Gordon Lewis

is a freelance teacher, trainer, and materials writer. He is co-author of Games for Children and author of The Internet and Young Learners, both in the Resource Books for Teachers series published by Oxford University Press.

Oxford Recipe in printable, PDF format:

Level: 1st Cycle Primary + 2nd cycle primary


  • Part 1 – 45 minutes
  • Part 2 – 45 minutes


Review vocabulary, action verbs and question words

Work with comparatives and superlatives

Stimulate children’s imagination and let them have fun

Language: Animals, parts of the body, descriptive adjectives

Materials: Printer and computers with Internet connection for each student, or for each group of 2-3 students

Preparation: Take time to familiarize yourself with the Switchzoo website and the list of animals. You may want to make a poster or a handout with the steps required to use the site. Create one animal yourself (for example an anturkphant, a mix between an antelope, a turkey and an elephant) and print out a copy for each child.

In class:

Part 1

1. Introduce the nine primary Switchzoo animals (elephant, monkey, pig, rhino, zebra, bear, bison, cheetah and dog). Review animals with the children if they are not familiar with them. Elicit some information about the animals:

– Are they big or small?

– Have they got fur, a tail, claws?

– Where do they live?

2. Hold up the flashcards of two animals or write their names on the board, for example, zebra and dog. Now ask the children: What do you get if you mix a zebra and a dog? Hold up the flashcards and indicate mixing, or draw two lines from the words on the board leading to a point. Write the word: Zebog.

3. Hand out pictures of the creature you created on the Switchzoo website. Tell the children they are going to make their own animals too.

4. Split the children up into small groups and assign each group to a computer. Ask them to log on to http://www.switchzoo.com .

5. Demonstrate how the website functions: use a computer projector, or hand the children a series of screenshots and steps.

6. Give the children a few minutes to experiment. Circulate among the groups and provide help where needed.

7. Ask each child (or group) to decide on a particular animal. Ask them to give the animal a name. When they print out the animal they can type a name under the picture. Ask them to write: This is a…

Part 2

1. Ask the children if they remember their fantasy animal. If you have a large class, split the class into small groups and have each group describe one animal.

2. Have the children write down their descriptions on a sheet of paper and glue the picture of the animal from Switchzoo to the top of the page.

3. Put all of the animals on a large sheet of colourful cardboard and hang it in the classroom.

Follow-up 1:

1. Have the children write a story about their animals.

2. Let the children play the other games on the Switchzoo website. ‘Build an Online Habitat’ is a great one!

[ii] Embeber imagen  de la home de http://www.switchzoo.com (OXFORD RECIPES_Switchzoo _Imagen 1.JPG)


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