Tara Benwell's Blog (218)

Writing Challenge: MyEC Holiday Cookbook

Happy Holidays! If you haven't seen me around MyEC for a few days, it's because I've been busy baking, cooking, eating, and celebrating the holidays with my family and friends. One of the best things about holiday time is enjoying delicious food that we only make once a year. This month, let's teach each other how to make a dish, dessert, or snack that we enjoy on special occasions. If enough members join this challenge, I'll make a recipe eBook or slideshow out of our…


Added by Tara Benwell on December 28, 2014 at 20:00 — 14 Comments

Short Story Challenge: The Blogger that Saved the Day

Here is my (very short) story for Luci's (very) Short Story Challenge. I'm afraid it is a tiny bit longer than 70 words. Tough challenge! 

The Blogger that Saved the Day

It was…


Added by Tara Benwell on November 28, 2014 at 14:56 — 17 Comments

The EnglishClub Learning Song: Video Challenge

Hi everyone, 

Have you heard the NEW EnglishClub Learning Song that Jonathan made for us? 

It would be fun to make another version of this song with the help of MyEC members. Do you have any ideas? Here are two ideas.

  • a karaoke version with MyEC…

Added by Tara Benwell on November 12, 2014 at 16:30 — 10 Comments

Writing Challenge: Costume Party

For this month's Writing Challenge, we're going to write some simple riddles. I believe we've done this activity before on MyEC, though it was quite a while ago! 

Your Task

1. Think of a costume that you might wear for Halloween (or a costume party). 

2. Use a few short sentences…


Added by Tara Benwell on October 28, 2014 at 20:19 — 16 Comments

Writing Challenge: Advice from the Internet

This month we are going to practise giving advice. I want to challenge you to experiment with "personification". This is when you give human qualities or characteristics to something that is not human. 

Your Task 

1. Choose a "thing" that you want to pretend to be. You are going to write from the perspective of this thing. It can be a living thing, but not a human. 

2. Open a new blog post. Use the title: Writing Challenge: Advice from a/the…


Added by Tara Benwell on September 28, 2014 at 22:30 — 26 Comments

Writing Challenge: The World's Biggest Problem

Have you heard of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals? In the year 2000, at the Millennium Summit, leaders from around the world identified 8 of the world's biggest problems. They set a goal of fixing these problems in 15 years.

On MyEC, we come from…


Added by Tara Benwell on August 28, 2014 at 19:18 — 27 Comments

Writing Challenge: The Land of My Birth

Where were you born? This country is called your native country. It it also your homeland and your birthplace. Is it where you belong? This month, I'd like you to tell us about the land of your birth and your sense of belonging.

Your Task

1. Watch and listen to "Vseki den" by EnglishClub's musician Jonathan Taylor…


Added by Tara Benwell on July 31, 2014 at 14:30 — 19 Comments

Writing Challenge: Dinner Guest

This month, I'd like to challenge you to plan a dinner party with a special guest of your choice! 

Your Task

1. Decide who you would invite for dinner. This can be anyone. Your guest can be dead, alive, famous, or even fictional (i.e. a character from a book or…


Added by Tara Benwell on June 25, 2014 at 16:00 — 17 Comments

Father's Day Writing Collection

This month I challenged our bloggers to write about their fathers in honour of Father's Day (June 15, 2014). I was pleasantly surprised that so many members decided to participate. Our members have…


Added by Tara Benwell on June 13, 2014 at 16:00 — 9 Comments

Writing Challenge: Fathers

Father's Day is coming up in a few weeks (Sunday, June 15), and I thought some of you might want to do some writing about fathers, father figures, or fatherhood in general.

Here are some possible writing topics to explore in June. This month I'm not going to assign a special format or assignment. You can choose any of the following topics and write a blog in any way you please. Let's make a Father's Day collection of writing! 

Your Task

1. Choose a topic from the list…


Added by Tara Benwell on May 28, 2014 at 19:30 — 37 Comments

Writing Challenge: A Six Word Story

I recently came across an interesting storytelling website called Six Word Stories. Do you think you could write a story in six words? This may sound like the easiest challenge I've given you, but, in truth, it may be the most difficult! 

Your Task

1. Review some examples of Six Word Stories for inspiration.

2. Add a new blog post.…


Added by Tara Benwell on April 28, 2014 at 20:28 — 37 Comments

Writing Challenge: Life Hacks

"The most powerful way to win an argument is by asking questions. You'd be surprised at how it can make people see the flaws in their logic." via @LifeHacks

Have you heard the expression "life hack"? This is a trendy…


Added by Tara Benwell on March 25, 2014 at 14:30 — 20 Comments

Photo Challenge: ThingLink

I tried a new photo site today called "ThingLink". It's really fun! I used this image to create my first ThingLink. When you touch it on the site, the photo becomes interactive. Touch this photo. Then try making your own: www.thinglink.com

Unfortunately, the embedded photo option doesn't allow the links to show up on MyEC. To Touch (interact…


Added by Tara Benwell on March 5, 2014 at 16:00 — 4 Comments

Writing Challenge: Catchy Blog Titles

The MyEC blog feed is full of interesting blog posts! You will find:

What you won't find, unfortunately, is a bunch of well-written blog titles. In a recent comment on my…


Added by Tara Benwell on February 28, 2014 at 15:30 — 11 Comments

No Blog Left Behind - Let's Recommit

A few years ago, I traveled to England from Canada to do a special presentation about MyEC. I talked to hundreds of teachers about how I blog with English learners on EnglishClub. It was a fantastic experience, and many teachers vowed to get their students blogging when they returned to their own countries.

One thing that teachers were really excited about was a concept that we introduced long ago on MyEC: 

No Blog…


Added by Tara Benwell on February 25, 2014 at 19:30 — 28 Comments

Story by Number: #99

My ten-year-old daughter was excited to take this month's writing challenge, too! She wrote this story tonight. She surprised me when she said: "It's a love story." 

A Love Story by JP

a length of rope

a strange light shining in the dark

a full restaurant

a divorced couple

About a week ago, a young man…


Added by Tara Benwell on February 1, 2014 at 1:00 — 6 Comments

Story by Numbers: #38

Here is my story for this month's Writing Challenge. Thank you to Marisa for introducing us to the Great Storymaking Tool. This story uses words and phrases found with #38.  

The Last Laugh

Once upon a time…


Added by Tara Benwell on January 30, 2014 at 14:30 — 4 Comments

Writing Challenge: Story by Numbers

It has been a while since we've written fiction together in a Writing Challenge! My friend Marisa, an English language teacher trainer in Greece, recently shared a fun tool for teachers to use in class. It's…


Added by Tara Benwell on January 28, 2014 at 14:30 — 12 Comments

The Greatest Gift


Added by Tara Benwell on December 27, 2013 at 16:00 — 14 Comments

Do You Like Facebook? Let's Blog About It!

EnglishClub's Facebook page received its 100,000th like yesterday! This is a huge milestone. EnglishClub has been on Facebook since 8 July 2009. You can look through our Timeline to see some other fun Milestones, such as the date EC was born.

Some of EC's members love Facebook. Others hate it. Others liked it in the past, but now…


Added by Tara Benwell on December 17, 2013 at 15:00 — 8 Comments

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