Wendy Weber

Learning Numbers 1-5, 6-10

This fun and non-threatening number learning activity is for Beginning ESL students.  It is also an indirect means of teaching the plural form of nouns.

1. Begin by counting the students and various objects in the classroom.

2. Repeat the action and have student repeat the numbers after you.

3. Pick up different objects, say the names of the objects and have students repeat after you as a group and then individually.

4. Repeat numbers 1-10 again and then pick up 1 book, 2 balls, 3 cars …. And have the students repeat after you.

5. Next have 1 of the puppets ask, “What is that?” Either you of the other puppet can reply, “1 book, 1 car….”  Now ask the pairs of students the same.

6. Continue with different numbers of objects as the puppets ask, “How many cars?”

7. Now have the puppets ask the pairs of students.

8. Finally, have the students throw the ball to all class members as they count to 1-5.

9. Repeat the same activity another day with numbers 6-10.

· Various types and numbers of articles of interest to children: balls, stuffed animals, books, colors, small toys like cars and trucks, etc.
· Flashcards depicting specific numbers of objects
· Flashcards of numbers 1-10
· An illustrated poster introducing numbers 1-10
· 1-2 puppets
· Soft ball

What’s your name? 1

This is an easy, fun and simple learning activity for beginning ESL students to get to know one another.

Use any two puppets and tell the class the names of each and your name.
Secondly, ask the two puppets, “What is your name?”
Next have the puppets ask each other their names and finally have puppets ask the students their names.

The next step or the next day you can once again ask “What is your name?”  and then add, “My name is…”  Write the name on the board and have the students repeat once again.

Now use a soft ball and have the students toss the ball to fellow students, asking, “What is your name?” and replying, “My name is…”

Materials needed:
· 2 puppets

What is your name? 2

This activity is also for beginning ESL students and provides students with the opportunity to learn that many languages have a variation of the same name.  For example:
· William, Will, Bill, Billy, Willy in English
· Guillermo in Spanish
· Wilhelm in German.
A follow up activity is that students then will have a list/oral version of names in many languages and can choose to pick any other name to be used in the ESL classroom.

Begin the activity with a large world map hung so that it is easily accessible to all students.

Draw a girl/boy on the overhead or on the board and include her/his name on a nametag.  Make it clear to all students what her/his name is.  Remove the nametag and go to the US on the map and emphasize her/his name in the US.  Identify other countries and the equivalent in that respective language.  You can emphasize that there is no equivalent by saying the same name and referring to different countries.

Point out your nametag with your first name on it.  Say your name, take it off and place it on the US.  Then take it off and place it on other countries and give the foreign language equivalent for that country.

Have the students make a simple nametag and then ask students to come to the map one at a time and continue the activity in the same way.  Use a name book to help you with the various versions of names.

· Name tag materials
· Board for writing various names
· Name book
· World map

What is your other name? 3

This is a good activity for Intermediate ESL students.  It provides students with an opportunity to learn names from other countries and to choose another name from their own culture or a brand, new culture.  This name will be special to the ESL classroom.  Some students may choose to use their own names.

This activity is a follow-up name activity for Beginning ESL students as they learned students’ names and recognized that a student’s name may be different in another language.This is my own activity, but you may choose to refer to this activity regarding choosing an American name: everythingesl.net/lessons/name_lesson.php

1. Begin by having a variety of children’s books from various cultures in front of you and point their names and point to the countries on the world map, say the name of the country and write the name on a sheet of paper on the country.  When finished with the books focus on the students’ names and ask the students to add them to the respective country lists.

2. Use a transparency of 30 to 50 names from many languages with the language of origin in parentheses.  Read through the list of names and then have the students repeat.  Some names will be difficult for students to pronounce so do not practice for perfection.  You may ask students to offer names to add to the list.

3. Pass out the stapled list of boys’ names to boys and girls’ lists to girls.  Point out the language of origin in parentheses.  Ask specific questions like:
· What’s Mary in French?
· What’s Victor in Russian?
· What’s the girl’s name for George?
Have students tell you names and where they are from.  Ask them to come forward and add the names to the lists on the map.

4. Hand out the duplexed name worksheet and have the students complete the worksheet.  After fifteen minutes of working alone, allow to work together to complete the assignment.

5. Ask students if they would like to choose a new name for fun for the ESL class and give the students time to read and work together in pairs or in groups and find a new name from the handout or from the transparency list of names.

6. Ask students to make a new nametag and decorate it.  Have a place to hang all nametags where students can select the name they want to use for the day.

(continued on p.2)
7. Use the ball to have students ask each other their new names.  What’s your name?  My name is …

· Children’s books representing different cultures
· Transparency of names
· World map
· Lists of names of boys and girls from around the world
· Name worksheet
· Materials for nametags
· Soft ball

Fairy Tales: “The Little Red Hen”, Worksheet 25A, Fun with Grammar, p. 81

This listening and reading activity is a two-part activity (Worksheet 26A is “The Three Little Pigs”) designed for advanced beginner to intermediate ESL students.  The activity is good for pronunciation practice and reading comprehension.  Students will enjoy the story and it would be fun if you could follow the reading with a video of the story.

Students will have their own papers to complete, but this activity will be done as a pair activity with 2 students completing the entire assignment together.

1. Read the entire story first.

2. Pass out copies of the story to all students and read the story using the “popcorn” reading format. (That means that one student reads and then says “popcorn” and another person’s name.  That person reads and the “popcorn” reading continues.)

3. Have students read the story again in pairs.

4. Pass out Worksheet 25C and have students work in pairs.

5. Go over worksheet as a class.

· Copies of Worksheet 25A, “The Little Red Hen”, Fun with Grammar
· Worksheet 25C
· Opti

Sorry! Bright Idea, Activity 10, 1983

This is a great learning activity for Beginning ESL students and review for Higher Level ESL students.  This is good for Friday or the end of a full day.

This game is our version of Go Fish!  The students have fun with this activity.  The objectives are:
· To review numbers
· To learn the suits and denominations of cards
· To ask and answer simple questions:       - Do you have an Ace of Spades?
 - Yes, I do. Here you are.        - No, I don’t. Sorry.

1. Use the flashcards to introduce the non-number playing cards and have students repeat after you.

2. Use the entire set of a large deck of cards, pointing out the 4 suits of 13 cards each, the jokers and a total of 52 cards in all.

3. Introduce a variety of questions with 1 of the puppets and possible answers with the other puppet.  Allow the students to see the cards in the hands of the puppets as they ask and answer.  Have a student come up to briefly play with you and then 2 students to continue the practice.

4.  Hand out a deck of cards to each group of 4-7 students.

5. By role play and demonstration introduce the rules are as follows:
· Players try to make runs of four in a row or 4 of the same kind.
· Players take turns going in a circle.
· The person with the most runs or sets wins.

· Large deck of playing cards
· Flashcards depicting spades, clubs, hearts, diamonds, Jack, Queen, King, Ace, Jokers
· Decks of playing cards
· A poster depicting the order of cards in the deck, sets and runs
· 2 puppets

Tic Tac Toe, Ernie’s Activity Page, lingoex.com/userpages/Ernie.html

This game is a good learning exercise for Beginning ESL students and a good review for Higher Level ESL students.  This game is good to review:
· General vocabulary
· Thematic vocabulary
· Parts of speech
· Different verb forms

1. Draw a 9 square grid on the board and fill each box with a different word.

2. Divide the class in half and designate each half as either X or O.

3. Students on each team collaborate in coming up with grammatical sentences using the vocabulary.  Students will write the sentences on their post-it papers or you may choose to have students give the sentences orally.

4. Each side takes turns and when they use a word correctly, mark X or O appropriately.

· Chalk or whiteboard
· Vocabulary list of general and thematic vocabulary, parts of speech and verbs

Time Chart – Worksheet 31, p. 101 Fun with Grammar, Suzanne Woodward

This activity provides Intermediate to Advanced ESL students a good opportunity for tense, person and number review and a reminder of expressing time as relative to the present.  This can also provide students the opportunity to reflect upon the same principle in their first language.

First review the six tenses of a regular and irregular verb by varying person and number. The six tenses are:
· Simple present
· Simple past
· Present perfect
· Past perfect
· Future
· Future perfect

Have students repeat orally(move from present to future perfect and vary the person, number and tense) and then provide as overhead to read once again:
· He visits my friend.
· You were visiting (visited) my friend.
· Susie visited twice last week.
· Mom and I had visited the museum before anyone else.
· They will visit in the summer.
· I will have visited us by August..
· I sit up.
· You were sitting up when I came in to the room.
· The boys have sat up straight once before now.
· Jorge had sat up before the bell rang.
· The dogs will all sit up when I say, “Do you want a dog treat?”
· Max, the dog, will have sat up before I get his dog treat.

Pass out copies of the worksheet for all members of the class and have students work in pairs.  Have the pairs write six sentences of their own on the back of the handout.

Go over assignment as a class.

The 8 English Parts of Speech, grammar.englishclub.com/index.html

This activity is a good, organized, and complete review for Advanced ESL students of the 8 parts of speech in the English language.  Students will recognize that all words which they know fall into one (or sometimes more) of these 8 parts of speech.  For example, walk is a verb or a noun.

1. Write the 1 of the 8 parts of speech at the top of each poster size post-it sheets.

2. Ask students to tell you any words that they can think of and assist students in including the word under the correct part of speech.

3. Divide students in to groups, pass out a sheet of paper and different color marker for each group, read some of the words below and have them record them with pen or pencil under the proper part of speech on their papers.

4.  Ask students to brainstorm 20 other words and record on sheet of paper with their marker.

5.  After 10 minutes, get the attention of the class and have a representative from each group record their words on the respective posters.  Critique as a class.

6. Next write a couple of sentences on another sheet of paper or on the board.  Underline different words and label the part of speech under the words.

7. Give each group their own sheet of large post-it paper and have groups create 4, good sentences.  Critique as a class.

· Sheets of  poster size post-it paper
· Flashcards of any vocabulary words
· Objects or pictures of anything
· Good list of examples from the 8 categories:
  Verbs   be(am, is, are), have, do work run love, jump
  Nouns   man, town, music, monkey,
  Adjectives  a, the, 69, big, blue, clever
  Adverbs  loudly, quickly, well, often
  Pronouns  you, she, him, ours, some
  Prepositions  at, in, on, under, over, from
  Conjunctions  and, but, though, while, yet
  Interjections   ah, dear, uh, hmmm, oh, um, well
· Paper and different colored markers


Fairy Tales: “The Three Little Pigs”, Worksheet 25B, Fun with Grammar, p. 82

This listening and reading activity is a two-part activity (Worksheet 26A is “The Three Little Pigs”) designed for advanced beginner to intermediate ESL students.  The activity is good for pronunciation practice and reading comprehension.  Students will enjoy the story and it would be fun if you could follow the reading with a video of the story.

Students will complete the worksheet alone, but the reading activity will be done as a pair activity.

1. Read the entire story first.

2. Pass out copies of the story to all students and read the story using the “popcorn” reading format. (That means that one student reads and then says “popcorn” and another person’s name.  That person reads and the “popcorn” reading continues.)

3. Have students read the story again in pairs.

4. Pass out Worksheet 25C and have students work alone.

5. Go over worksheet as a class.

· Copies of Worksheet 25B, “The Three Little Pigs”, Fun with Grammar
· Worksheet 25C
· Optional: video of story

Newcomers and places in the community, everythingESL.net/lessons/environ_print.php, Judie Haynes

This is a great reading and writing activity to welcome the new ESL students to the United States and to our local communities, and engaging for the other first year students.  This is an interesting introduction for students to their new environments and communities.

Our new English language learners are eager to read the environmental print that surrounds them.  We need to take advantage of this natural interest to help students learn to read in English and gain information about the community at the same time.

1. Hang photos of the community, identify the name, label and have students repeat.

2. Hand out copies of photographs.

3. Pass out paper or index cards and have students make flashcards of these places.

4. Students can play concentration in pairs (1 new student and 1 returning student) or match the names with their pictures.

5. Give each student a large street map of your town and encourage students to find the location of each building and label the places as well.

6. Ask simple question such as, “Where is the library?” or “Where is a grocery store?”  Answer with simple answers like, “The library is on 4th Street.”

7. Help students find their own house on the map and give their addresses.

8. If students have the communicative ability, you may be able to practice directional instructions such as: north, south, east, west, blocks, walk, ride the bus, etc.

· Local map
· Scanned and copied photographs of local stores and public buildings
· Paper/cards for flashcards

Nutrition for Newcomers, everythingESL.net/lessons/food_unit.php, Judie Haynes

This activity is an introduction to food vocabulary and reinforcement of students’ nutritional needs for Grade 2-8 Beginning to Intermediate ESL students. Students will also be introduced to describing, comparing and contrasting foods and describing their preferences.

1. Begin the unit by discussing your students’ food preferences.  Beginning students will make 15 flashcards to learn the food names necessary in the unit.  Intermediate students can read a health article or school textbook material on good nutrition and illustrate something about the article.

2. Introduce vocabulary for different tastes: bitter, sweet, sour, salty, spicy.  Use pictures of food to help students understand each vocabulary word.  Students can then look through magazines to find a couple of examples of tastes.

3. Point out the food pyramid and locate the food vocabulary on the pyramid.  You may go to an internet site: The Food Pyramid Guide. The Food Pyramid Guide was designed as an easy way to show the groups of foods that make up a good diet.  It also shows how much of these different groups you need to eat to stay healthy.  Use visuals to show that the foods which make up the base of the pyramid should be the biggest part of a diet, and as you go up the pyramid, the amounts get smaller as the pyramid gets skinnier.

4. Hand out individual copies of the pyramid and have students identify, circle and tell the class the foods that they eat.

5. In cooperative groups have students conduct blindfolded taste tests on five different foods.  Help students use vocabulary which has just been introduced.  Apples, sugar, pretzels, cocoa, lemons, oranges and salsa would be good and easy foods to use.

6. Have students write the names of the tasted foods and the taste on a sheet of paper.

7. Assignment: send the pyramid home for students to record what they ate for supper and breakfast.  You may choose to have students fill in breakfast foods as an opening activity if students eat breakfast at school.

· Large copy of food pyramid
· Student copies of food pyramid
· Magazines or flashcards of food
· Different types of food

This is a good reading and writing review and follow-up to nutrition and the food pyramid for Grade 2-8 Beginning to Intermediate ESL students and is an introduction to further food and taste vocabulary.  These activities are excellent language and concept-building opportunities for ESL students of different levels of proficiency.

1. Review food vocabulary by holding up flashcards of food and have students name and describe the food.

2. Have students identify where the foods belong on the food pyramid.

3. Introduce 15 new food vocabulary words including creamy, crunchy, soft, hard, chewy, crispy and mushy.  Use three different foods such as carrots, oatmeal, celery, peanut butter, apricots or cheese in a blinded taste test.  Have students record the new vocabulary and the taste to describe them.  Discuss where they fit on the pyramid.

4. Students in grades 2-4 can cut out pictures and create a poster or bulletin board on good nutrition and use all of the food vocabulary and pyramid information learned.

5. Students in grades 5-8 can watch and report on TV food commercials.  They can also create posters or their own commercials for nutritious food in cooperative groups.

6. You may plan a cultural food day for the future and ask students and parents to prepare and send a small amount of food traditional to their culture.

7. As an alternative you could have students plan a picnic and you provide the ingredients for students to prepare.  Such foods might be tuna fish salad, green salad or fruit salad.  This becomes an “across the curriculum lesson” as students complete different jobs in cooperative groups.  Let them decipher the recipes, assemble materials, measure the quantities, cut, chop, slice, and wash the food.  Have the students talk about what they are doing using the correct vocabulary.  Let them write letters of invitation to your Principal and other school employees.

· Large copy of food pyramid
· Student copies of pyramid
· Flashcards or magazines with pictures of food
· Foods to taste
· For this lesson or for future lesson: ingredients to make salads

Name of Activity:  Factor Finding;  Category:  Math Game

A game for two players; students reinforce their knowledge of factors and products.
Materials:  pair of number generators (better known as dice)
Factor Finding game board (below)

1. Starting player rolls dice and generates a 2 digit number with the numbers rolled.  Largest number = 10;s and the smallest number is the ones every time.  For example, if a 2 and a 3 were rolled, the number generated would be 32, rather than 23.
2. The player places only one disk during each turn.  He or she places it on the playing board over any number that is a factor of the number created in the roll.  For example, the player could place a marker over 2,4,8,16, or 32.
If a player rolls a doubles, the turn is lost.
If a player rolls PRIME, he or she places a marker on any PRIME square.
If a square is already covered, a player cannot use it.
The first player to get 4 disks in a row wins.
If the grid gets locked and no one can win, players start a new game.

              5       3       7       Prime
              2       6       8        17
              Prime     21       4        16
             13       9    Prime      26

Name of Activity:  Fraction-Action Bingo

Skill:  Fraction Concepts, identifying numerator, denominator

Materials:  Bingo game board,
                  Disks or markers to place on bingo board
                  Clue sheet for teacher to read

1. Distribute bingo game boards
2. Instruct students to write predetermined fraction values
on the board
3. Read clues* and follow procedure for generic bingo game

*Example of Clues:  This fraction has a denominator of 5
                               This is an improper fraction
                               This fraction is equal to one
                               This fraction can be expressed as a mixed number
                               This fraction has an odd number less than 4 in the

Clues are teacher generated and are based on the math/fraction skills you are reviewing. You can use this format for pretty much anything, but it is also interesting when using it for addition/subtraction problems.

Food is always a welcome reward for the winner- especially of the chocolate kind!

Name of Activity:  Identify common themes in fairy tales

Materials: Graphic Organizer
                 Broad selection of fairy tales, copy for each student

Read several examples of fairy tales.  This is a great opportunity to use multicultural tales, such as Mei-Ling and the Dragon,(Chinese) The Tongue-Cut Sparrow (Japanese); The Singing Monster (Kenyan)*

Generate a graphic organizer with students which reflects elements of the tales.  Examples are:  use of magic, characters marry into royalty, characters live happily ever after, characters are put to a test, evil is punished, characters are either very, very good or very , very evil, evil characters are described as ugly or deformed, honesty or cleverness are rewarded, are a few.

Use the graphic organizer as a reading comprehension tool. Also, another good use would be to compare the characters in two or more fairy tales
or fables.  Use adjectives to describe qualities of personality, such as kind, brave, stingy, cruel, etc.

Reading partners can read a fairy tale and illustrate it. Share illustrations.
Invite a resource person from the community to discuss how symbols used in specific fairy tales, e.g. the dragon, are important symbols in their culture.

A wonderful internet resource for graphic organizer activities related to fairy tales as well as online text of fairy tales can be found at:

click under English, then go to the fairy tale unit – you will like this!!

· Can be found in Multicultural Fables and Fairy Tales, Stories and Activities to Promote Literacy and Cultural Awareness,  by Tara McCarthy, Scholastic
· ISBN number 0-590-49231-4

Activity:  Identify and apply figurative and literal language devices;
                identify and illustrate idiomatic usages.

Materials:  Varied list of idioms
                  Art materials

Explore the meaning of the idioms*on your lists.  Discuss with students what the meaning might be of some of them.  Use them in context so that students can infer what they might mean, even if they have never heard of some of them.  Some of the most popular with students are:

 Climbing the wall                                 Eat you out of house and home
Eat humble pie                                     Hold your horses
On top of the world                             Eat crow
Have a bone to pick with you               Close shave
From soup to nuts                                Food for thought
Carry the ball                                      Drop the ball
Break the ice                                      Saved by the bell

Discussions of idioms always include some kind of verb study; since idioms generally express action and use active verbs.

Students select several idioms to illustrate.  The illustrations reflect the literal translations of the idiom.  You will love the pictures you get; they are too funny.  The illustrations should have a caption of the idiom underneath it. As a group, discuss the differences between figurative and literal use of language.

*a good resource is Dictionary of Idioms, Scholastic, ISBN 0-590-38157-1

Activity:  Use internet technology for content research
                Students navigate websites to find information
                Interpret information from a table
                Explore characteristics of an aquatic mammal

Materials:  Internet access computer, website:
                  Data sheet on the beluga whale (download from pdf file)

Students should have already had experiences with the use of such concepts as scientific classification, habitat, physical characteristics, diet and eating habits, as used in gathering scientific information.

Students work in pairs to gather material that will be collected on the data sheet.  Using a jigsaw strategy, each member of a four person group will use the data gathered from the website and recorded on the data sheet, and generate a paragraph to present the information in sentence form.  Students can illustrate their work and present their paragraphs in a “minibook” format.

Activity:  Use science process skills; observation, classification,

Materials:  post it notepaper, one for each student
                  Pencils, clear or transparent tape
                  Data sheets which students use to transfer their fingerprints;
            download from website:


Present a lesson on fingerprints and fingerprinting.  This could include, most importantly, the types of fingerprints and what they look like. Have the fingerprint patterns available for overhead display.  Students use the post it paper to transfer graphite from their pencils.  They then smudge their fingers in the graphite, place a one inch strip of scotch tape on their finger to pick up the graphite pattern, and then transfer this pattern to the data sheet. Once this is done, students can examine their fingerprint patterns with a hand lens and observe and classify their fingerprints.  This is great fun if there is also a set of prints they need to match from a “criminal” who has taken something from their room.

The processes of inferring and concluding is used to determine whose prints are on some object. Explain to students that these are the elements of the scientific process which all scientists use in their experimentation.

*another great website for added fingerprinting activities as well as sleuth games, puzzles and a history of the FBI kids will really enjoy:


Activity:  Define and explain the function of camouflage; illustrate an
            example of camouflage called disruptive coloration.

Materials:  Graphic for cut and paste to illustrate disruptive camouflage, as well as explicit directions on how to use it, go to pages 22 and 23 of:


Art materials (scissors, glue, construction paper, black and white)

Before doing this activity, students should understand the concept of camouflage and have already seen some examples of it in either pictures or film.  This is a great activity to include in any oceanography/ sea mammal unit.

Discuss the function of camouflage and relate it to the universal needs of all animals in general and specifically to the need for nutrients and the need to escape from predators.  Students might do some research on killer whales to search for information about habitats and eating habits.

Have a model of the completed illustration to display and discuss.  Ask students if they can determine what it is they are looking at.  Describe disruptive coloration.  Students put illustration together.  They can also, if you like, write two or three sentences in a caption underneath the illustration to explain what it is.

P.S.  All of the teacher guides from Sea World and Busch Gardens are worth

Activity:  Sequential Writing

Materials:  Jar of peanut butter (make sure all students can eat peanuts
                                                  before you offer them peanut butter)
                  Jar of jelly
                   Loaf (or loaves, depending upon how many
                               students you have)
                   Utensils – knife and spoon(s)

Tell students that you are going to make them some snacks; you have brought the pb & j for this purpose.  Ask them to help by reminding you how to make a sandwich.   Literally do whatever they tell you.  For example, if they tell you to put the peanut butter on the bread, simply put the jar of peanut butter right on top of the unopened loaf of bread.  They will think you are silly, that’s ok.  Proceed in this fashion.

They will come to realize they must be precise and detailed in their instructions to you.  Another example, if they tell you to put the two pieces of bread together (after the pieces already have pb&j on them), but don’t specify which sides to put together, I put the peanut buttered side and the jellied side ON THE OUTSIDE and the two plain sides together.  Yes, very messy, but they get hysterical and really enjoy this. Ultimately, we get to enjoy our snack. The students pitch in and make up sandwiches for everyone.

While we eat, we are brainstorming some ways we could have given directions to be more specific. You model the sentences on board or overhead that will ultimately become a paragraph.  Depending upon your lesson objectives, this could be a sequential writing task with 3 to 5 paragraphs: an intro, body, and a clincher or closing sentence or two.

Activity:  Descriptive Writing

Materials:  Reese’s peanut butter cups
                  Milky way or another goody of your choosing
                  Data collection sheet (graphic organizer)
                      -create a data collection chart to include the senses, e.g.

Students should already be familiar with adjectives; perhaps give them a megalist of adjectives to find to describe their experience of the chocolate.
Remember, TASTE is last.  All of the other categories must be filled in before they eat!  Discuss with students that descriptive writing is about creating a picture for the reader and is primarily concerned with visual details and other physical characteristics of the object to be described.

Students write a paragraph describing their object; using the data they have recorded on the graphic organizer.

Activity:  Reading comprehension in content area using technology
           Take an online quiz after seeing a slide show and reading
             information about penguins
           Label a world map; continents and “oceans”
           Use the map to track penguin habitats and migratory routes

Materials:  Computer with internet access to the following address:
                  Blank outline map of the world


Students can work in pairs to read the data and view the slide show.
Taking notes should be a skill they are fairly comfortable with, so that they can jot down information as they read.

Students use this page,
to access a world map; click on a continent and find out about the penguins that live there.  Use the map to complete a blank outline map with the names of continents and “oceans.”

Students can take the online quiz; self-assess and if they wish, take the quiz again after locating correct or unknown information.

Activity: Solving geometric puzzles

Materials:  Graphic organizer (chart), with 24 sections, 4 up and down by
                  6 across)
                 Set of tangrams
                 Website: http://mathforum.org/trscavo/tangrams/contents.html

Students work together in small groups or in pairs to make each of five shapes – a square, a rectangle, a parallelogram, a trapezoid, and a triangle –
With the three small triangles , the five smallest pieces, and all seven tangram pieces.

Students make their own charts using a teacher model.  Solutions are recorded by tracing around the pieces they have made in the appropriate box.

After all groups have completed their charts, discuss the strategies which they used.  Trial and error strategy? What did you learn about the way pieces go together?

   Have pictures of the geometric figures on your chart, which students draw
  from models.

Activity:  Simulation of Plate Tectonic Theory

Materials:  Outline map of the world, large enough to cut out
                  the different continents
                  Art materials (construction paper, glue, scissors)
                  Models of continent formations over millions of years

Discuss with students the theory that the continents were not always where they are now.  Over many millions of years, the crust of the Earth has shifted and moved so that over time, the placement of continents is very different from what it originally was.  Have illustrations of plates, volcanoes, earthquakes, etc. for visualization.

Model for students with overhead pieces prepared beforehand just how the continents have moved position over hundreds of millions of years.  Students cut out their continents, label them and simulate plate movement.  Ask them to make a model of Pangea with their pieces on the construction paper.  Make sure the Pangea model is readily available for them to use.

Students create the model and quick write a caption to explain the process which is  illustrated.

Information to implement this activity can be found at a science site. Simply research “plate tectonics” or “Pangea”.

Activity:   Goop, Ooze
           Students experience matter in three states
           Describe characteristics of solids, liquids, and
           a non-Newtonian liquid (better known
           as “ooze”, “slime”, or “goop”)

           Here is the website with recipe and complete directions:


This experiment could be an opening or culminating activity for a unit of chemistry.  Either prior to or after this activity, students should be familiar with the characteristics of the primary states of matter:  liquids, solids and gases.

Students make “goop” and try to define which state of matter it represents.  It is neither a liquid nor a solid.  When compressed, it is a solid.  When held in the hand, it slowly turns to a liquid. The chemical dynamics of this change are explained at the website above.   Students love to add food coloring, especially red, so that the mixture looks like blood and is totally gross.  Great fun for fifth graders!

Warning:  Students will want to take their ooze home, so bring plastic baggies for them to store the ooze in transit.

Additional Warning:  This is quite messy, but they will never forget making
the slime at school with you; additionally, we hope they learn about the states of matter!!

Activity:  Writing   Genre:  Acrostic Poetry

Materials:  Art materials
                  File folders
                  List of adjectives of personality (if possible)
                 Magazines for cutting up and removing pictures

Students make a personal writing folder which will be used as one of many organization tools for their work.  Discuss adjectives and elicit responses to practice recognizing and generating adjectives.

Model how to write an acrostic poem.  Best way is to write one for yourself.
For example, if your name is David, your acrostic might look like this:



      Voracious reader



Students generate adjectives for the letters of their names and select pictures to illustrate these qualities from magazines.  The pictures can then
be glued into the folder or on top and perhaps laminated for long wear. This is a natural for group or paired work.  Students love looking through the magazines and talking about things they like or would like to have.

Activity:  Writing  Genre:  Poetry, Cinquain

Materials:  Overhead transparency or handout with cinquain model

Many teachers of poetry don’t like to use formulaic strategies.  However, kids seem to really enjoy this and it is a great starter for students who would not be able to generate a poem without this structure.  Always model the process; have students suggest a topic and work with you.

Here is the formula:


1ST LINE                          NOUN
2ND LINE                        ADJECTIVES
3RD LINE                        VERBS  (“ing” words)
4TH LINE                        WORD PHRASE OR SIMILE
5TH LINE                        NOUN (SYNONYM FOR 1ST LINE)

Examples:                       FRIENDS                        1 noun
                                      Dependable, considerate             2 adjectives
                                      Loving, laughing, playing               3 verbs
                                      People special to me                    4 word phrase
                                                 Companions                       1 synomym

                                        Rough, aggressive
                                        Running, throwing, tackling
                                        Many bumps and bruises

There are also syllable cinquains; but this particular formula is great for reviewing parts of speech.  You might enjoy teaching haikus as well.

Activity:  Community Building

Materials:  Chart paper, one for each group
                  Model of chart called “Group Favorites”

Great “ice breaker” and provides students with an informal way of getting to know each other, especially at the beginning of the school year.  Ask students about some of their favorite things; they will love to talk about their favorite music, food, etc.  After introducing the goals of the activity, and establishing cooperative group rules, give students chart paper to generate a group chart.  The chart could look like this:

To discuss and/or present:
Which group members like the same food________________?
Which group members like the same sport_____________-?
Which group members like the same programs___________?


Game:  Concentration
Age:  Any

Lay out cards face down(any category, i.e. animals, body parts, etc.)

Students are looking for two matching cards.
Have students turn over two cards to see if they match.
See if they can say the words on the cards.  (If not, prompt them.)  Students take turns looking for matches until all of the cards are gone.  The student with the most matching sets “wins.”

If an individual student is playing, he or she “wins” if they are able to reveal all the pictures under the cards.

This game can be played on the computer as well.  Go to www.westcoastexpress.com.  Next, go to top right and click “Kids.”  This will give you the option of playing the Concentration game on line.

Game:  Concentration
Age:  Any

Lay out cards face down(any category, i.e. animals, body parts, etc.)

Students are looking for two matching cards.
Have students turn over two cards to see if they match.
See if they can say the words on the cards.  (If not, prompt them.)  Students take turns looking for matches until all of the cards are gone.  The student with the most matching sets “wins.”

If an individual student is playing, he or she “wins” if they are able to reveal all the pictures under the cards.

This game can be played on the computer as well.  Go to www.westcoastexpress.com.  Next, go to top right and click “Kids.”  This will give you the option of playing the Concentration game on line.

ESL Activity III
Game:  Scrabble or sentence stip Scrabble
Age:  Any

Play Scrabble with the student(s).  The difficulty of the words made would depend on the level of the student.

The teacher or student (depending on the level) can write sentences on sentence strip paper or poster board.  The strip with each word on it can be cut apart and then scrambled up.  Students can rearrange their words to make the original sentence or swap with another student and rearrange their strips to make a correct sentence.

ESL Activity IV
“Behind the Screen”
Level:  Elementary

Before Class:
Revise the following key vocabulary needed for the game:  verbs such as hold, stand, sit, use, wear and adverbs such as every day, once a week, during the day plus adverbs:  inside/outside.  Then on four separate pieces of paper or card write the following in large letters:

leisure                  school                 looking                household
activity                 activity                  after                     activity
In Class:

1. Explain to learners that in this game, they must ask questions to try and discover a simple activity that someone is doing, based on the categories above.
2. Divide the class into Teams A and B.  At the front of the class you need to make some kind of screen for one learner to sit behind, so that he/she is not visible to the rest of the class.
3. The aim of the game is to find out, by asking questions, what the learner behind the screen is doing.
4. At the start of each round, ask a player from one team to sit behind the screen and one student from the other team to stand beside the screen, so that the latter is visible to the rest of the class.  The player standing beside the screen (Team B) should then hand the player from Team A (the one sitting behind the screen) one of the four cards.  The player from Team A then has to mime a simple action related to the type of activity on the card, so that the player from Team B understands what he/she is doing.  For example, if the player is handed the “looking after yourself” card, he/she might mime “washing my hair”.

The player from Team B then shows the general activity card to the other members of Team B and they have to find out what the member of Team A is doing by asking questions.

Learners initially ask questions about what the person is doing now.  The question must be of the type that requires a yes/no answer.  For example:   Is he/she holding something?  No, he/she isn’t.

As soon as the team gets a yes answer, however, members can ask one habitual question about the action:  Does he/she do it every day?  (Ans.  yes or no)

The game then continues with more  “is doing now” questions.  A team can only ask three habitual questions in each round.  After that, team members should be allowed one more question to guess the action before the round is stopped.  Teams take it in turns to mime.
5. Scoring:  if a team guesses the mime with its questions, it scores a point.  If it does not, the other team scores two points.

Activity from The Grammar Activity Book  by Bob Obee.

ESL Activity V
Oral Communication
Level:  Beginners

This activity can be used after learning body parts and introducing the five senses.
1.  Teacher selects some items to hide in a shoe box or a bag that represent each of the five senses.  Examples might be:  candy, bell or whistle, cotton or sandpaper, a picture of a rainbow, and perfume or cinnamon.
2.   Gather students together in front of the teacher.  Ask students if they can name the five senses.  List the five senses on chart paper and draw a picture symbol next to each word, i.e., sight (eyes)  touch (hands), etc.  Show the items in the box one at a time, discussing each item’s characteristics.  Pass objects around so that students may have a hands-on experience with each one.  Then ask students to suggest which items from the box best matches the five senses on the chart.  Use masking tape to attach the real objects to the correct positions on the chart.  Have students read the chart and locate their own sense organs on their body.
3. Introduce the book My Five Senses by Aliki.  Discuss the cover.  Encourage the students to predict what the boy in the story will do.  Read the story.  After reading, refer to the five senses chart, and ask students to think of examples from the book to match to each one of the five senses on the chart.
4. Distribute white drawing paper to each student.  Have them select one of the five senses from the chart.  Instruct students to copy the word of the sense they have chosen onto the top of their papers.  Next, instruct students to draw a picture under the word to illustrate the sense they have chosen.  The teacher then circulates the room to see if students have copied the words correctly and made correct representations for the senses chosen.  When students have completed the assignment, have a sharing time so each student can tell about his/her drawing.

Activity from website:  www.glc.k12.ga.us

ESL Activity VI
Adjective Practice
Level:  Any

The purpose of this game is to give students the chance to practice using adjectives.  Lower level students can make up simple sentences and higher level students more complex ones.

The teacher can have a long list of alphabetized adjectives, and nouns or students can use nouns from the ‘word wall’ or from a noun list in their notebooks.

Student A starts off with a name that the teacher calls out to him/her.  For example:  Albert or Alice.  The student puts a verb with it.  An example would be:  Alice likes......  Then the student must come up with an adjective and a noun (object) from the list that begins with the letter “a”.  An example might be, “Alice likes awful apes.”

Activity from:  www.eslgames.com/edutainment/games.html

ESL Activity  VII
Flip Books
Level:  Beginners

The teacher reads a story to the students from a favorite children’s book.
The teacher needs to emphasize that it’s important to remember details of the story because the students will be asked to do an activity about the story later.

Students are given a sheet of construction paper.  The construction paper is divided in half in a “hot dog” shape, i.e. long ways.  Vertical cuts are made in the back fold about every three inches or so, but only to where the fold is and not all of the way to the end of the paper.  The title of the book is printed on the “front” of the flipbook.  Inside the flipbook, on each of the three-inch sections, the student can illustrate action or scenes that happened in the book (preferably sequentially.)

Activity taken from an inservice/workshop on graphic organizers.

ESL Activity VIII
Word Association:  Fast Word
Level:  Beginner to Advanced

The teacher starts the game by saying a word, such as “hotel”.   The first student says a word which relates to the word “hotel” such as bed, or room.  Each student, in turn,  says a word that relates to the last word said.  Practically any association is okay.

If a student can’t answer in (5-10 second limit) then he or she must stand up.  The last student standing is the “winner.”

If the association is not obvious, the student is asked to explain the association.

Activity from:  www.eslgames.com/edutainment/games.html

ESL Activity IX
Fast Words
Level:  Any

The class is arranged into rows.  The first person in each row is given a piece of chalk.  The blackboard is divided into section.  No more than six teams.

The teacher calls a letter and the students must write as many words as they can beginning with that letter, in the alloted time.  Their team-mates
can call out hints (this can get noisy.)

Next, the second member gets the chalk and goes to the board and the teacher calls out a new letter.

The team with the most correct words is the winner.

Activity from:  www.eslgames.com/edutainment/games.html

ESL Activity X
Using the newspaper
Level:  Advanced Intermediate

By using the local newspaper, a teacher can develop basic English and math
skills.  Older students can find jobs that are available, what is for sale and where to get a used car or even clip coupons.

For teaching reading and math skills, a unit on comparison grocery shopping could be developed using ads from different grocery stores.  Have students look through different ads to see who has the lowest prices on staples for the home like milk, bread, eggs, cereal, etc.  Then, using the student’s math skills, or a calculator, a student can figure out how much money can be saved.  Students could also do comparison shopping for used cars,  furniture, etc.

Activity from:  www.gatesol.org/AJC/ajc.htm
                          According to this article, The Atlanta Journal will provide
                          free newspapers for teachers who work with ESOL classes.

ESL Activity X
Using the newspaper
Level:  Advanced Intermediate

By using the local newspaper, a teacher can develop basic English and math
skills.  Older students can find jobs that are available, what is for sale and where to get a used car or even clip coupons.

For teaching reading and math skills, a unit on comparison grocery shopping could be developed using ads from different grocery stores.  Have students look through different ads to see who has the lowest prices on staples for the home like milk, bread, eggs, cereal, etc.  Then, using the student’s math skills, or a calculator, a student can figure out how much money can be saved.  Students could also do comparison shopping for used cars,  furniture, etc.

Activity from:  www.gatesol.org/AJC/ajc.htm
                          According to this article, The Atlanta Journal will provide
                          free newspapers for teachers who work with ESOL classes.

ESL Activity XI
Slapjack or Slap
Level:  Beginning to intermediate

Teacher secures a deck of cards with common symbols on them like a pencil, house, car, etc.  Shuffle the deck and leave face down in the palm of your hand.  Tell the students what picture you are looking for. As you take the cards off your hand one at a time, lay them face up in the middle of the table. The student with the quickest reflexes and the knowledge of what the word looks like will “slap” his/her hand on top of the card picture.  If  he or she is correct, he/she gets to keep that card plus all of the cards underneath it until the game is over.  The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins.

Activity:  I played this game as a child with playing cards, but was recently reminded of it by a member of our ESL class.

ESL Activity XII
Jigsaw Mischief              
Level:  Intermediate-Upper intermediate

Before class:  Make one complete set of Jigsaw pictures (see p. 59 of The Grammar Activity Book:  Cambridge University Press 1999) for every group
of four learners.  Cut each picture up along the jigsaw lines and keep the pieces of each picture together with a paper clip (or in an envelope.)  Cut out the sentence strips and keep these with the appropriate jigsaw.

Give three jigsaws to one pair and three different jigsaws to the other pair they are playing against.

In class:
1. This is a game where players take turns to slowly reveal the truth of a situation to other players.  The latter must work out as quickly as possible what is happening.

2. Put learners into pairs and seat one pair with another pair against whom they are going to play.  Explain to them that you are going to give them different jigsaws, which when complete show a teenager who has obviously been getting into some kind of mischief.

3. The object of the game is to guess what mischief the character has been getting up to with as few jigsaw pieces as possible.

4. At the start of each round, give one pair in each group of four (Pair A) a jigsaw together with the appropriate sentence strip.  Pair A should conceal the jigsaw and the sentence strip from Pair B.

Explain that Pair A start by laying down one jigsaw piece.  Pair B now have one guess at what the character in the picture has been doing, e.g. Have you been chasing a cat?  or one question that might help them to guess in a subsequent turn what the mischief is, e.g. Have you been in someone’s garden?

Pair A answer yes or no.  If the guess was incorrect, they then lay down another piece of the jigsaw.  The players lying down the jigsaws pieces should try to give away as little as possible each time.  They can do this by putting down jigsaw pieces with the most peripheral information.  They may also lay down non-adjacent pieces of the jigsaw.

5. At the end of each round, pairs should note down the number of pieces a pair were given before they guessed correctly.  At the end
of the six rounds, the pair of students with the lowest score are the winners.

Activity from:  Obee, Bob.  The Grammar Activity Book, Cambridge University Press.

ESL Activity XIII
Songs/Music Cloze
Level:  Any

Songs are a good way to teach vocabulary because they incorporate all the language skills:  listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

>A song sheet (or a poem) is handed out to the students.

>The teacher reads each word and the students repeat.  This is done at least twice.

>The tape is played twice in a row, with the students trying to fill in the blanks.

>The students are invited to discuss it with their classmates(or this could be done in pairs.)

>The song is played again and students complete the missing words.

>The teacher calls out the correct word and the students correct their papers.

Adjust level of song or poem to appropriate level.  At a higher level, complete sentences could be deleted for the students to fill in.

Activity from:  www.eslgames.com/edutainment/games.html
· Several sample songs (written with words deleted)
are available for teacher use at this website address.

ESL Activity XIV
Oral Charades        C. Perry
Level:  Intermediate

Write occupations and emotions on slips of paper.  Put slips of paper into separate “hats”.  Have students draw one slip from the emotion “hat” and one slip from the occupation “hat” and act out that combination.


Emotions:  Happy, sad, frustrated, angry, disgusted, fearful, etc.
Occupations:  Mailperson, teacher, doctor, lawyer, secretary, restaurant worker, etc.

Activity from:  www.eslgames.com/edutainment/games.html


Activities Selected by Rita McGrath for EDUC 7783, July 6, 2003

Source:  www.eflweb.com

Activity  # 1
This activity is a good vocabulary builder and can be used as part of a content-based or  theme-based lesson. (R. Mc)

Pairs – all levels

A version of the famous card game useful for practicing vocabulary. Cut up some pieces of paper to make cards and write the target vocabulary on one side. You may need to make several sets depending on the size of your class. Divide your students into small groups. They can play the game individually or in pairs. The first player(s) turns over two cards. If the cards are a pair, they can keep them and have another go. If the cards are not a winning pair, they must turn them back again and wait for their next turn. The winning student is the one who has accumulated the most pairs at the end of the game. You could play this game with opposites, phrasal verbs and their meanings, irregular verbs and the past participles of whatever you have been studying in class.

Activity  # 2
This is a valuable daily activity for developing writing skills. (R. Mc)
The Word Box
One of the best sources of warmers and fillers is something that you and your students can create yourselves. Take a tin or box into the classroom and make this your word box. At the end of every day, one student is nominated to write down on separate pieces of paper the most important vocabulary and phrases from the day's lessons (you can let students decide as a class if you like). Your word box can then be used for many different vocabulary games to fill in 5 minutes at the beginning or end of class and is also an excellent source of revision material for your students.
Activity  # 3
This is an excellent activity that promotes better comprehension and usage of words and phrases. (R. Mc)

Explain the Word
Divide your class into 2 teams. One representative from each team takes a word or phrase from you. They must try and explain this word to their own team without saying the word and the first team to shout out the correct word gets a point. Keep score on the board. This can get very noisy but is great for class dynamics! Use this game to lead into an activity, revise previously learnt vocabulary or just to energize your group.
Source: http://www.english-to-go.com/
Activity # 4
Prepares students to better understand and use idioms. I would also try to find literature where these idioms are used. (R. Mc)

Title: Idioms – True and False – Heads and Hearts
Level:  Upper-Intermediate and above
Language Aims:  Learning idioms and discussing and sharing ideas.
Time:  10 - 15 minutes
Preparation:  Take list of idioms below to class.
1. Hand out idioms or write them on the board.
2. Ask your class to work out the meanings of these idioms. Encourage them to be imaginative and to avoid using a dictionary. Get them to work out the meanings individually.
3. Place students in pairs to compare their answers and choose the one that they both think is right for each idiom.
4. Then put the students in bigger groups - groups of four if possible - and tell them that two of the ten idioms are not real idioms, they are made-up phrases with no idiomatic meaning!
5. Ask the groups to work out which are the false idioms, and agree on the meanings of the true idioms.
6. At the end get them to use their dictionaries to find out the answers. (Note: 'a flowering heart' and 'cut your head' are not idioms.)
a bleeding heart; eat your heart out; a heart of gold; a flowering heart; cross my heart; bury your head in the sand; come to a head; cut your head; have your head in the clouds; off the top of your head.

Activity # 5
This is an excellent activity that is fashioned after an “advice” column. It can be especially useful in explaining difficult grammar concepts or usage. (R. Mc)
Expert advice on difficult grammar issues.
Title: “Except” and “Except for”
Levels: All levels
An Anna Grammar Page
Dear Anna,
I would like you to help me out here. I have trouble explaining the difference between 'except' and 'except for', and I do not seem to find many examples. I would appreciate your help.
Dear Martha,
When except is followed by a verb, we usually use the infinitive without “to”.
For example:
You can’t do anything except hope and pray.
He’ll do anything except work.
NOTE: “but” can be used too.
Except is also used with... that…
For example:
In general she was happy, except that she couldn’t spend enough time reading.
When except is followed by a thing or a person, it is usually followed by “for”.
For example:
They enjoyed the whole recital except for the last song.
The party was great, except for the shortage of ice.
I hope you are satisfied, with no exceptions.
Kind regards
Anna Grammar
Activity # 6
A very good activity for vocabulary building and usage. (R. Mc)
Title: The Weather Game
Level: Elementary-Adult
Mode: Small Group
Time: 35 min. +

Playing a game while practicing weather words in past, present and future tenses.
   In groups of four, students are each dealt five cards. Each card has a weather condition (sunny, cloudy, rainy, snowy, windy, stormy or partly cloudy). Each card also has one of the following cities illustrated on it: London, Paris, Sydney or New York. Each card is titled Today, Yesterday or Tomorrow.
     The students will be so busy playing this card game that they probably won't realize they are speaking English. And the more they play, the smoother they get!

Activity # 7
Building vocabulary, promotes thinking, guessing, and negotiating. (R. Mc)
Title: Occupation, please!
Skill: identifying and discussing occupations
Group Size: 4 to 20
Prep Time: > 20 minutes
Playing Time: 5-20 minutes
Interest Level: ages 5 to adult
Ability Level: beginning to lower intermediate
 Paste pictures of people engaged in various occupations on 4 x 6 or larger cardstock, or write occupations on cardstock (if students can read).
Select student to begin. The student draws a card and must assume that occupation shown. Other students ask yes/no questions in order to guess occupation. Sample questions might be...
· Do you work inside?
· Do you treat sick people?
· Do you work with children?
· Do you work in an office?
· Do you travel a great deal?
The first student to guess the correct occupation draws the next card

Activity # 8
Teaches children to follow directions, learn new words, count, and use the city map. (R. Mc.)
Title: In the City
Skill: Following oral directions to arrive at a specific locations
Group Size: 4-12
Prep. Time: 5 minutes [ready-made map]-1 hour [teacher-made map]
Time: 10-30 minutes
Interest Level: ages 3-adult
Ability Level: beginning
Materials: two identical city street maps listing sites such as school, post office, department stores, hospital, churches, police stations, etc. (may be teacher created); two Matchbox cars
Game: Divide students into two groups. Student from each group places his car on map at a prescribed location. Teacher gives directions to destination. (Example: "Turn right on to Main Street. Go four blocks. Turn left at the church. Turn right onto the next street. Cross the railroad tracks. Take the next left. The supermarket is two blocks down on your right.") Other students should monitor to see that driver follows prescribed route. (In one class, I gave each student 10 tokens at the beginning of the game. Observing students were highway patrolmen who could fine driver one token for directional violations. Students got to exchange tokens for M&M's at the end of the game.)

Activity # 9
This activity also teaches children to follow directions, learn new words and their usage, count (money), and use the city map. (R. Mc.)
Shopping Spree
Level – Elementary-Adult
Group Activity
Time: 55 minutes
Shopping Spree is an outrageously fun (and funny) activity for the whole class; any age and any level of proficiency. Groups of students "role-play" their way through a city, the problem is, they are "new to town" so they don't know where any of the stores are or what any of the street names are. They have to ask "people" for this information so they can find the streets and stores.
     Before starting the game, groups of students decide upon five items, which they want to purchase. Then, with each group taking turns (three minutes each), students direct their course through the city while the teacher role plays all of the pedestrians, store clerks, police officers, telephone operators, etc.
     Eventually, students will learn the names of the streets and some of the stores. Since the teacher directs this activity, the pace can easily be adjusted for higher-ability or lower-ability students. Bring in a little play money for practice and/or review while role-playing a purchase.

Activity # 10
Title: The Scavenger Hunt
Level: Elementary-Adult
Mode: Group
Time: 15 min. +
Building vocabulary of common objects; asking for information and favors; negotiating.
    There is one main worksheet for this lesson, and for younger or lower-ability level students, there are two additional worksheets to assist the students.
    In small groups, students have a list of 34 common items that they will have to collect in a given amount of time. To do this, they will need to ask other students in class if they can borrow an item. This request may involve a little trading, and since the groups are competing against each other as well as against the clock, there's going to be a lot of activity (and noise) for a while.
    This lesson is guaranteed to bring any class to life and it only takes about 25 minutes

Activity # 11
This and several of the following activities associated with food, are designed to promote better understanding of a healthy life style and to help children become better informed consumers of food. (R. Mc.)
Title:  Making Choices About Which Food Is Better
Objectives:  To help students to apply knowledge of the food pyramid to their own food choices.  To help students analyze their own food purchases.  To empower students to take control of their own health and nutritional needs.
Materials:  Poster or large picture of the food pyramid.  Software to print pictures of food or cut out pictures of food from periodicals and glue on paper.  On the top of each card write "Which of these is better for you . . .."
Make up cards with the following comparisons:
 - soda vs. juice
 - fruit drink vs. fruit juice
 - whole milk vs. skim milk
 - one-percent vs. two-percent milk
 - egg & bacon on muffin vs. cereal with milk and juice
 - regular coffee vs. decaf.
 - coffee vs. fruit juice
 - canned vegetables vs. raw
 - soda vs. mineral water
 - French fries vs. baked potato
 - hot dog vs. turkey sandwich
 - ice cream vs. frozen yogurt
 - ham vs. turkey
 - red meat vs. fish
 - donut vs. whole wheat bread
 - hamburger vs. bean & cheese enchilada
 - apple pie vs. fresh apple
 - cookies vs. pretzel
 - onion rings vs. popcorn
 - potato chips vs. celery with peanut butter
 - brown bread vs. white bread
 - etc., etc.

1) Review food pyramid.  Remind students that it's best to eat more breads, vegetables, and fruits.  Eat comparatively lesser amounts of dairy products and proteins.  List some items from the fats and sweets group, which are not necessary for a balanced diet.
2)  Hold up each card and use it as a discussion starter.  For example, discuss the merits of pretzels having less fat (usually) but more salt than cookies.
3) Review the food pyramid.

Activity # 12
A fun activity to teach beginners and low-intermediate students proper word usage. (R. Mc.)
Title: Food
Level: Easy

1.A lemon or an unripe apple tastes ___________ (sour)

2.After eating a lot or when something can't have more put in it, we say ___________(full)

3.What word means not having enough water, liquid, or moisture?__________(dry)

4.This word is most often heard when talking of wealth. When a cake or sauce contains a lot of dairy products such as butter, cream or eggs we say it is _______________(rich)

5.When a person wants a drink they are __________________(thirsty)

6.What word is used favorably about cakes and bread and is the opposite of dry?

7.The real meaning of this word is to die or suffer from hunger, but we use it colloquially to describe being hungry. This word is ______________(starve)

8.A word used when talking about fruit or meat that means it is juicy and tastes good is ____________________(succulent)

9.Something that taste like unsweetened cocoa or beer is said to be ____________(bitter)

10.The opposite of sour and means that something tastes of sugar or honey is ____________(sweet)

Activity # 13
Same as activity # 11 plus building vocabulary. (R. Mc.)
Title: Food and Nutrition
Level: Intermediate

1.One of the following does not belong in this food group:
     a. banana
     b. beef
     c. peach
     d. nectarine
     e. prune

 2.The food group in question #1 is:
     a. Meat, Poultry, Fish, Beans, Eggs, and Nuts Group
     b. Fats, Oils and Sweets Group
     c. Fruit Group
     d. Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta Group
     e. Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese Group

 3.What food doesn't belong to this food group?
     a. chicken
     b. steak
     c. lamb
     d. crab
     e. kiwi

4.The food group in question #3 is:
     a. Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta Group
     b. Meat, Poultry, Fish, Beans, Eggs, and Nuts Group
     c. Vegetable Group
     d. Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese Group
     e. Fats, Oils and Sweets Group

5.What food doesn't belong to this food group?
     a. apricot
     b. squash
     c. zucchini
     d. potato
     e. broccoli
6.The food group in question #5 is:
     a. Meat, Poultry, Fish, Beans, Eggs, and Nuts Group
     b. Fruit Group
     c. Vegetable Group
     d. Fats, Oils and Sweets Group
     e. Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta Group
7.What food doesn't belong to this food group?
     a. chocolate milk
     b. cream cheese
     c. eggs
     d. salad dressing
     e. yogurt
8.The food group in question #7 is:
     a. Fruit Group
     b. Dairy Group
     c. Vegetable Group
     d. Meat, Poultry, Fish, Beans, Eggs, and Nuts Group
     e. Fats, Oils and Sweets Group

9.What food doesn't belong to this food group?
     a. cookies
     b. candy
     c. salad dressing
     d. cherries
     e. butter

10.The food group in question #9 is:
     a. Dairy Group
     b. Vegetable Group
     c. Meat, Poultry, Fish, Beans, Eggs, and Nuts Group
     d. Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta Group
     e. Fats, Oils and Sweets Group

11.What food doesn't belong to this food group?
     a. noodles
     b. crackers
     c. scallion
     d. macaroni
     e. cous cous

12.The food group in question #11 is:
     a. Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta Group
     b. Meat, Poultry, Fish, Beans, Eggs, and Nuts Group
     c. Vegetable Group
     d. Fats, Oils and Sweets Group
     e. Fruit Group

13.The United States Department of Agriculture's Daily Food Guide is in the shape of a
     a. octagon
     b. square
     c. circle
     d. pyramid
     e. hexagon

Activity # 14
A good exercise for proper usage. (R.Mc).
Title: Expressions
Level: Intermediate

1.The heating ___ last night and we couldn't fix it.
        went off
        turned off

2.He ___ his last chance of being promoted.
        gave away
        took away

3.I'm ___ with your complaints.
        filled up
        fed up

4.Don't ___ his campaign promises.
        fall for
        feel for

5.It took the firefighters many hours to ___ the fire.
        die out
        put out

6.I can't hear you. ___ the radio.
        Put down
        Turn down

7.The meeting had to be ___ until next week.
        put off
        set off

8.She couldn't ___ all the candles on the cake with one breath.
        blow out
        throw out

9. I ___ the letter before throwing it in the trash.
        zipped up
        tore up

10.Are you ___ a place to stay in San Francisco?
        looking for
        watching for

  11.The plane will ___ soon.
        leave off
        take off

Activity # 15
A good exercise for improving listening comprehension. (R. Mc.)
34 Easy Questions:
Level: Beginning-Intermediate
Time: 15 min. +
1.How often do you play tennis?
     a. On Tuesday.
     b. For two hours.
     c. Almost every day.
     d. With John.

2.Where do you usually eat lunch?
     a. Sandwich.
     b. With Jane.
     c. At 12:00.
     d. In the cafeteria.

3.How long did you study last night?
     a. With Bob.
     b. In my room.
     c. English.
     d. For three hours.

4.What kind of novels do you like?
     a. Yes, I do.
     b. I like spy novels.

5.What kind of work do you do?
     a. I work every day.
     b. I'm a piano teacher.
     c. I worked for two hours.

6.How many hours a day do you watch TV?
     a. About two hours.
     b. In my living room.
     c. I watch the news.
     d. On Tuesday.

7.What is your busiest day of the week?
     a. In the morning.
     b. Every day.
     c. Tuesday.
     d. Last week.

8.My mother is a good cook.
a. I agree with you.
     b. I agree you.
     c. I agree to you.
     d. I agree for you.

9.What does "TV" mean?
     a. For one hour.
     b. Yes
     c. Television.
     d. For one hour.
     e. On Friday.

10. How do you spell "dog"?
     a. No
     b. D-O-G
     c. I don't
     d. Cat.
     e. I have one dog.

11.What did you do yesterday?
     a. I am swimming.
     b. I swim.
     c. I will swim.
     d. I swam.

12.What do you like to drink?
     a. Coffee.
     b. Saturday evening.
     c. Two.
     d. With my friends.

13.What did you eat last night?
     a. At six.
     b. Spaghetti.
     c. With my family.
     d. At home.

14.What are you doing?
     a. I'm eating.
     b. I ate.
     c. I will be eating.
     d. I have eaten.

15.What will you do this afternoon?
     a. I play soccer.
     b. I played soccer.
     c. I'll play soccer.
     d. I was playing soccer.
16.It seems to me that most restaurants are too expensive?
     a. I don't think it.
     b. I don't think.
     c. I don't think so.

17.Where's Mike?
     a. At school.
     b. At eight.
     c. For three hours.
     d. No, he isn't.

18.Where do you do your homework?
     a. With John.
     b. In the evening.
     c. About one hour.
     d. Every day.
     e. At home.

19.When did you go to that restaurant?
     a. Spaghetti.
     b. With Jane.
     c. Last night.
     d. About 30 minutes.

20.When was the last time you took a picture?
     a. A picture of Jane.
     b. Seven pictures.
     c. About four days ago.
     d. With my camera.
21.What were you doing last night at 7:00?
     a. I sleep.
     b. I slept.
     c. I will be sleeping.
     d. I was sleeping.

22.When will you mail that letter?
     a. Last night.
     b. To Jane.
     c. After school.

23.What are you going to do after dinner?
     a. I took a bath
     b. I'll take a bath.
     c. I take a bath.

24.How long have you been playing the trumpet?
     a. About 50 cm.
     b. For four years.
     c. In my room.
     d. By myself.

25.How many hours a day do you sleep?
     a. I have slept 7 hours.
     b. I am sleeping 7 hours.
     c. I slept 7 hours.
     d. I sleep 7 hours.

26.How often do you write letters?
     a. Two pages.
     b. Two times a week.
     c. Two people.
     d. Two hours.

27.Where can I buy beer?
     a. When you are twenty years old.
     b. About two bottles.
     c. With Jane.
     d. At a liquor store.

28.What's your favorite sport?
     a. Swim.
     b. Swimming.

29.When was the last time you went shopping?
     a. Yesterday.
     b. Tomorrow.
     c. Near the Station.

30.How often do you speak on the telephone?
     a. At least once a day.
     b. In the evening?
     c. For about 30 minutes.

31.How many times have you gone camping?
     a. Three people.
     b. Three days.
     c. Three times.

32.When's your birthday?
     a. November two.
     b. November twice.
     c. November second.

Activity # 16
This is an excellent activity that can be used in a social studies class (either content-based or theme-based). It can also help improve the knowledge of geography if a world map is used (countries, capital cities, etc.) (R.Mc.)
Title: Country - Nationality – Language
Level: Beginning-Intermediate
Time: 15 min. +

1.He's from Brazil. He's ___.
     a. Brazilish
     b. Brazilian
     c. Brazilese

2.I'm from Colombia. I can speak ___.
     a. Spanish
     b. Colombian
     c. Colombish

3.She's from Russia. She can speak ___.
     a. Russia
     b. Russy
     c. Russian

4.We're from Italy. We're ___.
     a. Italien
     b. Italian
     c. Italiun

5.My friend is from Korea. He can speak ___.
     a. Korish
     b. Korean
     c. Koreanese

6.Pablo is from Mexico. He's ___.
     a. Spanish
     b. Mexican
     c. Mexian

7.Martha is from the United States. She's ___.
     a. American
     b. United Statian
     c. United Statianese

8.My father is from China. He can speak ___.
     a. Chiny
     b. Chinish
     c. Chinese

9.Gloria is from Puerto Rico. She's ___.
     a. Puerto Rich
     b. Puerto Rican
     c. Puerto Riquean

10.Pierre is from France. He can speak ___.
     a. Franchise
     b. Francese
     c. French



1)  20 Questions
Description:  One person thinks of something that is an animal, a vegetable, or a
mineral.  The rest of the students take turns asking up to 20 questions about what s/he is thinking of.  The first one to guess what it is, wins.
Value:  Students have to talk and ask questions, and use their imagination, so this activity
builds vocabulary, listening, and thinking skills, as well as providing practice speaking.
Source:  Dave’s ESL Café  (website)

2)  Mystery Box
Description:  Place an object in a shoe box.  One students feels the object in the box,
without looking, and describes the object to the rest of the class.  The other students try to guess what is in the box.
Value: Students have to talk and ask questions, and use their imagination, so this activity
builds vocabulary, listening, and thinking skills, as well as providing practice speaking.
Source:  Dave’s ESL Café  (website)

3)  The Hokey Pokey
Description:  Students will stand in a circle while the teacher sings or plays a tape of the
Hokey Pokey.  Students will follow the lyrics of the song, moving body parts as directed by the lyrics.
Value:  Builds body part vocabulary, and provides a way to practice this vocabulary.
Source:  ?  I just thought of it by myself.

4)  Battleship
Description:  Obtain one or more sets of the Battleship game from your local toy store.
In place of a class set, you can have students label grid paper and have them draw in their ships in ink.
Value:  Beginning level- students practice numbers and letters.
Source:  My friend’s teacher used this in his German class.

Speaking Skills:
5)  Show and Tell
Description:  Students will bring something from home that they would like to share with
the class.  They will take turns standing up and telling the class about what they brought.  Then the class will be able to ask questions.
Value:  Students will practice their speaking and listening skills, while getting to know
each other better.
Source:  Everything ESL (website)

6)  The Last Time…
Description:  Have students choose a partner.  Put up a list of 25 “last time” examples.
Each set of partners will choose 10 topics from the examples and will take turns sharing with each other about the last time they did each thing.
Examples:  The last time you…
bought something  heard or told a joke  attended class
wrote a letter   looked up a word  gave a present
went to a movie  shook hands   were surprised
played a game   ate at a restaurant  made a mistake
overslept   rented a movie   went to the zoo
stayed in a hotel  broke a promise  told a lie
were lied to   read a book
went to a concert or theater went to church, synagogue, etc…
Value:  Students will practice their speaking and listening skills, while getting to know
each other better.
Source:  I modified an activity from Recipes for Tired Teachers  (book)

Writing and Speaking Skills:

7)  You Are What You Will
Description:  Have your students think of an animal, plant, or object they would like to be
in another life.  After letting them think for a minute, have your students describe what they are and what they will do.  Have each student share with the class their new identity, and what they have learned about themselves.
Value:  Students will practice their creative writing skills, and their speaking and
listening skills.
Source:  Recipes for Tired Teachers (book)

8) Emotionally Packed Picture
Description:  Make a list of emotions on the board.  Discuss with your students the
meaning of the words for the emotions.  Display a large picture that will evoke emotion, and have your students write about what the picture means to them.  (Make this a free-writing activity, and tell students not to worry about mechanics.)
Value:  Students will practice thinking critically, and writing skills.
Source:  Recipes for Tired Teachers (book)

9)  Headlines
Description:  Present your students with several headlines from a newspaper.  Discuss
with the class what they think the headlines mean.  Have each student pick a headline, and write an article to go with it.  Have each student read their article to the class, then have students compare their article with the real one.
Value: Students will practice thinking critically, and writing skills, as well as reading and
speaking skills.
Source:  Recipes for Tired Teachers (book)

10)  Dear Ann Landers
Description:  Read a letter from an advice column to the class.  Have students write an
answer to the letter.  Discuss the students responses to the letter.  Compare their letters with the columnists answer.
Value: Students will practice thinking critically, and writing skills, as well as their
speaking skills.
 Source:  Recipes for Tired Teachers (book)

11)  Personal Advertisement
Description:  Have each student write a personal advertisement for the perfect date.  It
should answer the following questions:  What will be expected of the date?  What interests or hobbies should the person have?  What do you want them to look like?  What characteristics or personality traits should s/he have:  funny and smart, serious, quite, fun to be with?
Value: Students will practice thinking critically, and writing skills.
Source:  Drama that Delivers:  Real Life Problems, Student Solutions by Nancy Duffy
Hery, Teacher Ideas Press

12)  Advertisement Analysis
Description:  Have students cut out 3 advertisements from magazines or a local
newspaper.  Students then write down their answer to the following questions:  What is the ad trying to tell you?  What type of people are in the ads and what are they doing?  Do any of the ads show a family doing something together?  How is the advertiser trying to convince you to buy the product?
Value: Students will practice thinking critically, and writing skills.
Source:  Drama that Delivers:  Real Life Problems, Student Solutions by Nancy Duffy
Hery, Teacher Ideas Press

Cooperative Learning:

13) Sentence Mobile
Description:  Have each student bring a coat hanger from home.  Divide the class into
groups of 2 or 3.  Show them how to attach the coat hangers to form the top of the mobile.  Supply each group with string and paper squares.  (Students will write each word from their sentences on a piece of paper.)  At the top of the mobile, have the groups attach the first word in their sentence.  All of their sentences will begin with this word.  At each corner, the groups will attach the next word in each sentence.  The rest of the words in each sentence will be attached with the string provided.  Have each group present their mobile to the class, and then hang the mobiles from the ceiling.
Value:  Provides practice for grammar skills and teamwork.
Source:  Modified from Sentence Tree lesson in Recipes for Tired Teachers.

14) Political Campaigns
Description:  Discuss with the class the meaning and purpose of a party platform, using
examples.  Divide the class into groups, and have each group choose or make up a party.  Have each group develop a platform for their party and nominate candidates.  Each candidate will then give a speech describing their platform.  After each speech, allow the class to question the candidates.  Finally, have an election by secret ballot.
Value:  In addition to building teamwork, conversation skills, and critical thinking skills,
students will gain understanding of how platforms are developed by political parties and how they affect elections.
Source:  Recipes for Tired Teachers (book)

15)  Create your Island
Description:  Have your class brainstorm about different types of governments, resources,
transportation, etc.  Divide the class into small groups, and give each group a copy of a blank island map. (Either make copies from the book, or draw your own picture of an island.)  Have each group decide on a type of government and fill in the map of their island showing roads, cities, natural resources, etc.  When they are finished, have each group share their island country with the class.
Value:  Builds teamwork, conversation skills, and critical thinking skills.
Source:  Recipes for Tired Teachers (book)


CTIVITIES THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES ALLOW STUDENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN SIMPLE TO COMPLEX EXPERIENCES.  IT’S NOT NECESSARY THAT THE STUDENT HAVE MASTERY OF ENGLISH TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN COMPLETING THE TASKS.  THEY ARE ABLE TO USE HIGHER LEVEL THINKING AND PROCESSING.  THESE ACTIVITIES CAN BE DONE BY BEGINNERS TO ADVANCE ESOL STUDENTS.   1.  Static Electricity:  The Dancing Thread Trick      Physical Science – Lab Book, Quercus Corporation This activity proves that the force of static electricity can make a             thread stand up against the force of gravity.   ·        Take a piece of thread, four inches long and a comb, with      Small close-together teeth.  ·        Hold the thread so that about two inches goes beyond your   Fingers.·        Rub the comb on your clothes a few times.·        Hold the comb just above the thread, observe.·        Move the comb in small circles above the comb, observe.·        Record the results. This activity requires the student to predict, hypothesize, measure, observe, and record.   2.      Experimenting With Gravity and RampsPhysical Science – Lab Book, Quercus Corporation In this activity, the student will learn that gravity pulls harderas a ramp gets steeper.  Materials needed:  an unopened soup can, a tape measure                    one hard-cover book                    one book about half-an-inch thick                   one book about one inch thick                   one book about one-and-a half inch thick                   a runway about 25 feet long·        Make a ramp by placing the hard-cover book on the half-inchthick book.  Set up the ramp at one end of the runway.·        Hold the can at the top of the ramp.  Let it roll down theRunway.  Be sure you let the can roll straight down the Ramp.·        Measure how far past the end of the ramp the can rolls.·        Repeat the above three steps using the one-inch book andThen using the one-and-a half-inch book.  Record. This activity is a fun activity for the students.  I’ve hadsome of my non-English to figure out that to change thevariable a different outcome will take place.        This activity requires the student to measure, predict, record,       and form a conclusion.  3.      An Experiment in Air PressurePhysical Science – Lab Book, Quercus Corporation This experiment shows proof of air pressure. Materials needed:A glass, a large pan, water, a blue pen ·        Fill the pan three-fourths full of water.·        Put the glass into the pan.  Turn the glass on its side so it fills    with water.   Make sure the glass is full of water.·        Turn the glass bottom-side-up underwater and hold it by its bottoms.    ·        Pull the glass straight up until all but one inch This is a good experiment for students to work in pairs or groups.  I’m able to put low achievers with higher achievers together and everyone can be successful. This activity requires the student to predict, hypothesize, measure, observe, and record. 4.       Experimental DesignScience Olympiad coaches Manual This event will determine a team’s ability to design, carry through and report the findings of an experiment. ·        Students will be given an assortment of materials.·        The students will be given an outline format (patterned after the scoring rubrics) to follow when recording/reporting their experiment.·        There is a 50 minutes time limit. This is a fun event, the students can be as created as they want to be; this activity requires the student to predict, hypothesize, measure, observe, and record.  5.      Bottle RocketScience Olympiad coaches Manual Students will design, construct and test a rocket made from a 2 liter plastic pop (soda) bottle which will remain aloft for a maximum period of time. ·        Students will construct the body of the rocket, it may consist one or more 2 liter soda bottles.  There can be no metal parts.·        Fins are to be made out of light weight materials, parachute, nose cone are optional. This is a fun event; the students can be as created as they want to be.  I start off first with the student shooting plain 2 liter bottle, this starts the creative juices flowing for the students.  This activity requires the student to predict, hypothesize, measure, observe, and record.  6.      Science Crime BustersScience Olympiad coaches Manual The objective of this event is to correctly identify the perpetrators of a crime or crimes by using analysis of such objects as fiber or hair identification, shoeprints, tiretreads, paper chromatography, fingerprints or analysis of unknown powders and liquids found at the scene of a crime. ·        The students will practice identifying powders and liquids by using test of solubility, acidity, magnetic property, color, density, or odor.·        The students will demonstrate their skill in collecting evidence from a variety of sources such as hair analysis, paper chromatography and fingerprint matching.·        A scenario will be given to students, evidents for each suspects will be included in scenario. This is a fun event, the students can be as created as they want to be; this activity requires the student to predict, hypothesize, measure, observe, and record.  7.      How Does Exercise Affect Your Heart and BreathingAGS General Science Textbook Purpose – To observe how different amounts of activity affect your heart rate and breathing rate. Procedure --- ·        Work with a partner.  Sit quietly for three minutes, find your pulse; count your heartbeat for 15 seconds.               ·        While you take your pulse, have your partner watch you and ·        Count the number of breaths you take in 15 seconds.·        Multiply the counts for 15 seconds by 4 to calculate your heart rate and breathing rate per minute, record.·        Repeat the last 2 steps after walking across the room and then after running in place for 200 steps.·        Switch places and repeat the above steps. This is a good investigation for all levels, especially non-speakers, the activity requires the student to predict, measure, observe, and record.  8.      Reading Food LabelsAGS General Science Textbook PurposeTo determine the kinds and amounts of nutrients in different packaged foods. Procedure·        Collect food labels from eight different package foods.  Do different kinds of the same food, such as different brands of cereal. ·        Record the amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in one serving.  Notice that the amounts are given in grams and in percentages.·        Are there any vitamins or minerals in the food?  Notice that the amounts are given in percentages. This is a good investigation for all levels, especially non-speakers, the activity requires the student to predict, measure, observe, and record.    9.      Observing the Function of StomataAGS General Science TextbookPurpose – To observe one function of stomata on a plant’s leaves Procedure·        Put a clear plastic bag over the entire plant.  Do not cover the plant’s pot. ·        Tape the bag closed around the bottom of the plant’s stem, just above the soil.·        Water the plant so the soil is damp but not wet.·        Put the plant in a sunny place.·        Examine the plastic bag every half hour, record results. This is a good investigation for all levels, especially non-speakers, the activity requires the student to measure, observe, and record. 10.     Observing Color, Streak, and HardnessAGS General Science Textbook PurposeTo describe the color and streak and estimate the hardness of six mineral samples Procedure ·        Observe the color of each sample, record observation.·        Rub each sample across the streak plate, record color.·        Try too scratch each sample with your fingernail, the penny and the steel spoon.  Use the test results and the Mohs scale to estimate the hardness of each sample. Record your data. This is a good investigation for all levels, especially non-speakers, the activity requires the student to predict, measure, observe, and record.   11.     Match Game for BeginnersTeacher made Purpose – I use the game to help the student to learn vocabulary.  The game can be played in pairs or in groups, one student at a time.The object is for the student to match words with their definitions. Procedure·        Turn all the cards up with words and definitions showing.·        One student at a time, pick a word try to match it with its definition.  Keep cards if correct and continued to play until an incorrect match is made.   If incorrect replace cards and you lose your turn.  ·        Continue until all the cards have been matched.  This is an excellent game for non-speakers.    12.      ConcentrationTeacher made Purpose – I use the game to help the student to learn vocabulary.  The game can be played in pairs or in groups, one student at a time.The object is for the student to match words with their definitions.  Procedure·        Turn all the cards face down. ·        One student at a time, pick a word try to match it with its definition.  Keep cards if correct and continued to play until an incorrect match is made.   If an incorrect pick is made, replace cards and you lose your turn. Concentration on where the cards were placed, this will help you on your next turn.·        Continue until all the cards have been matched. This is a good game for all levels, especially non-speakers.13.     Calculating Average SpeedAGS General Science Textbook Purpose – To calculate average speed over a given distance. Procedure·        In a long hallway indoors or an open space outdoors, measure a straight racecourse 20 m long.  Mark the starting and finish lines with tape or chalk.·        Work with two classmates.  Students #1 and #2 stand at the starting line.  Student #3 holds the stopwatch at the finish line.  Student #2 shouts, “Go.”  Student #1 starts running.  Students #3 start the stopwatch.  When student #1 reaches the finish line, student #3 stops the watch.  Records the racer’s time. ·        Allow all three students a chance to race. This is a good investigation for all levels, especially non-speakers, the activity requires the student to measure, observe, and record. 14.     Making a Model of RainAGS General Science Textbook Purpose – To make a model of raindrop forming and observe water droplets combining Procedure·        Cover your work surface with newspaper.  The plastic surface should make a slope.·        Adjust the mister nozzle to produce a fine mist.  Hold the mister about 30cm from the plastic surface.  The gently spray the surface just once with the mister.·        Using a magnifying glass, look closely at the mist on the surface.  Notice the different sizes of water droplets.  Notice if any water droplets run down the slope.·        Record your observations.  This is a good investigation for all levels, especially non-speakers, the activity requires the student to measure, observe, and record.  15.     Water FilterWebsite – pbskids.org/zoom/sci/waterfilter PurposeCan a filtering remove enough small particles from dirty water to make water safe to drink?  Procedure·        Cut a soda bottle in half.  Put the top half of the bottle upside-down (like a funnel) into the bottom half.  ·        Line the upside-down half bottle with a napkin or paper towel.·        Put layers of gravel, sand, charcoal, and cotton balls inside the top half of the bottle.·        Remove the bottle cap.·        Pour the dirty water through the filter.·        Scoop out each layer of the filter and examine what each layer has taken out of the water. This is a good investigation for all levels, especially non-speakers, the activity requires the student to measure, observe, and record.


Educ 7783 Summer 2003

1. “Categorizing and Classifying Animals” Grades 2-8
 everythingesl.com/lessons/animalstwo.php  website
10 Feb. 1999 Judie Hayes

Site has downloadable handouts and more resources. Students learn vocabulary in context. Need pictures of large number of animals, body parts, and skin coverings; and an easy book on classifying.
a) Make a KWL chart at the beginning to compare at the end.
b) Students point to the animals with certain parts. ELL’s describe the animal.
c) Read books to them. Barron’s series is loved, also Junior Adventure series, grades 4-8. Or use a computer program for introduction.
d) Point to types of animals and show attributes. Review the names and skin coverings. Let them touch own backbone, breathe and feel chest move. Warm a rock under a lamp & run under cold water to illustrate cold-blooded.
e) Make a chart “Is it a …?” Discuss what each eats.
f) Use different books and charts.
g) Make column headings. Students add pictures and parts. Mix up & students put in right column. They write about different animals.
h) Use computer interactive programs for variety.
i) Use Venn diagrams, charts to compare characteristics.
j) Make a bulletin board or group mural. Students draw on six sections of white paper. Do mural of habitats.
Includes a booklist, software list, pdf documents to download, and related links on & off site

Activity includes lot of different techniques to involve ELL’s using kinesthetics, speaking, listening, reading, discussion, organizing, and comparisons for content science class. Vocabulary is learned in context, so not isolated words, can relate to topic. Demos help reinforce concepts and vocab.

2. “Animal Alphabet Cards” ESL Reading and Spelling Games, Puzzles, and Inventive Exercises  Imogene Forte & Mary Ann Pangle  Incentive Publications, Inc. 2001 page 10

Beginning reading or spelling. Cards made with picture of an animal on one side, name on other. Each player makes own set of cards—draw & write out name, and cut out cards so can use like a deck—for one player or whole class. Arrange cards on table in alpha order.

Adaptable to high school science for spelling and memory. Have students use like flash cards. Draw the name, or name the drawing. Could extend by using two decks like Concentration Game for group activity. Make more advanced by using technical words or more complex or thematic vocabulary. Good for verbal, writing, visual, kinesthetic, reading, and spelling.

3. “Sentence Sense” p. 16 Forte & Pangle

Game board has a start & finish with ‘!’ or ‘.’ or ‘?’ in spaces. Game cube is numbered 1 or 2 on sides. Need game markers. For small group work. Where marker lands on board, player must make up a sentence using that punctuation mark at end. If not correct, has to move back one space. Winner reaches ‘Finish’ first.

Could use verbal or written sentences. Imagination sparked. Some structures practiced. If using a theme for sentences, then drawing on vocabulary in context. A little hard to evaluate participants—would have to pair up or organize groups for monitoring appropriateness/correctness of answers. For practice, but not much new learning. Useful for intermediates to hone skills, but not new vocab.

4. “Letter Lingo” p.23 Fort & Pangle

Small pictures lined up side by side. Write first letter of the name underneath each in blank. These letters then spell a word to write in box.

Good for spelling & phonics—can sound out words & learn new ones. Students need to know some spellings already. Could be advanced by using picture cards to re-arrange so spell out many different words. Might have students draw the new word or look up in dictionary for its definition. Could have students sound out words and letters to determine spellings.

5. “Appropriate Abbreviations” Crossword Puzzle p. 26 Forte & Pangle

Could be done individually, in pairs, or whole class. Words or descriptions are written as clues—answers in spaces are the abbreviation. Requires reviewing ab’s first. Students have to read the directions and each of the words. Intermediate. Has days of week, months, measurements, states, titles,….

These are necessary as we saw Cham who could not understand vocabulary because he did not know ab’s to explain definitions. Since many of these ab’s were not extensively crossed or linked in the puzzle, one could make own puzzles using content vocab. Helps in reading comprehension when confronted with ab’s.

6. “Encyclopedia Explorers”—Research Activity p. 31 Forte & Pangle

Intermediate to advanced. A list of questions—have to read and understand, find answers among encyclopedias and write answers after questions. Name the set, how many volumes, copyright date, where published, look up words, which volume, what page, list four different kinds, draw & name things, find your native country…. Choose own topic & write about it. For group of 4-6 students.

Excellent intro for research—involves reading & writing, counting, finding information, realization of more than one choice of definitions. Allows exploration of own culture. Free-writing allows creativity. This is what Cham needed to help him with his dictionary & vocabulary—a ‘how-to’ for using resources. Any number of questions could be created to expand on this exploration, including how to use the textbook & find info. Good co-op activity—guide each other.

7. “The Lost Balloon”—a story & activities p. 37 Forte & Pangle

a) Students read a few paragraphs to themselves, then aloud to partner, then answer questions about what was read. Q’s include who, what, when, where, how, & also feelings.
b) Eight blank rectangles are set up so one can draw pictures in sequence like a comic strip.
c) Words from story are listed—asked to write a rhyming word for each, and then count words with short vowel sound & long vowel sound.

Questions include words not found directly in story, so more advanced comprehension needed. Because of diversity of activities for analyzing the story, several linguistic techniques are involved. Have to read aloud, understand passages, analyze material for information, do sequencing of events and creative rhyming comparisons, and sound out words to hear vowel sounds. Advanced approach eliciting critical thinking skills.

8. “Direction Detectives”—Three Activities p. 47 Forte & Pangle

a) List of nouns with blanks in front & behind. Four different shapes & colors to draw if object meets a characteristic.
b) Questions to be answered—choices & decisions. Make a menu for a restaurant.
c) ‘If, then’ statements about objects & relationships. If true, then a drawing task to perform. Alphabetizing.

Self-directed reading & comprehension and individual preferences. Develop skills of observation & following directions. Each student would have to have a copy—not good group or pair activities. Intermediate—needs to know some grammar.

9. “The Snowman”—a story p. 51 Forte & Pangle

For comprehension, sequencing, finding syllables, & writing a story. One or two students or entire class. Review concepts of sequence & syllables. Players read the story ‘The Snowman’. Divide class into pairs—they reread story to each other.
a) A page of sentences from story are mixed up—students write sequences of events beside sentence.
b) Page with headings: ‘one syllable,’ ‘two syllables’, or ‘three syllables’ with blank for the number of each counted, also blanks underneath each heading to write out words that qualify, so they can tally.
c) Write a story about a snowman in the blanks inside the outline of a ‘page-size’ snowman.

This is a good intricate use of a story—students need to read it by themselves & hopefully practice before reading aloud to a partner—so both reading & listening skills are developed. Sequencing the sentences helps students in categorizing and analyzing what’s been read as the paragraphs are picked apart. Breaking each word into syllables helps students understand word structures and phonemes. What draws on thinking skills is the composition of a story related to the theme of making a snowman. Since many students, just as in the story, may never have seen snow, the theme is open-ended—they share experiences or use imagination.

10. “Secret Code”  p. 59 Forte & Pangle

A game board is given each pair of students with mixed up letters organized into words and questions. Under each letter is a blank space. In each blank, students write the letter in the alphabet that precedes each one on the sheet. After solving codes, students can create own secret message in back for others to figure out.

This exercise helps students understand alphabetical order starting at all points of the alphabet, not just the beginning. It could be extended to answering the questions discovered, and converting answers into code. Students will enjoy pairing to talk over ideas.

11. “Tic Tac Toe”  p. 61 Forte & Pangle

Spelling. Players pair & make five tag board X’s & five O’s with magic markers. Teacher prepares tag board strips with weekly spelling works on them. Spelling cards are placed face down & players close markers. One student pronounces word & other has to spell. If correct answer, puts marker on board. Three in a row wins.

This is more challenging than tic tac toe or Hollywood Squares, because the opponent does not automatically get a marker if an incorrect spelling given. Markers on board are a reward earned for giving correct answers, so there is more incentive to learn the words. Students could remove words from the stack as both get them right, so more practice with mis-spelled words. Content teachers could use this to help learn new vocabulary or important people, dates, places. Students practice saying words aloud, comprehensible for another student to visualize.

12. “Play Ball”—spelling  p. 73 Forte & Pangle

A baseball diamond is made of poster board with bases. Markers are cutouts of a bat & a ball. Spelling words are placed on strips labeled in stacks by level of difficulty from “single”, “double”, or “triple” hits, to “home run”. Cards are placed face down. A player goes to bat by choosing a card from any stack & hands it to the pitcher who pronounces the word. The batter will advance ball around bases with correct spellings. Three misspellings are an out, & the other player becomes the batter. A point is scored when a player passes home plate. An inning is completed after both players have been at bat. Scores are kept for nine innings, most points is the winner.

To ensure that spelling practice is not one-sided & that both participate, could modify half-inning definition to three outs or a run (point) to initiate changing batters. Most students will like a game format & since in pairs, not be pressured to make mistakes before a group or the class whole. Foresee problem as written if one player gets all words right & continues to score & other player has no chance; or one gets all wrong & remains scoreless—latter occurrence means reviewing words on cards during intermission!

13. “What a Mouthful”  # 76  p. 110  101 Bright Ideas Claire Maria Ford. Addison Wesley Publishing. 1997.

Idiomatic expressions are written on separate 3” x 5” cards. All expressions are written on the board also. Volunteers use idioms in a sentence that demos meaning of idiom. After review, divide class into two teams whose members take turns choosing a card. Alternate play between teams. Acceptable sentences earn a team point—that team chooses the next card. Winning team has most points.

This helps students place phrases in a context & might prevent embarrassment or confusion encountering idioms outside classroom. Idioms tend to be conversational, so creating verbal sentences using them helps students with common language.

14. “Film Fun” # 78 p. 112 Ford

Show a few minutes of an old or obscure unseen movie. Pause it, & ask students to write a few sentences about what they think will happen next. Play & pause several times for writing. Discuss how story might end & students write predictions. Fast-forward to last five minutes, play, & discuss actual ending. Students read their correct & incorrect predictions.

Students practice hypothesizing about future events. Good practice for making observations & then creating hypotheses for science experiments. Provides use of future tenses and sequencing or connecting words. To modify & simplify, some possible outcomes can be placed on board for students to expand upon if need hints.

15. “Headlines” # 91 p. 131 Ford

Newspaper articles are cut out & glued to construction paper. Headlines are glued onto another sheet with words mixed up. Each group gets own article & mixed headline. Headlines are displayed. Each group reads & discusses article together. Write down key ideas in article. Students look at headlines, figure order, & find one matching article. Volunteers read aloud, list key ideas & present correctly ordered headline.

Good for finding key ideas in a story—helpful for developing rapid reading/ scanning skills for good study habits. Promotes conversation in groups. Could initiate class discussion or even debate over topics.


The following activities are annotated with my comments in red.
Activity #1
I’ve used this first activity with intermediate ESL students and the really like it.  The goal of the lesson it to give them an opportunity to assess their syntactical strength.  A fellow teacher shared it with me, his name is Kevin McKenzie.
Sentence Roulette  Level: Intermediate to Advanced      Time: 60minutes
Materials:  Enough lists of sentences for each team.  Board and markers or chalk.
Procedure:  Divide the class into teams of four or five.  Each team selects a captain and a team name.  Pass out a copy of the ten sentences, five are correct and five are incorrect, the incorrect sentences have only one mistake.  Give them 15 to 20 minutes to read and discuss them.   When time is called, the game begins.  Each team gets $1000 in points to wager.  As each team’s turn begins, the captain places the wager, and then chooses a sentence, he/she says correct or incorrect.  If right, the wager is added to the “$1000”, if wrong, it’s subtracted.  If the captain says the sentence is incorrect he must say why.  If the sentence is incorrect, and the reason given is correct the team gets the points.  If the reason is incorrect, the points are subtracted and the sentence stays active.  As each sentence is correctly evaluated, it is marked dead.  Play continues until one team is left with points (money), or the sentences have all been suitably assessed.
Sentence Roulette
1. The girl let the balloon go while she walked in the park with her mother.
2. He give her a bouquet flowers for her birthday.
3. She walked slow to her car because her arms were full of books.
4. The sun rises in the east, and sets in the west.
5. thedogateallitsfoodanddrankallitswaterthisafternoon.
6. The children played all day with a children at the playground.
7. Anna had been in the U.S.A. for six months when she started school.
8. blue he car a gave silver her and convertible birthday her for
9. Atlanta is the capital of the state of Georgia.
10. The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plains.

Activity # 2
I’ve used this activity with adults in an advanced level class, and the students really liked the topicalness of the subject. It introduces the concept of scanning, and the goal is to elicit comments in conversational form.  I felt it was a successful activity.
©Macmillan Publishers Ltd   Taken from the News section in www.onestopenglish.com

Find the following information in the text as quickly as possible:
1.   What are SUVs?
2.   What are Navigators, Excursions, Expeditions and Pathfinders?
3.   What is SUVOA?
4.   What is a Hummer?
5.   How far does a SUV travel on a gallon of petrol?
6.   How much does petrol (gasoline) cost in the USA?
7.   How many litres are there in a gallon?

Match the words with their meanings:
1.   fake
2.   controversial
3.   wealthy
4.   patriotic
5.   environmentalist
6.   reputation
7.   slogan
8.   violation

Axles of evil

Arnold Schwarzenegger has five. Mike Tyson has four. A third of all cars sold in the US are now sports utility vehicles, or SUVs. But now environmentalists are going to war against the SUV.   It's Tuesday night on the Upper West Side in New York and Adam Weinstock has a lot of work to do. As we turn the corner on 68th and Lexington, we see a whole street full of sports utility
vehicles. SUVs are half car, half truck and they have names like Navigators, Excursions, Expeditions and Pathfinders - names that provide an image of the great outdoors. But they are parked in the wealthy heart of New York. Weinstock approaches each vehicle critically. "Look
at the metal bars on the front of the vehicle,. he says. "They're particularly important for all the trees you're going to run into when you drive around New York City." And then he puts a fake parking ticket on them. "Violation: Earth," it says. "Open your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and get honest with yourself. Why do you need such a huge car? This is not a militarized zone."

Ron DeFore, the communications director of SUV Owners of America (SUVOA), says if anyone like Weinstock touched his SUV, he would "hire a private detective to find him and have him thrown into jail for damaging private property." He is tired of environmentalists criticising Americans for their choice of vehicle.  He believes their arguments about the environment and safety are wrong. His message to them? "Get on with your life and stop complaining."

SUVs, and their military equivalent, the Hummer, have made "light trucks" the most successful category the US car industry has ever known and one of the most profitable. But they are also
extremely controversial, mainly because of their reputation for using large quantities of petrol.  SUVs are hated by environmentalists.  SUVs were set alight by protesters in Pennsylvania; in
Washington state they have had their windshields smashed; in Massachusetts they were spray-painted with the slogan: "No Blood for Oil".

The message from SUVOA's founder on its website begins: "Is this a Great Country or
What? Yes it is." Why?  "Because we have the freedom to own and operate the vehicles of our choice and to express our belief that freedom must not be diminished because some people dislike SUVs." During the war in Iraq, Hummer drivers regarded their choice of vehicle as a patriotic act.  "When I turn on the TV, I see Humvees everywhere, and I'm proud," Sam Bernstein told the New York Times.  .American soldiers in Iraq are not driving Audis!.

According to the environmentalists, SUV drivers do not care about the environment. Once again, it is all about oil. Federal statistics show that four-wheel-drive SUVs average 17.3 miles per gallon and on some larger models that goes down to just 12 miles a gallon. Hummers
are even worse. In comparison, the average petrol-fuelled saloon manages 30mpg. Each
person in the USA consumes about 4.5 times more energy than the world average, so the debate over SUVs is linked to what responsibility America has to the rest of the world and how it should fulfill that responsibility. "You could say that the American way is to do what you want when you want," says Weinstock. "But there's another American way where people work
together for the good of everyone and we try to set an example for the rest of the world."

So far the protests have had little effect on the American conscience. Sales of SUVs continue to grow faster than those of any other type of car. One of the reasons that the protests have had such little effect is that while the SUV's fuel consumption makes a big difference to the environment, it has little effect on the pocket. At about $1.67 a gallon (3.8 litres), gasoline in
America is so cheap that an extra five miles to the gallon would save the average American only $135 a year.
Guardian Weekly

Choose the best answer for each question:

1.  Why are SUVs controversial?
a.   Because they are big.
b.   Because they are like military vehicles.
c.   Because they are more damaging to the environment than smaller cars.

2.  What does Adam Weinstock do?
a.   He’s a parking attendant.
b.   He tries to draw attention to the damage caused by SUVs.
c.   He damages private property.

3.  What is Ron Defore’s advice to the environmentalists?
a.   Hire a private detective.
b.   Choose your own vehicle.
c.   Stop complaining.

4.  Why did Hummer drivers regard their choice of vehicle as patriotic?
a.   Because US soldiers drove Hummers during the war in Iraq.
b.   Because they are large military vehicles.
c.   Because they don.t like environmentalists.

5.  How much more fuel does an SUV use compared to an ordinary car?
a.   100%
b.   About 40%
c.   4.5%

Find words in the text which are the opposites of these words:

1.   poor   ____________
2.   genuine   ____________
3.   civilian   ____________
4.   public   ____________
5.   heavy   ____________
6.   unsuccessful   ____________
7.   tiny   ____________
8.   expensive   ____________
Fill the gaps using an appropriate preposition:
1.   Environmentalists are going to war ________ SUVs.
2.   Some streets in New York are full ________ SUVs.
3.   Ron DeFore wants environmentalists thrown ________ jail.
4.   He is tired ________ them criticising SUV owners.
5.   SUVs have a reputation ________ using a lot of fuel.
6.   Some people say SUV drivers do not care ________ the environment.
7.   ________ comparison with other vehicles, SUVs use a lot of fuel.
8.   Higher fuel consumption makes a big difference ________ the environment.

Should people be allowed to drive vehicles that use large quantities of fuel?

Make a list of points for and against driving SUVs.


1 Find the Information  4  Vocabulary . Opposites
1.   Sports utility vehicles
2.   SUVs
3.   SUV Owners of America
4.   A military vehicle
5.   17.3 miles (or as little as 12 miles)
6.   $1.67 a gallon
7.   3.8

2 Key Vocabulary
1.  c
2.  e
3.  f
4.  h
5.  a
6.  g
7.  b

3 Comprehension Check
 1.   c
 2.   b
 3.   c
 4.   a
 5.   b

8.  d

4 Vocabulary . Opposites
1. wealthy
2. fake
3. military
4. private
5. light
6. successful
7. huge
8. cheap
5  Vocabulary - Prepositions
1. against
2. of
3. into
4. of
5. for
6. about
7. in
8. to
Activity #3
This lesson looks good for kids and adults alike.  It’s a different twist on a conversation starter!
Throw a Conversation   Level: High Intermediate Time: 45 minutes

Language Function:  Discussion of predetermined subject; discernment of personal attitude.

Materials:  One die per seven students; the following table on the board.

Throw Time in minutes Subject Personal Attitude # of participants
 1 Parents Proud 7
 2 Food Aggressive 6
 3 Home Shy 5
 4 School Happy 4
 5 U.S.A. Sad 3
 6 Work Stern 2

Arrange students in groups of seven.  Students take turns throwing the die.  First student throws for time limit for each discussion, second throws for subject, third for attitude, and fourth for number of participants.  If there are remaining students in the group, they will listen to keep the others on track.  Language and appropriate mood should be checked.  One listener should be the timekeeper, and another will comment on what was heard.  A maximum of two or three rounds should be played, with the instructor in the background monitoring.
     Recipes for Tired Teachers by C. Sion
Activity # 4
Listening through music activity    Level: All  Time: 30 minutes

Goal: Practice of pronunciation of problematic sounds in spoken English

Materials:  CD or tape of songs to be used; printed lyrics of songs to be used.

The change of the final “t” before an initial “y” to the /ch/ sound can be heard in the lyrics of such as “Don’t you eat of a bitter fruit” in the song “Monya” by Tracy Chapman.  It points out the value of using songs for pronunciation practice in ELL classes.  This particular pronunciation exercise is especially problematic for Asian students because of phonemic differences between their native languages and English.  Listening and singing along enables practice of the natural reductions that occur in spoken English.

Procedure:  Play the song several times, allowing the students to listen.  The students try to sing along a few times with the lyrics.  The important aspect of this activity is that they discern the target phonemic sound, and that they are able to produce said target sound.  Students may also summarize orally the action or theme of the song or give an oral presentation about the song.  The other students may ask questions of the presenter or share something they learned or enjoyed.
Activity # 5

The following is another twist on learning with music.  The following activity was taken from Dave’s ESL Café.  A cloze exercise for one of the songs used for this activity follows.

Materials:  CD or tape of songs to be used; attached cloze exercise.

Teaching English with songs is extremely efficient in teaching language. The students love doing the cloze exercises. They learn all the language skills...
1) Listening...Following the song to determine words.
2) Reading...Reading the lyrics
3) Writing...Filling in the blanks
4) Speaking...Singing the song

Students enjoy learning English with songs and music. The materials found on these pages can be used for students of all levels (over 12 years old, basic reading required).

Low Level

The students are handed the work-sheets (printed from these pages) and told to think about what the missing words may be. They can look at the words at the bottom of the page, each word can be translated, and the meanings are explained. The teacher has the students repeat the words in chorus. After much discussion the music for the song is played and (in pairs), they choose the words that they think that will fill in the blanks. The music is played four times. Finally, the correct words are written on the blackboard and the students mark their papers. (You may want to have students marking each other’s sheet) Finally, the music is played again and the students all sing along to the song with the correct lyrics. For homework, the students must memorize any new vocabulary from the bottom of the work sheet.

Intermediate Level

The students are handed the work-sheets (printed from these pages) and told to look at the words at the bottom of the page. Each word is translated and the meanings are explained. The teacher has the students repeat the words in chorus. Then the words at the bottom of the page are folded under so that the student cannot see them (dependent on level) while the music is played and must fill in the blanks, with correct spelling, from just listening to the music. The students work as individuals (not in pairs) and the song is only played three times. For homework, the students must memorize any new vocabulary from the bottom of the work sheet.

High Level

The students are told to fold the words at the bottom underneath immediately. There is no discussion and the song is played only twice. The students must fill in the blanks with the words they think they hear. The song is marked and those with the highest scores are given applause. The whole song is dissected and any vocabulary that is not known is to be memorized.


When you're .......................(1)and life is making you lonely
You can always go - ...................(2)
When you've got worries all the noise and the ..................(3)
Seems to help, I know - downtown
Just listen to the music of the .................(4) in the city
Linger on the ................(5)where the neon signs are pretty
How can you................(6)?

The lights are much brighter ..................(7)
You can forget all your...............(8),forget all your cares
So go downtown, things i'll be .................(9) when you're
Downtown - no finer place, for sure
Downtown - everything's ..................(10) for you
(downtown - downtown)

Don't hang around and let your..................(11) surround you
There are ................(12)shows - downtown
Maybe you know some little places to go to
Where they never ..................(13) - downtown
Just listen to the ................(14) of a gentle bossa nova
You'll be dancing with him too before the night is over
Happy .................(15)

The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares
So go downtown, where all the ...................(16) are bright
Downtown - waiting for you tonight
Downtown - you're gonna be all right now
And you may find somebody kind to help and understand you
.................(17) who is just like you and needs
a gentle hand to guide them along

So..................(18) I'll see you there
We can forget all our troubles,................(19)all our cares
So go downtown, things'll be great when you're
Downtown - don't wait a ................(20) more
Downtown - everything's waiting for you
Downtown, downtown, downtown, downtown ...
-------------------------fold if required-----------------------
close , great , rhythm , problems , waiting , movie , troubles
traffic , there , sidewalk , lose , downtown , hurry , alone
lights , Someone , minute , forget , maybe , again

Score.............../ 20
Activity #6
Cooking is a great activity for practicing reading, and arithmetic skills.

by Bill Straub

Objectives:  To empower students to teach each other about food handling safety, nutrition, and basic hygiene.  Also gives students a chance to work on counting and reading skills.  To give people a chance to interact socially playing a game, to empower students that they already know a lot about nutrition and cooking.

Materials:  Cut a piece of square colored posterboard (22 inches by 22 inches) to make a game board.  Cut out sixteen different colored pieces of paper (3 inches by 3 inches each) and glue them on the outside edges of game board.  You may want to laminate the game board so it lasts longer.  You can write the following on some of the squares on the board:  safety zone, drink too much caffeine--space out--lose a turn, eat a healthy low-fat meal-take another turn, etc.  You also need a die (or dice), some place markers (plastic figurines from the toy store work well).

Setup:  Make up a set of cards with the following questions:

- From what food group should we eat the most?
- Show us how to properly set the table.
- Where should you put your dirty dishes?
- What should you do with your coffee cups after using them at breaktime?
- If you open a jar of mayonnaise and it's green on top, what should you do with it?
- If you taste some sauce with a spoon should you put the spoon back in the pot to stir it?  Why or why not?
- Should you turn on the stove and leave the kitchen?  Why or why not?
- If a loud buzzer(bell) goes off in this room what would you do?
- If you open a sack of flour and there are worms in there, what should you do?
- You are eating a sandwich and it accidentally falls on the floor.  Should you pick it up and eat it?  Why or why not?
- You are eating lunch.  The person next to you starts coughing and wheezing.  Both of their hands are on
their neck and they cannot talk right now.  What should you do?
- Show how to measure 1 cup of water.
- If you open a container in the refrigerator and it smells like rotting garbage what should you do?
- If you have to cough while in the kitchen what should you do?
- How would a person feel if all they ate were chocolate bars?
- List 3 foods that are fattening.
- List 3 foods that are good for you.
- How should pot handles be facing when left on the stove?
- Should you wash the floor with the same sponge as you use to wash dishes?  Why or why not?
- A young child has gotten under the sink and drunk some bleach.  What should you do?
- If you cut your finger with a knife what would you do?
- Before you start to cook what should you do to your hands?  Why?
- Is it okay to eat pine cones?  Why or why not?
- Which is healthier according to the Food Pyramid?  Fruit Juice or fruit drink?
- Which is better for you?  A soda or a juice?
- Is water good for your body?  Why or why not?
- What happens if you drink too much water at one time?
- How can a person tell how much fat a product contains?
- How do you use a napkin?  Why?
- What if you need to burp while eating?
- What are two things that are examples of good manners in the U.S.?

Procedure:  Tell students that we are going to play a game about cooking class and nutrition.  Each person chooses a marker and places it anywhere on the board.  Choose one person to go first and have them throw the die and move that number of spaces.  If they land on a safety square then they can explain one safety rule in the kitchen (have them sign or point if they are non-verbal).  If they land on a blank square then they should pick up a game card and read it to the class (or the teacher can read it if necessary).
Have student answer question or if they can't ask someone else.  Teacher should give lots of positive reinforcement for right answers.  Use the game as a discussion starter about nutrition and eating well.  This game also can help teacher check on student's counting and reading skills.  You can also have students make up their own questions about cooking/nutrition -- keep a stack of blank 3 by 5 cards for this purpose.


Activity #7

A couple of things stand out in this activity, first it can be adapted for all levels, and also, it comes with an additional language version.

A game for use in the language classroom
The idea for this game has been supplied by George Tomlinson. He teaches at  Kuso Junior High School in Pusan, Korea.  This page has been made using George's instructions and original text.
A suggested blackboard layout.

 100  200  300  400

Team A   Team B
Note: The word for word dictionary that George recommends is available here at Amazon Books. Just click on these links if you want to buy it.

Spanish Version: Word by Word : Diccionario Ilustrado de Inglés

How to Play:
Copy the suggested blackboard layout (above) onto the blackboard. Divide the students into groups of teams. The numbers refer to the difficulty of the questions ie, 100 is very easy whereas 400 is more difficult.
A team chooses a type of question eg. Body 200. You then ask the question: It's in the middle of the leg and we all have two of them. Answer knee.  You then put a cross in the "body 200" box so that this question will not be asked again.  The team who gets the right answer can continue to pick the category... The team with the most points wins...
Delegate the task of writing on the blackboard to two students.  This allows the teacher a chance to monitor the exercise and all he/she has to do is give the category descriptions. As students get better some of them will even be able to deliver the descriptions of the categories themselves as the MC of the game. This detracts from the listening skills that they can acquire and they do not see the TPR being performed so that the meaning of the word is permanently recorded into their long term memory bank.
Some Possible Categories:
Places: (Geography)
Places: (Around Town) Bank, Store
School: (Classroom) (Classroom actions) (TPR)
Family: (twins, brother-in-law, great grandmother, nephew, cousin)
Activities: (everyday) work, cook, clean, drive
Weather: drizzling, sleeting, hazy, foggy
Hobbies: painting, sculpting, knitting
Music: tuba, cymbals, reggae, jazz, ska
Occupations: architect, butcher, firefighter
Fruit: mango, cherry, kiwi, persimmon
Vegetables:  pepper, cucumber, onion
Body: pinky, thumb, ankle, wrist
Emotions: nervous, hungry, sleepy
Mammals: zebra, hippo, skunk, whale
Birds: duck, peacock, ostrich,penguin
Examples of questions:
I am thinking of a fruit that grows in tropical regions. It begins with an "M." And is nowadays popular ingredient in iced tea..... Mango.
I am thinking of a fruit that is famous in New Zealand.  It is small, round  and its color is brown. Its inside color is green and black..... Kiwi

This is my hand and this is (pointing to it).... wrist
This is my wrist and these are my...... fingers
These are my fingers and this is my.... thumb
This is my thumb and this is my.........  pinky
Activity #8
The following activity reminded me of the youngest Lao sibling Cham’s drawings and subsequent essays.  I was very excited when I found this because I had been so happy for Cham when he found a successful means of telling his story.
A Book About Me is a project that can be undertaken toward the end of the semester. It allows students to relate specific topics covered throughout the semester to their own lives. It can be worked on over the course of one or two weeks as part of review lessons for the final exam.
Students draw illustrations, cut out magazine pictures, bring in photos, or even some combination of the all the above. These are then written about. The text and illustrations can be mounted on construction paper or laid out on loose leaf paper.
Goal:  To familiarize the class with the idea of creating a book, it is a good idea to start with a smaller project called, The Class Book, where each student designs one page with an illustration and text on any subject they like. The teacher uses the pages to demonstrate the binding together process. The students then have an example book to work from, and they understand the process enough to work more independently.
Materials needed include:
· construction paper
· glue
· masking tape
· a stapler
· scissors
· markers or crayons
· magazines.
These materials can be cheaply found by shopping around in 99 cents stores. Also, people often throw away neatly tied bundles of magazines and catalogs.  They can also be picked up for free on recycling day.
Below are some suggestions for topics with page references for vocabulary from The New Oxford Picture Dictionary.
· When I was born
· Where I live pages (27-34)
· The Country I Came From (70-71)
· The Clothes I Like to Wear (19-24)
· My Favorite Season (25-26)
· My favorite Animal (65-69)
· The Food I Like to Eat (6-18)
· My Family (2-3)
· Places I Go (56, 70-74, 87, 90-91)
· My School (76-79)
· Cars I Like (50-51)
· Sports I Like to Play (92-97)
· Where I Work (14-15, 82-86)
· Plants and Trees That I Like (60-61)
· Music (98-99)
· My Future Goals
Activity #9
I think this is a wonderful activity for any age.  As it says in Jodie’s introduction to the lesson, it can be used as a starting point that will hopefully motivate people of other cultures to share their special celebrations.  After several unsuccessful attempts at trying to add the referenced PDF files, I’ve given up.  They can be found at the attached website.

This holiday season promote peace and appreciation for the diverse cultures in your school by taking advantage of the natural resource that is in your classroom. Begin with this lesson on Christmas in Mexico.

Do you want to increase the self-esteem of your English language learners? Winter holidays provide the perfect opportunity to explore other cultures.
Help American children learn to respect the cultures of other people and, at the same time, develop pride in their heritage among children from diverse backgrounds.
Many of the second language speakers in our schools come from Spanish-speaking countries. Help all the students in your class develop appreciation of Mexican culture through this lesson on Christmas in Mexico.
Lesson Topic:
To identify how Christmas holidays are celebrated in Mexico; to compare Mexican holidays with U.S. holidays; to learn Mexican customs.
la posada (inn); candle; Christmas Eve flower (poinsettia); piñata
Pictures of piñatas or a real piñata, a poinsettia, Fiesta music from Mexico; Venn Diagram
Instructional Sequence
1. Have students discuss one of their own holiday customs and share it with their class or ESL group.
2. Point out Mexico on the map and ask questions about the location of Mexico such as "What continent is Mexico on? Is north or south of the U.S.? What language do people speak there?"
3. Explain that most Mexicans are Catholic and celebrate Christmas. In Mexico Christmas holidays start on December 16th and last 9 nights. Each night families act out the journey that Mary and Joseph made to Bethlehem. They knock at doors asking for shelter.
4. Have students look at information about Christmas on Mexico on the internet. See http://www.mexconnect.com/mex_/feature/xmasindex.html.  Brainstorm a list of the sequence of events for the Mexican celebration with students.
· Families gather together. They march around the house singing a special prayer and carrying candles. They pretend they are Mary and Joseph looking for a room in an inn. This procession is called the “posada.”
· Introduce the piñata to your students. Explain that piñatas come from Mexico and are made of papier-mâché. If you cannot get a real piñata, have students make one. Directions for this are at Elisa Kleven'swebsite.
· Families go to midnight church services on Christmas Eve. They then have a big celebration which lasts all night.
· On January 5th the children put out their shoes for a visit from the Three Wise Men who leave gifts.
· Discuss the legend of the poinsettia. Have students color the poinsettia and explain how it got its name. Find information at Nochebuena - Poinsettia. Try our PDF download Poinsettia Plant.
5. To find a list of how to say "Merry Christmas in different languages try Santa.net.
6. To have students compare their holiday celebrations with Christmas in Mexico, download PDF Christmas in Mexico Venn Diagram.
Activity #10

This activity is appropriate for intermediate and advanced levels.  It is a good science and cultural lesson.  Last but not least, who doesn’t like chocolate!

Part One: Introduction
The name seems to fit the commodity - the word "chocolate" sounds firm, brittle, with the "crack" of breaking chocolate before melting into the "l" sound.
While thinking about the word's ancestry, it's necessary to recall that most of the world now thinks of chocolate always being combined with sugar and made into a confection.
This was not always so. Unknown outside America until the mid 16th century, the flavor of the cacao bean infused in hot water was rather bitter, which was how Spanish explorers first encountered it and subsequently took the beans to Spain.
Variations developed there - adding cinnamon or vanilla, sometimes sweetening and sometimes not. The popularity of this hot drink spread widely throughout Europe. Adding condensed milk and firming fats did not begin until the 19th century, when solid confectionery chocolate as we know it now, was developed.
 Part Two: Where did the word 'chocolate' come from?
Some scholars believe that in its place of origin the ancient name for chocolate was xocoatyl meaning "bitter water," originating from the Aztec language called Nahuatl.
But there is dispute about this - since the Nahuatl language appears not to contain that exact word. Chocolate historians Sophie and Michael Coe believe that Spanish conquerors living in America loved to drink chocolate but resisted the Spanish pronunciation of the Aztec word. Spoken in Spanish it had a "caca" sound at the beginning - reminiscent of the universal children's word for excrement, thus rather unwelcome in elegant society... especially when describing something brown.
To overcome this social disability, a sound from another American language - Mayan - drifted into use to make the original Nahuatl word somewhat more respectable-sounding. 'Choco,' (Mayan for 'hot') slid into use to replace the sound 'caca,' (Nahuatl for 'bitter').
The result was a hybrid of two languages - choco-latl that was socially acceptable when spoken in Spanish, and became the basis for one of the best-known international words.
 Part Three: Words Words Words
There are lots of words connected with chocolate. Which ones do you recognize?
Nouns: (in no particular order) chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, cocoa, chockie, choc-bar, chocoholic, cocoa butter, cocoa solids, hot chocolate, iced chocolate, chocolate éclair, devil's food cake, ganache, mocha, sacher torte, chocolatier... (Remember: "chocolate" is uncountable, but "chocolates" - as in "a box of chocolates" - are countable.)
Adjectives: chocolaty or chocolatey, and the interesting chocolate-box - which means being overly sentimental or cutely pretty (for example a photo of a chocolate Labrador with large, sad eyes).

Part Four: Questions Questions Questions
Here are some general knowledge questions.
1. Which are the top three chocolate eating countries in the world (per capita)? Choose from these countries.
a. The USA
b. Norway
c. Germany
d. Brazil
e. Switzerland
f. Belgium
g. The United Kingdom
2. What did the Aztecs add to their hot chocolate drink?
a. sugar
b. chili
c. vanilla
3.   How many cups of hot chocolate a day did the Aztec emperor    Montezuma drink?
                             a. 5
        b. 15
        c. 50
      4.   When did the first hot chocolate cafe open in London?
      a. 1657
      b. 1757
      c. 1857
 Part Five: Did You Know?
Did you know that chocolate...
· contains 'phenylethylamine' (try pronouncing that quickly), a chemical which is produced by the brain when you fall in love?
· contains iron? (Now you have a good excuse to eat it, you need to keep your strength up!)
· contains vitamin B? (A stress relieving vitamin. Every busy teacher needs to manage stress, so eat up!)
· is a vegetable? (Remember your mother told you to eat plenty of vegetables!)
The Answers: 1. First Switzerland and joint second Norway and the United Kingdom.
2. Chili pepper.
3. 50
4. 1657

Activity # 11
Competition idioms

Activity type: Information-gap puzzle

Time: 15–20 minutes

Preparation:  Photocopy enough of the accompanying sheets labeled "Student A" for half of the class and enough sheets labeled "Student B" for the other half.

Procedure: Have students form pairs. For each pair, give one partner a "Student A" and the other partner a "Student B" sheet. "Student A" has the even-numbered idioms and the definitions for the odd-numbered idioms. "Student B" has the odd-numbered idioms and the definitions for the even-numbered idioms. Explain that the task is to match the idioms and their definitions. Write the following two models on the board as a guide:
What's the idiom that means . . . ?
What does . . . mean?
When all the pairs have finished this part of the activity, go over the answers. Next have them work together to complete the sentences with the correct idioms. Make sure they understand that it will sometimes be necessary to adapt the idiom either by changing or omitting the form of the verb or by using a different adjective or pronoun.

Option: Set up a contest where the pair that uses the most idioms properly in grammatically correct sentences wins.

Correct answers:
1. to kick yourself –to be angry or annoyed with yourself  2. to throw in the towel –to give up or quit something
3. to be run down –to be physically exhausted  4. par for the course –something that is expected or usual
5. sink or swim –in an extreme, unfamiliar situation, you do what you must do to survive or fail  6. The ball is in your court. –it is your turn to take the next step or do the next action
7. to play hardball –to act forcefully and aggressively in a situation, usually in business  8. to throw a tantrum –to show anger suddenly, usually because you cannot get something you want

a. I worked for fourteen hours yesterday and the day before that. I'm really run-down, and I need to sleep!
b. John tried many times to snowboard, but because he broke his arm, he threw in the towel.
c. Margaret is late again today! In fact, she's always late. I guess it's just par for the course!
d. I want to kick myself! I made some really stupid mistakes on my exam!
e. A lot of university freshmen fail the first year because it's so difficult. It's sink or swim!
f. I don't care if Gerard was really tired. He's too old to throw a tantrum just because his soup was cold!
g. Large corporations usually get what they want because they have enough money to play hardball with anyone who disagrees with them.
h. Tim and Sara had a big fight. Tim sent Sara some flowers and now the ball is in Sara's/her court.
Copyright © Cambridge University Press
Name: _____________________________________________ Date: ____________________________

Activity # 12
This looks like a good lesson for a beginning class of ELL.
Presenting new vocabulary
At the presentation stage, it is vital that the meaning of new words is clear. I am a great advocate of avoiding mother tongue in the English classroom. Translation is unnecessary and indirect and creates a dependence in students that is later hard to cure.

To present concrete vocabulary: a staged approach

Example:  Fruit
1.   Bring in a bag of different fruit – six to eight items at a time is plenty
2.   Pick up one fruit and say the word clearly a number of times, encourage the students to repeat the word
3.   Go through all the words in this way
4.   Return regularly to a word they have already been introduced to and check they have remembered it e.g. pick up a banana and say ‘an apple?’ or ‘is this an apple?’, students should be able to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ appropriately before you move on to check the vocabulary further
5.   To further check that students have connected the new word to the meaning ask students individually ‘show me the banana’ etc. they will get actively involved in recognizing the target word and indicating the object which it describes

With vocabulary like animals, pictures can be used.

With verbs actions can be used – walk, sit, swim, hop etc and students encouraged to respond to the words with the appropriate actions – this is a great game.

Once children have been introduced to the alphabet and have started reading and writing words, after the introduction of the meaning and sound of new words, introduce the written form. Make flashcards with words on them, read them aloud with the students and get them to match the words to the objects or pictures.

          b_ _k                                  c_a_r                                  p_ _c_l

Get students to write the words under pictures like this:

Students must hear correct models of the target vocabulary in order to copy the pronunciation and to recognize the words later. They should also have plenty of practice of saying the words in order to get the pronunciation right and to help memorization. Choral repetition of words is useful but can become meaningless. To keep focused on meaning, try choral repetition like this:
Put these five faces on the board:

When children repeat the words they have to do so conveying these emotions. Try it with the word chocolate. Children enjoy doing this and they do the activity meaningfully.

Chants and songs, such as Jazz Chants by Carolyn Graham are a good way to get students repeating vocabulary and by adding actions, focus on meaning is not lost.

Get students moving their arms wide apart when they say big and close together when they say little to indicate meaning. Students can also make up their own verses with other animals, which they decide are big or little – or even other objects like house and cup.

Activity #13
At the beginning of class during the stragglers’ arrival, I like to do pronunciation drills. These would be great class starters.
These are tongue twisters sent to the CUNY TESL mailing list. Students love the challenge.
· She saw shy sheep.
· Rubber baby buggy bumpers.
· How much wood would a wood chuck chuck, if a wood chuck could chuck wood?
· Moses supposes his toeses are roses,/But Moses supposes erroneously./For Moses he knowses his toeses aren't roses,/Like Moses supposes his toeses to be.
· The Leith police dismisseth us, which causeth us dismay.
· A fly and a flea in a flue,/Were caught. So what did they do?/Said the fly, "Let us flee!"/Said the flea, "Let us fly!"/So they flew through a flaw in the flue.
· This snail is stale./It's tail is stale./And this is stale tale.
· " Betty Botta bought some butter./"oh," she said, "this butter's bitter!/If I use this bitter butter/It will make my batter bitter./I need a bit of better butter/ Just to make my batter better."/ Betty bought a bit of better butter./ Now Betty's batter isn't bitter.
· Round the rugged rock the ragged rascal ran.
· This isn't really a tongue twister, but it makes an excellent example of the ambiguities, and humor of the English language:Time flys./You can't./They fly too fast.
More tongue twisters can be found at:Twister          http://members.aol.com/Jakajk/ESLtwo.html#THE%20VERB%20TREE
Activity # 14
This looks like good filler at the end of class, when the lesson plan moves along more quickly than expected.
Level: Beginner to advanced.
Skills Practiced: Recognizing opposites.
Time: 5 -10 minutes.
Preparation: Cut up the attached beginner, intermediate or advanced cards or make your own set of cards.
'Opposites' Card Set (Beginner)

warm cool east
west thin fat
high low quick
slow easy difficult
cheap expensive far
near winter summer

'Opposites' Card Set (Intermediate)

rough smooth shallow
deep generous mean
brave cowardly fascinating
boring enormous tiny
nervous relaxed messy
tidy hard-working lazy

'Opposites' Card Set (Advanced)

pessimistic optimistic transparent
opaque introvert extrovert
wealth poverty credit
debit rural urban
bland tasty profit
loss ancient modern

How it Works

1. Divide the class into pairs or groups of 3 to 4. Give each pair or group a complete set of 18 shuffled cards and have them place the cards face down in 3 rows of 6 in such a way that no-one sees what is written on any of the cards.

2. One player then begins by picking up any two cards and showing them to the group. If the player believes the cards are a match (i.e. one has a word and the other has its opposite), he or she says so and keeps the cards. If the player believes the two cards are not a match, he or she returns them face down to the same positions from where they were taken. Then the next player to the left takes any two cards, and so on.

3. The game continues until all the cards have been claimed as 'matches', with the player having the most cards at the end winning.

- If players believe a pair of cards claimed as a 'match' are not, in fact, a match, they may ask for the teacher to check. If they are a match, the player picking up the cards keeps them. If not, they are returned to the same positions face down from where they were taken.
- This game tests not only knowledge of opposites, but also short-term memory. Players must try to recall what is written on the cards they have already seen and their positions in order to choose 'matches'.

Variation for a smaller class: In order to keep a pair of matching cards, a player must correctly use each word in a sentence. If a small number of pairs or groups are playing, have each call you to come and check whether the sentences are correct or not when necessary
Activity #15
Poetry is used around the world to teach language to children.  I think this an activity that would be an interesting way to work with this tried and true method of language acquisition.
Description:  PIZZAZ! is dedicated to providing simple creative writing and oral storytelling activities with copyable (yes, copyable!) handouts for use with students of all ages. Permission is given to use these resources for in-class, non-profit use only.

Prerequisite: An interest in using English in fun, dynamic ways!

ESOL Student Level: Beginner through Advanced

Sample Cinquain
by Saud

Sad, destructive
Killing, injuring, destroying
A thing that kills life.

Briefly examine structured forms of poetry from students' native languages as an introduction, eg. haiku poems from Japanese. In our class, we often link the cinquaines to things such as a nature walk just off campus, closure for a certain class activity/unit, end-of-term remembrance, etc.

1. Students work in small groups of 3-5. Each group has one example poem, and the tasks:
a) Identify the structure / form of the poem (what are the parts of speech in each line); and,
b) Report orally and informally to the rest of the class on the feeling / tone of the poem.
c) Answer the question: What is the relationship between the first and last lines?
Students can use dictionaries, as necessary, to figure out unfamiliar words.
2. Students report on their assigned poems. (Optional: students practice with the instructor orally beforehand and then read their assigned poem to the class.)
The structural form is then written on the board or screen and/or presented on a handout. Example:

Line 1: War = 1 NOUN-A
Line 2: Sad, destructive = 2 related ADJECTIVES
Line 3: Killing, injuring, destroying = 3 descriptive GERUNDS (verb + -ing)
Line 4: A thing that kills life. = 1 complete, related SENTENCE
Line 5: Terminator = 1 NOUN-B (a synonym of NOUN-A)
3. Students' observations regarding synonyms, parts of speech on each line, emotional tone, etc. are also discussed / outlined clearly.
4. Individual groups then "brainstorm" as many possible pairs of synonyms as they can create. The teacher puts the pairs up on the board / overhead screen as suggestions (eg. vacation-holidays, artist-creator, Paris-paradise, life-journey, , ......). Students can use a dictionary and/or thesaurus.
5. Students and the instructor choose one of the brainstormed topics and write a cinquaine poem together on the board / overhead screen. Optional: copy it down and add it to the class collection if a class anthology is in the works.
6. Working individually with a template (see sample below), students write one or more cinquaines on the subject(s) of their choice. (Poems can also be written or transferred onto a computer VIA a teacher-prepared template.)

(written by adult intermediate-level ESL students)

by Miki

Clear, wonderful
Slapping, whirling, flowing
The river is cold.

by Khaled

Beautiful, pure
Refreshing, enjoying, relaxing
Nature is healthy.

by Min

Active, free
Flying, sitting, crying
A dove is free.

by Miki

Greasy, long
Winding, swimming, moving
An eel is strange.

Make up your own examples, using simpler or more complex vocabulary/topics, to tailor this activity to your particular students' level.


Title of Poem
Author's Name

_____________, ___________
_______________, ______________, _______________
____________________________________________________ .

1. Students' work can be compiled into a class anthology for reading, autographing, souvenirs, and so on.
2. Illustrate poems with hand drawn or computer-generated images.


ESOL/ESL Activities

Listening Activities

1. Simon Says

Description of the Activity

The students may sit in a circle or rows. The students are commanded to do various physical tasks given by the teacher. For an example, the teacher might say, "Simon says place you hands on top of your head". The students are supposed to place their hands on top of their heads. This activity can focus on body parts, directions, articles of clothing etc.

Pedagogical and Linguistic Value

Simon Says is a physical activity that focuses on listening skills. It helps teachers model the oral syntax of the target language. It also caters to the kinesthetic learner, and promotes the Total Physical Response approach of teaching a second language because the students are given specific physical directions to follow in the target language.

Source: The Best of Mailbox (Pre-Kindergarten)

Speaking Activities

2. Picture Bingo

How to Play

Picture Bingo is a game that focuses on identifying and matching pictures that are found in our daily lives. It is a traditional Bingo game using only pictures. This game includes several pictures of things in our world such as animals, modes of transportation, people etc. As in most Bingo games, there are individual game boards which include various pictures and separate matching game cards.  The number of players can range from 2-6 players. There is normally a designated player to say and show the pictures (this can be the teacher or a student) while the remaining players attempt to find the same picture on their individual game card. The player who fills their game board first wins the game.

Pedagogical and Linguistic Value

I would use this game to expose second language learners to and develop vocabulary. This game helps them associate names with pictures, and also gives the second language learners opportunities to practice and become familiar with everyday vocabulary.

Source: Picture Bingo is a commercially produced product that can be purchased in any teacher resource store like Lakeshore or Schoolbox.

3. Verb Concentration

How to Play

Verb Concentration includes several sets of pictures which illustrate people doing various things such as walking, jumping, kicking etc. All of the pictures are placed face down. Each player will turn over a picture and identify the action being illustrated, then attempt to find the matching picture. When a student finds the matching picture they are given another opportunity to find a match. If they fail to find a matching picture, they lose their turn to another player. The player with the most matches wins the game.

Pedagogical and Linguistic Value

Verb Concentration is a game which focuses on action words.  It gives second language learners exposure, helps identify and gives opportunities to practice using action words. Through this activity second language learners are able to associates pictures with words, which assists them in gathering meaning from the second language. In the process, the students are also expanding their second language vocabulary.

Source: A modified version of the traditional Concentration game. Received from a Cobb County third grade teacher at Riverside Elementary.

4. I-Spy

Description of the Activity

A student is chosen by the teacher to describe an object and its position in the classroom (in the front or back of the classroom) without identifying it. The student would start the game by saying, "I spy something big and green at the front of the room". The goal is for the class to guess which item is being described. Once the item has been identified, then another student is given a chance to choose an object.

Pedagogical and Linguistic Value
I-Spy is an activity that focuses on developing and practicing descriptive and position vocabulary words. This is very important as they begin to acquire the second language and become proficient readers, writers and speakers. The students are also negotiating meaning as they attempt to identify the mystery object. For example, if a student chooses a blue ball located at the back of the room, they might say, "I-Spy something big and round in the back of the room". If there is also a green ball in the back of the room, which is the same shape and size as the blue ball, students might choice the green ball. The student describing the object would have to clarify their statement by saying, "I-Spy something big, round, and blue in the back of the room" which would help the students choice the correct object.

Source: A Children's Book entitled I-Spy produced by Scholastic INC.

5. Circle Story

Description of the Activity

The students sit in a circle formation. They are encouraged to create an oral story. Each student is involved in creating it. They may add a few details or several details. A ball is passed around to students to indicate when it is their turn. The teacher normally begins the story to model the story telling technique. Once she has finished, she then passes the ball to a student until each child has had an opportunity. Only the student holding the ball is able to contribute to the story.

Pedagogical and Linguistic Value

Circle Story is an activity which involves creating oral stories. It gives second language learners the opportunity to practice speaking the second language in a creative manner. The second language learners are also encouraged to use their listening skills so when it is their turn they are able to add details which follow the sequential flow of the story. This activity can also be used to model the elements of a story (i.e. beginning, middle and ending).

Source: I observed this activity in a Pre-Kindergarten classroom.

6. Show and Tell

Description of the Activity

Each student would be encouraged to bring one or two of their favorite things to school. They would stand in front of the class or near their desk or table and describe the items, then explain why it is their favorite. The students would also be encouraged to answer questions concerning the items.

Pedagogical and Linguistic Value

Show and Tell is an activity which encourages second language learners to speak about their favorite things. This activity allows second language learners to practice speaking the target language. In addition, it give them practice with asking and answering questions with emphasis on some of the social conventions of speaking (i.e. turn taking, wait time).

Source: The Best of Mailbox (Kindergarten)

7. Mystery Bag

Description of the Activity

The teacher places a mystery item in a brown paper bag, and encourages the students to guess the contents. The students are only allowed to ask, "Yes" or "No" type questions such as "Is it round?" " Is it yellow?".  As a clue is confirmed, the teacher will chart it to help the students remember what has already been asked.  The students will continue asking questions until someone guesses the contents of the bag.

Pedagogical and Linguistic Value

The Mystery Bag activity gives second language learners practice with asking questions.  It encourages problem-solving skills as they attempt to figure out what is in the bag. In addition it also emphasizes some social conventions of speaking such as wait time for responding. There are different types of questions in the English language and this activity exposes student to "Yes" and "No" type questions.

Source: I observed this activity demonstrated by one of my undergraduate professors at Georgia State University during my student teaching experience.

8. Dictated Stories

Description of the Activity

The students will dictate a story using a wordless book. The teacher will show and discuss the pictures in the book. After discussing it, the teacher will encourage the students to brainstorm words to add to each page of the book and chart them. A book suggestion is Tuesday by David Weisner.

Pedagogical and Linguistic Value

Creating a dictated story gives second language learners practice with speaking. They are also able to observe a variety of writing conventions modeled by the teacher as she charts their responses. The teacher may use this opportunity to address some of the challenges second language learners may have with the mechanics of writing. Incorporating wordless books are a great way to help students gather meaning from the language through the use of pictures. This activity is also a great reading comprehension strategy. In order for the student to create text to match the pictures, they have to understand the story.

Source: Reading Strategy

9. Singing a Song  (Old McDonald)

Description of the Activity

The students would sing the lyrics to the song Old McDonald. The teacher would encourage the students to substitute different animal names each time they sang the song, and to physically illustrate it. For example, the lyrics to Old McDonald are:

Old McDonald had a farm ei ei o
and on that farm he had some cows, ei ei o
with a moo moo here and a moo moo there
here a moo there a moo everywhere a moo moo
Old McDonald had a farm ei ei o.

The students could "Moo" like a cow and sing it again replacing the cow with a pig and the sound it makes. They can also substitute insect names such as a bumblebee, different sounds (i.e. police siren), or storybook character names such as a giant instead of animal names. The students could also imitate the sounds and add movements where possible.

Pedagogical and Linguistic Value

Singing Songs that have repetitive lyrics is a great way to help second language learners with the target language.  The language is spoken in a rhythmic pattern, which lays the groundwork for reading. Singing and adding movements also caters to the kinesthetic learner.

Source: Well-known song

Writing Activities

10. Phonics Hangman

Description of the Activity

Phonics Hangman is an activity which involves practicing phonics skills. The teacher will need a big dry erase easel or a large piece of chart paper and several random pictures. The following steps describe the activity: tape one of the pictures on the easel or chart paper and draw the hangman diagram (see diagram below). Draw a small line for each letter in the spelling of the picture. For example, if the picture is of a cat, then draw three lines. Encourage the students to sound out the word as a class, then choose students to give you a letter they think they hear in the word. If a letter is given and it is not in the word, the drawing of the hangman begins. For each letter that is given but not in the spelling of the word, another part of the hangman is drawn. First the head, second the body, third one arm, fourth the other arm, fifth one leg, sixth the other leg, seventh one of the eyes, eighth the other eye, ninth the nose, tenth the smile. If the hangman is completely drawn before all the letters are given, the teacher will fill in the rest of the letters and she wins the point. If the students identify all of the letters before the hangman is completed, then the students receive the point.

Diagram of the Hangman


Pedagogical and Linguistic Value

Phonics Hangman is an activity which emphasizes phonics skills. It gives second language learners opportunities to practice sounding out words, which is very beneficial in the writing process when attempting to spell words. In addition, it also exposes them to some of the spelling rules and exceptions in the English language. During this activity the students are also learning about phonemic awareness in that each letter represents a sound and are put together to create words.

Source: I adapted this activity from the original version of Hangman to practice phonics skills with Kindergartners.

11. Daily News

Description of the Activity

The teacher will need to place a large piece of chart or butcher paper in a center. The students will be encouraged to write about, on the chart or butcher paper, various events that take place during the school day they would like to share with the class. For example, one of the students might write about loosing an item in the classroom or comment on the difficulty of a test. The students are only allowed to write about things that take place during the present school day. At the end of the day the students will read what they have written.

Pedagogical and Linguistic Value

The Daily News activity focuses on writing. It allows the second language learners to practice writing using an informal and non-threatening technique. Although the students practice a variety of writing conventions such as writing from left-to-right, top-to-bottom, emphasis is not placed on grammar or mechanics, but on the actual writing. The students are also given practice in reading as they read what they have written.

Source: I observed this writing technique presented at the Georgia Write Now Conference at Georgia State University.

12. Creating a Picture Dictionary

Description of the Activity

As the students learn new vocabulary words, they can create a dictionary using illustrations. The students can be creative with constructing the dictionary. I would suggest using a sturdy material such as heavy-duty construction paper and white paper with no lines. The students may choose to decorate the front and back of the dictionary to give it a personal touch. After learning a new word, they would illustrate it using pictures. For an example, if they learned the word cat the students would draw a picture of a cat. If it is an action word such as walking, the student may choose to draw a person walking. To add a bilingual component, the students may write a word for the picture in both the native language and the second language.

Pedagogical and Linguistic Value

Creating a dictionary would help second language learners with building vocabulary. The students would not only know how to use the word in written and spoken language, but also represent it using illustrations which is a higher order thinking skill. This activity helps students associate pictures with words, which is how many second language learners initially gather meaning. The dictionary could also serve as a resource for the students.

Source: I heard it mentioned in the ESOL Summer Institute.

13. Grammar Tic Tac Toe

Description of the Activity

The focus of this activity is on present and past tense verbs. The teacher would draw a Tic Tac Toe grid on chart paper or a dry erase easel and divide the students into two groups, the X's and the O's. She would then read sentences omitting the verbs. The students will be responsible for deciding which verb and its tense are missing. If the students in the X group identify the correct verb tense, then they are able to choose where the X is placed on the Tic Tac Toe grid. If the students fail to give the correct verb tense, then the students from the O group would be allowed to place an O on the grid and vice versa. The group that gets three letters in a row wins the game.

Pedagogical and Linguistic Value

Grammar Tic Tac Toe would give second language learners practice with parts of speech and emphasize the importance of verbs in the target language. The activity would also illustrate how meaning can be altered depending on which tense of a verb is being used.

Source: ESOL games.com

14. Journal Writing (Stages of a Butterfly)

Description of the Activity

This activity may take the course of about three weeks to a month. The teacher would need to purchase a butterfly kit. The students would be encouraged to keep a journal of the stages of a butterfly, using illustrations and words or just illustrations depending on their comfort level. Each day the students would observe the butterfly, record their observations in their journal, and discuss their findings.

Pedagogical and Linguistic Value

Journal writing is a great method for second language learners to practice a variety of writing conventions and to become proficient writers.  Also the journal illustrations help students to convey meaning when they have limited proficiency in the target language.

Source: This is an activity I created when we were during a unit on insects.

Reading Activities

15. Reader's Theatre

Description of the Activity

Reader's Theatre focuses on reading comprehension. The students can use their favorite play or poem and add movements as they read to illustrate the story. This activity can be performed whole group or in small groups depending on the text.

Pedagogical and Linguistic Value

Reader's Theatre is a great reading strategy to help second language learners with reading comprehension. In most cases the text is read several times so that the students are able to incorporate corresponding movements with the text to convey meaning. This activity also caters to the kinesthetic learner.

Source: www.readerstheatre.com