The joy of GIFs

When I started teaching, I always put plenty of pictures into my PPTs to keep things visually interesting and to help the students grasp the concepts/meanings of new language more easily. And that works really well.

But… there’s something even better than still images: moving images. Also known as GIFs.

In recent weeks I’ve been using GIFs more and more because the kids get a huge kick out of them. They frequently laugh out loud, which I love. As long as I’m careful to choose appropriate ones (e.g. if I want a dancing GIF, no scantily clad women or pelvic thrusting) and ones that won’t distract too much from what I’m actually trying to teach, they’re a lot of fun to use.

Here are some of the ones I’ve used recently that have been popular with my kids.

Remember Blues Clues? My kids have no idea who this guy is, but they enjoy any type of silly dance.

Minions. Always a hit.

Again, no need to know who this is – his dance is goofy, and that’s all that matters.

For some reason, my kids labeled Jimmy Fallon as “cute” (in the lovable and fluffy sense). Go figure.

This was a big hit. I had to leave it up for awhile so they could see the whole thing.

This is the perfect way to express the excitement we all feel when it’s finally time to play a game.

They loved this. Probably what they would like to do to their homework on a daily basis.

They LOVE animals. Any time I throw in a picture or GIF with a cute cat or dog, they go crazy.

They also ooh and aah over cool GIFs related to sports (especially soccer).

And that’s just a small sampling! Yes, it does add another chunk of time to my lesson planning as I search for the perfect GIF, but it’s fun and it’s worth it.


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