How to have a great lesson on The Blue Tree?
Follow these nine steps and make the most of The Place Where People Grow.
- Select a topic
- Describe the main image
- Answer warm up questions
- Go through key language
- Study the main content
- Check how much you understand
- Cast your vote
- Leave your comment
- Download lesson glossary
SELECT A TOPIC
The Blue Tree is organized in three main sections:
- Learning English
- General Interest
- Personal Development
Each section is divided into thematic blocks. There are 20! topics you can choose from.
DESCRIBE THE IMAGE
Each lesson on The Blue Tree begins with a thougth provoking image.
Use it to switch your mind to the English language. Describe the picture giving as many details as you can. Consider how it relates to the subject of the lesson.
Here are just three examples of lesson titles and images that are featured on these lessons.
The Quiet Power of Introverts
It is time we end our love affair with cars
What makes strangers click
Use warm up questions to get familiar with the topic of the lesson. There are usually two or three questions in this part.
Many questions ask about your personal experience or preference. Express you opinions freely.
Ask follow up questions if you see that the discussion is developing well. After all, isn’t an English lesson about speaking?
Practise key vocabulary. In most lessons it is presented using Quizlet – a famous flashcard app. It helps if you have an account (it’s free).
You can work in two ways with the key vocabulary. The first way is to use English words on the front and Polish on the back. This method is a bit easier. If you want to challenge yourself, set the cards to Polish first. This way you will have to think a bit harder about English words.
Finally, remember to set the audio on. Listen to all or some words and learn how to pronounce them well in English.
Watch, listen to, or read the main content of the lesson. Most posts on The Blue Tree are based on:
- YouTube videos
ex. Building a dream car
- TED Talks
ex. Do Schools Kill Creativity
- BBC Ideas
ex. The Quiet Power of Introverts
- HBR Management Tips
ex. Personal Philosophy
ex. Prepositions – at, in, on
If the video is longer than five minutes, it is usually split into parts.
Use the questions in the Comprehension part of the lesson to see if you understood everything correctly.
Go back to the main content if something is not clear. Use time stamps to find the right place on the video.
Make sure you understand as much as possible. Most lessons on The Blue Tree are based on materials not designed specifically for English learning – authentic materials – which can sometimes be a problem as regards accents, words or structures.
Do you like surveys? Well, I do. That’s why there are many surveys on The Blue Tree.
There’s usually a question or a statement with three or more options to choose from. Select the one which is closest to how you feel about this issue.
When you click on the option, you will see how other users voted before you.
Most lessons have a special section where users can leave their opinion about the topic being taught.
Read through the comments which are already there and write a few words too.
This is great opportunity to practise English. It’s one of the best ways to activate newly learnt vocabulary and grammar.
Below you can see how it works. You can also leave your comment.
What makes English so useful in the modern world?
Most lessons on The Blue Tree have a list of key words at the end.
You can download this list as a pdf or excel file. You can also print it.
Why don’t you use it to revise the language from the class as part of self-study?
Choose at least three words or expressions which you would like to learn and use when you speak English.
I wish you many interesting, practical and inspiring lessons on The Blue Tree.