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* Plants & Flowers in the ESL class *

27 May

It’s Spring time, the moment when flowers blossom and everything looks more colourful and pretty thanks to them. Who doesn’t like flowers? I don’t really know anyone who doesn’t.

Using the flowers as a catch, I transform my ESL lessons into Science lessons without my pupils really noticing any difference.

To introduce the subject, we watch an episode of Peep and the big wide world called “Peep plants a seed”. It is adorable!

This episode gives us the chance to start talking a little bit about who has got plants or flowers in their homes, who takes care of them, etc.

Also, Peep teaches us what a plant needs to grow. In order to practice what we just learnt through the episode, there is this perfect online game where we need to help Calliou grow a garden

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Besides, I found a great song called “The planting song” with a fantastic video that reinforces understanding the process of how to grow a plant. I’m in love with this song, it is so catchy!

 

Something quite exciting to do, if you’re school has got a garden, is to do what Peep does in the episode and plant some seeds and see what happens. Now that we know what a plant needs to grow it should be ok! Every day, some pupils can go and check the evolution of the seed and keep a record by taking a photo and writing down what’s in there.

A nice worksheet to work on what they are doing is this one you can see below. On the left there is the task to do and on the right the images to be printed out and laminated so you can use them as an example when explaining the activity.

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Since we are in the process of taking care of our own garden, it is a good moment to learn a chant about it. It is called “My Garden”. I hope you like my tutorial 🙂

This is the worksheet I made to work on the lyrics of the chant:

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THE LITTLE POLAR BEAR

8 Apr

Most of my lesson plans are developed after a book, a story or a cartoon episode. This time, the lesson plan I share is based on one of the adventures of The Little Polar Bear. In winter, I focus my first grade lessons on everything related to this season: clothes we wear, food we eat, activities we can do, animals we can see, weather conditions, etc.

Before watching the cartoon episode called “The snow storm”, I tell my pupils we are going to watch a story about an animal that lives in the Arctic, but they have to guess what animal it is. After sharing their opinions, I switch on the projector so they can see the cute face of The Little Bear. They usually go “awww so cute” 😀

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After watching the video, we answer to a few comprehension questions:

  • Who else is in the story besides the Little Bear?
  • What are the names of the two main characters?
  • What’s the weather like?
  • What is the problem of Lass?
  • What do Lass and Lina like of each other?
  • What is the solution for Lass’ problem?

Usually, the polar bear is quite a popular animal amongst little children. Which keeps them motivated and interested.

We work on some body parts and compare them with the human body parts:

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We also work on some general information about Polar Bears through a little investigation we do. Working in groups of 4, the pupils have to share their knowledge and come to a decision about these features:

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Once all the groups are done, we put together what we have decided. If there are some doubts, we check the information here national geographic website.

After the hard work, it’s time to learn a song about the Little Bear! (sorry for my horrible singing skills).

 

It can also be fun to make their own polar bear craft! Here there are some examples. The one I like the most is the craft you make using your own hand 🙂

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IT’S WINTER TIME!

5 Jan

I guess some of you are already back to work and others, like me, are getting ready to start the 2nd term next Monday.

I love creating lesson plans based on the seasons, festivities and other events that my pupils really enjoy because they are part of their everyday life.

Winter, despite being my least favourite season, can also be pretty cool! So I would like to share the materials and ideas that I have ready for next week 🙂

Visual resources are amazing to make sure your pupils connect with you. That is why I liked the “I like Winter” song video to start my lesson plan with.

It is a great way to start a conversation about what activities we can do, what food we eat and what clothes we wear in winter.

Next, i focus on the winter clothes. First we look at some clothes flashcards and then we classify them in 3 groups: cold weather, hot weather and anytime.

To reinforce the names of the winter clothing, there is this cute chant I found. It is not a common chant, it is a kind of conversation chant. It is called “Snow day!”An extra activity would be to invent a third paragraph in small groups and then they can share them.

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I made this worksheet to make sure my pupils are able to recognise the winter clothing we have been focusing on. Projecting the task on the smartboard, we do it orally all together. Then, they have to do it individually on the paper.

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One of my favourite resources, besides songs, are stories. I found a perfect wintery snowy story that my pupils usually love! It is a traditional Ukranian tale called “The Mitten”:

Something quite fun after watching the story is to draw a huge mitten and role play the story. Children love pretending to be animals, specially if they are fluffy and cute!

To finish this winter lesson plan, each pupil is given two templates to make their own mittens! We decorate them as colourful as we can to make sure we don’t lose them in the snow.

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Once we have our cool mittens ready, we sing and dance the… Snowy Pokey wearing them!! Here you have the tutorial I made for my pupils:

>> Houses in England <<

8 Dec

Learning a language is much more than just being fluent at it. It also means knowing a little bit about the countries where the language is spoken.

In this case, I am focusing on England. Through a wixsite that has been created specially for this purpose the students can discover many facts about the Modern English houses and the Ancient English houses.

Investigating is one of the best ways for learning because the students see it as a puzzle they have to solve. Besides, it gives them a real reason for having to read, comprehend and finally produce.

The main goal of this wixsite is to help the children improve their English by using it for reasons other than just the language itself.

Click on the image to visit the wixsite I made:

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Next, you can download the activity dossier:

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AUTUMN IS HERE! (Lesson Plan)

3 Oct

Autumn is here, a wonderful season for many reasons. Whenever I ask my pupils what they like the most of this time of the year they usually say: “to see the leaves fall and be able to play with them”. Isn’t that magic?

This lesson plan I am about to share is focused on some aspects related to Autumn. First of all, using a “magic bag” I present some flashcards with autumny vocabulary: food, animals and colours. Next, there is a sample:

Once we discover all the flashcards, we classify them in groups by type and we play some TPR games with them so the children get familiar with their names.

The story about Autumn that I like telling is the one called “Leafy, the leaf who wouldn’t leave”. It is based on a video story but I adapted it for my pupils and made a powerpoint:

My pupils always love Leafy and it is a good way to start a conversation about the tree leaves and why they fall. After they give me their opinions, we watch this video to help them understand well:

To continue with the leaves topic, we sing and dance this catchy song called “Falling leaves”. It is so catchy that I always find myself singing it while doing other things 😀

One of the main reasons why I like including this song in the lesson plan, is because of  its focus on the 4 autumny colours. I made this simple fill in the gaps worksheet where pupils have to write the four colours sang in the song:Sense títol

I always like including some sort of craft or game that my pupils can take home with them after using it in class. This time, I made a memory game with some autumny food and animals. Each pair of cards has got one with only the image and its matching card has got the image plus its name:

 

ALSO * TOO * AS WELL

12 Aug

When your mother tongue has got just one word but in English you can use three different words, it can be a bit tricky to know when it is the right moment to use each option.

I love infographies 🙂

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When I grow up!

21 May

Young children love talking about what jobs they are going to do when they grow up. This is a good opportunity to catch their attention and be able to speak about it using the English language.

To bring the topic up, we watch this Berenstain Bears episode called “On the Job”. Right after, the pupils take part in a comprehension quiz where they have to recall the jobs that are mentioned in the episode.

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Once we have gone through the jobs that we see in the episode, it is a good idea to brain storm some other jobs that the children find interesting. I remember being quite amused with some of the jobs my pupils mentioned! 😀

I love using music in my lessons, and I found a catchy song that matches perfectly with the lesson plan. It is called “People work”.

After watching the video and singing along a few times, you can continue to a worksheet that matches well to work a bit more on the song.

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Another resource I like using are online games. Anything including a screen immediately catches the children’s attention! This way, they acquire knowledge while having fun and enjoying what they see 🙂 The chosen game is called “Job Mixer”:

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It is good to take a moment and think of all the jobs we have seen so far: the ones from the episode, the ones from the song and the ones from the online game.

You can make a list on the board and then play a miming game. I like starting the games so they see how it is done. The pupil who guesses the job I mimed comes to the front to take the lead, and so on with the other pupils.

Now comes the moment to focus on the main activity of the lesson plan. An oral presentation about what each child wants to be when he/she grows up. To give my pupils an idea of what I am expecting from them, I show them this video:

To help them plan what they are going to say, I made this oral presentation organizer where they can write their ideas:

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Probably, you will have to help them quite a bit because they are young ESL learners, but the oral presentations will be so amazing that all the previous efforts will be worth it 😀

 

 

 

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