how to create and adapt materials in order to make them attractive to kids.

TEFL.net ESL Reviews & ArticlesKaithe Greene will shortly be joining the select ranks of MA qualified English teaching grandmothers.