myTESOL Lounge

1.  Interactive Grammar Cube

Posted 08-07-2017 16:44

Dear colleagues,

if your students don't like grammar, have hard time with tenses, etc. - this 3D model might help you to fresh-up their attention.

I built it in Blender for my students. It is a verbal grammar reference tool. I do some class activities with it and will be happy to share if there is any interest.


[Nick] [Koretsky]

2.  RE: Interactive Grammar Cube

Posted 09-07-2017 07:08
Always looking for good activities; please post.

Janice Parker


3.  RE: Interactive Grammar Cube

Posted 09-07-2017 23:05

Thank you Janice,

Activity#1 - Explaining events on a timeline.

Imagine a situation when you need to explain your students that in this sentence

She said that she had seen him.

Had seen - means event that happened before said.

Try a psychological experiment :-). Explain it to your students in a regular way (by drawing a timeline etc.). After that, show them this version of Grammar Cube with tenses on moving blocks

Better if you have Interactive board in class but your Tablet PC\smartphone would work well too.

The model is in a looped playback. You can stop it at any moment. If you stop it on 01:70 you can show your students that Past Perfect is physically deeper than Past Indefinite (cyan arrows on picture).

Grammar Cube

As you might imagine, your students will have much stronger engagement watching how English tenses move. This way they will understand it quicker and memorize better. Expect to be asked why Past Perfect moves deeper inside than all other tenses :-) (as if you haven′t just explained it!).

You can access 3D model of Grammar Cube on your mobile device having a free sketchfab app.

It is even more fun if some of you are lucky to have some VR/AR devices and can view Grammar Cube in VR/AR :-)

Having everything explained give your students an exersise with a number of similar sentences. They will have to recognize different tenses in a sentence and show them on a Grammar Cube. They can work with you or in pairs (most of them have mobile devices and will get the app and model very quickly).

I hope you will have a great grammar class and win respect and loyalty of your students. 

[Nick] [Koretsky]

4.  RE: Interactive Grammar Cube

Posted 10-07-2017 06:19
Thanks very interesting !

[Sayyid ] [Tirmizi]
[Former Associate Professor
M.A.,M.B.A., Ph.D.)
ESL Teacher and Career Coach]
New York

5.  RE: Interactive Grammar Cube

Posted 10-07-2017 12:36
Edited by Nick Koretsky 10-07-2017 12:37

Thank you very much!

I have a couple of other tips. Hope it will be helpful in teaching practice.

Teaching tip #1 - explaining Present Perfect tense.

ESL teachers know that explaining Present Perfect tense can be a complicated task. Students often don′t understand a concept of ''immediate past having direct relation to the present''.

Having a Grammar Cube as a teaching-aid simplifies teacher′s life. Being in transformed state, the Grammar Cube has Present Perfect tense tilted. One side of it remains on the level of present tenses, the other side is moved to the level of regular past tenses.

Tilted surface naturally articulates difficult grammar concept of Present Perfect tense and makes it easier to understand.


Teaching tip #2 - explaning 'Present Perfect tense vs. Past Indefinite tense'

Explaning a difference between ''immediate past'′ (of Present Pefect tense) and ''regular past''(of Past Indefinite tense) is another tricky task. As a supplement to other explanations, I show my students Grammar Cube in transformed shape and explain that ′′Past Indefinite'' is completely in the past and doesn′t have any relation to present. Present Perfect remains connected to present while having relation to past.

Difference between tilted and flat surfaces clearly articulates the difference between tenses and usually I have no further questions from students.

[Nick] [Koretsky]