Articles: Ideas for Teachers

Here are some ideas for teaching with the materials.

The materials and teaching suggestions assume that your students are at an intermediate level or above and already have some knowledge of the grammatical features highlighted on the website. There are of course many ways in which you could adapt the materials for use in class, with different permutations of individual work, pair work and group work, and the ideas below are just suggestions to prompt your own creativity. If you would like to share your teaching ideas for the materials please contact me and we can put your ideas up on the English for Uni blog. My email address is

I do not know how long your classes are, so the ideas below can be adapted in any way you like. You might want to spend longer on some features than others, or you might want to use a flipped/inverted classroom approach and give the students some things to do before class and use the class time to discuss particularly difficult areas.

The website materials and exercises can be downloaded as PDF files, or as Word files if you want to adapt them yourself.

If you want to use the website exercises in class, I’ve found that it works well to put a QR code up on a screen for the students to scan so they can go directly to an exercise. To generate a QR code, copy the URL for the exercise and then paste it into a QR code generator, such as this one: You can use this in a very basic way, with all the custom suggestions, and produce a black and white code to copy using either a screen shot or the snipping tool. Then paste this code into a PowerPoint slide and project it on a screen or wall. It takes less than a minute to do this and the students enjoy using the code.

There are many ways in which you could use this video. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Just use the PowerPoint to stage a live ‘Thanks a million’ quiz in a lecture, with yourself as the game show host and a colleague planted in the audience who rushes forward to take part in the quiz. Your colleague will have to rehearse the answers first!

2. Play the beginning of the story up to the place where Ms Parrot rushes out of her study to win a million dollars. Then pause the video and have a teaching session on articles before returning to the quiz show on the video.

3. Play the video until after Ms Parrot has reminded the audience about the uses of articles. Then stop and do grammar exercises with the class before continuing with the quiz show.

4. Divide the class into teams to answer the quiz show questions, pausing after each question is posed on the screen to give the class time to discuss the options.

5. If you don’t have access to a computer or the Internet in your teaching room, print out the PowerPoint slides and one or two exercises and use them in the class. You could host your own ‘Thanks a million’ show with the students.