CALL Teaching Instructions for
“A Virtual Tour of Amsterdam”
Level: Middle School, Young Adult, Adult
Time: 40 - 50 minutes (activity 1) ; 1.5 - 2 hrs (activity 2)
Objective: Beginner level—Asking and answering questions about a city or country (past simple). Describing a place. Intermediate-Advanced—Plan a tour of Amsterdam (future tense).
This CALL lesson should follow the classroom lesson “Sightseeing” from American Shine, Book 2, Unit 2.
Activity 1- What did you see in Amsterdam?
1) Begin the lesson warm-up exercises by asking questions and eliciting responses about The Netherlands (Holland) and Amsterdam. Where is Gus Hiddick from? What is the capital city of Holland? What do we call people from Holland? What is Holland famous for? Etc. Instructors may want to put a map of Holland on the screen. For a good map and some background information go to:
For an explanation of Netherlands and Holland go to:
2) Review (or teach) relevant vocabulary as found on the Student Page.
3) Have students log on to: http://www.holland.com/us/. In this lesson, students will take a virtual tour of Amsterdam. The website has 360° webcam shots of city sites and tourist spots. On the webpage, the city is divided into sections. Students can click on a section of the city, then click one of the camera icons for a tour of that site. Some sections of the city are better, ie. more exciting, than others. Instructors may want to review the different sections before class and limit students to those sections.
4) Click on Amsterdam virtual maps. Click on “New Side.” Then click on “Madame Tussaud’s Scenerama.” Allow students time to “take the tour.” [Note that some tours have more than one frame. If so click “next”]. Then practice the model sentences below.
What did you see in Amsterdam?
I saw Madame Tussaud’s Scenearama.
What was it like?
It was cool, but a little bit scary.
Did you like it.
Yeah it was great.
Elicit different responses from different students, using target vocabulary words at the top of the student page. Some students may find it “boring”, others may find it “interesting.”
5) Pair Work. Now have students work with a partner. Each will choose a place to tour, then they will take turns asking each other about the place. They will work independently at times, but should come together and use the model sentences to tell their partner about the tour. It is important that students take the tour first, then report. This keeps them using past simple verbs.
Extension Activity –What do you see.?
1) Ask one student: What site did you like most? Go to that site and click on the camera icon.
2) Ask: What do you see? I see some bicycles. I see people. I see a building. Etc. Encourage students to be specific and descriptive. Since the camera is moving very slowly, students shouldn’t have difficulty recognizing many things. Then try another site.
3) Have students work in pairs, describing what they see at their favorite sites.
Activity 2 – Design and Present a Tour. For higher level English speakers. Put them in pairs or small groups. Have them choose just one or two sections of Amsterdam and pick sites for their own “special” tour. Tell them that they will be presenting their tour at the front of the class and so must write some “running dialogue.” Point out that below each site picture is a short history and pertinent information. Have them incorporate this into their tour presentation, but discourage them from simply copying the existing information. They might want to shorten the existing information—distill it down to just one sentence. (Students should use the English-Korean dictionary on the computer to help them with difficult words. It will save a great deal of time, as it is very convenient and easy to use. Go to “programs” and look for the icon with 한컴 사전 beside it. Open it and leave it on the screen. Move the cursor to the word.) Leave enough time at the end of the class for the groups to make their presentations. Be sure that all students participate in some capacity.
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