viernes, 9 de junio de 2017

Pet theme for Elementary Language Learners

Use the pet flashcards to appeal to the visual learners. Create activities to capture children´s attention. Present the new vocabulary words and practice them using games. The students that finish first can sit together and ask each other the words. You might want to send these home to some responsible parents to play.

Link to the resources:

 Hand in a flashcard to each student. Ask questions.
Teacher: Do you have a pet ?   
Student: Yes, I have a bird.
Teacher: What color is your bird?
Student: It is blue and green.

 Make a mind map.  Draw a big circle in the middle of the board and write the word PETS inside the circle.  Have the students name all the pets they know and write them. Then hand in the flashcards to individual students and have them place the flashcard next to each animal.

Students can create their own mind map on their notebooks using drawn animals or cutouts from magazines. It can also be a bigger project using a poster board in small groups. Children then can introduce their pets to the class.

You can graph many things. Here some ideas: What do animal do want to have ?/ Do you have a pet ? / Do you like cats? / Do you like dogs ?

Pet body parts. Review body parts using the flashcards one at a time a writing the name of each part.  I had to research each pet.  Children can also do the same using cutouts from magazine.

Then I created a chart. Place all the flashcards on the board and write the body parts that you would to contrast.

Ask questions to complete the chart.
Teacher: What animal has wings ?
Students: a bird.
Teacher: Do hamster have wings ? Can they fly ?
Students: No, they don´t.  They can´t fly.
Teacher: Which animals have tails ?
Students: rabbit, bird, dog, cat, fish, turtle, hamster, lizard.
Teacher: Does a fish have claws ?
Students: No, it doesn't.

And some hands-on worksheets. I suggest that each group of two or three get a pet and allow them to think and read all the body parts. The label sheet has all the animal body words and they have to choose which words are the ones that suit each animal, for example, only birds have wings and cats have fur but not the bird. They will have to analyze the vocabulary and pick the right body parts and label their pet. Then have them present their pet to the class.

Place the animal locations on the board. Ask the students where the pets live.  Give individual students the animal cutouts to place in the corresponding location. Then have them talk about their pet location.

Student: My bird is on the tree. ( I also included a bird cage.)

Write the prepositions.

 I came up with this resource that can be a book or flashcards to emphasize prepositions.

 Pets and adjectives. Review the describing function of the adjective word.

Place the fat cat on the board.

Teacher: What is this ?
Students: a cat ( Teacher writes the word CAT)
Teacher: What color is the cat ?
Students: orange ( Teacher writes the word orange)
Teacher: Is he happy or sad ?
Students: happy ( Teacher writes the word happy)
Teacher: Is he fat or thin ? (Use your hands to show fat and thin)
Students: fat. ( Teacher writes the word fat)
Teacher: It is an orange cat. (Students repeat as you point to the words in the board). Continue with: It is a happy cat, It is a fat cat.
Use more animal cutouts to practice adjectives on the board. You can also give out a pet to each student and have them create their mind map and sentences to present to the class.

As I suggested on my last blog post about adjectives ( ,sort the pet using adjectives words.

I also made this craft stick sorting on that blog post, and added up with more pets.

Made some bones ! I printed onto colored paper so it´s easier to sort the color word, the pets and the action verbs.

Grab one from each pile and place them on the board. Have the students make up a sentence. Then hand in three bones to each student so they can make a sentence on their own.

Brainstorm with students the way the pets move. Place the cards as they mention the animal action verbs. Next, have students make a list on their notebooks of 9 pet action verbs writing the noun and the action verb, as seen on the cards on the board.  This the complete list for you.Take the cards away and put them in a bag.  Play Bingo ! Place the cards again on the board as you announce them.

With the flashcards and the cutouts make a chart on the board. Have students come up and complete it using the resources or writing the word. They can even make one on their notebooks.

I had these clip art and came up with the Guess Who? Game. You might have seen in the stores. It is usually played with two players but you can add some more. The game is actually played with 24 cards. You can adapt the game according to your group. I made big cards for the board and small ones for the groups.

I suggest you play on the board first with the whole class. Place all the cards on the board and a number on each one.

Teacher: Who has an orange cat ?
Students: Number 18.

Continue with more examples.
Then, pick a card and don´t tell the class. They have to ask questions in order to know which card you picked.
Students: Is it a cat ?
Teacher: NO!
Students: Is the animal green ?
Teacher: YES !
Students: Is the animal big or small ?
Teacher: It is small.
Students: Who has the animal, a boy or a girl ?
Teacher: a boy.
Students: It is number 31 !
Teacher: YES !

After you have modeled with the class, have them play in groups with fewer cards. They can write a number grid or give instructions on how you would like to play.

Plurals. I created an S wand for the birthday theme and now I can use it again. Place the plural card on the board.

Teacher: What are they ?
Students: They are cats.

Teacher writes the word cat and places the S wand  to make it plural. Tell the students that you add the S to make it plural. Next, continue with the other cards. Finally place fish and mouse. Tell them about these irregular plural which are made different. 
There are more cards to work on.

Pets and Colors.
Use the small flashcards to ask the questions.

For Spelling, I made the letters the size of a 5x5 cm puncher so you don´t have to cut. I recycled some old toilet paper tubes and glue some colored paper that I had left over. Instead of having lots of toilet paper tube I placed 3 letters on each tube so you just have to turn the tube to put the letter. If you want the file, please ask me (

Found these Scrabble kind of clip art and made a scrabble printable. Each child should get one and make their own board and see how many points the students make, there should be a winner. I suggest you explain the rules before asking them to make the board on their notebooks or construction paper.

One last thing that I found, a book. Please write of you want it in a digital format for free. I can also sell the book for $1 + shipping.

Oh, visit my other blog post related to pets for more ideas and resources. 

viernes, 19 de mayo de 2017

A book to share

If you love to introduce creative activities, this book is for you. It comes with easy to follow instructions, a list of materials and some ideas to make your own creation. It will liven up your class and you will have an activity to meet your student´s needs.

I am selling the book for $ 1 + shipping. But I have a digital version for free. Make your request:

jueves, 6 de abril de 2017

Easter Craft

 In a hurry I made these Easter Gifts for some teachers. I recycled Nescafé Coffee jars. I went to Breick Chocolate store ( La Paz, Bolivia) and bought the bunny and the smallest eggs they had. The store clerck was nice enough to give me the white grass to put in the bottom and set the bunny and eggs.

Here the materials. I painted the lid of the jar with acrilic pink paint. I created the stickers. I can send them to you for free. (
If you  make a similar craft I´d love to see.
 I would like to publish a collection .

viernes, 31 de marzo de 2017

Routine Verbs for ESL/EFL learners


For this blog entry I checked several books from many publishing companies. The most common routine verbs were these:

With games make the lesson an engaging learning experience. Children will practice the verbs and you can listen how much they know. They might get creative as they make up their rules for the games. Teams will be formed and they will have to communicate in English.

Game 1: Place action verbs  flashcards in selected locations in the classroom. Make them multiple of 6 ( for example, 6,12,18, 24,30 ).  Place a number flashcard next to each verb flashcard.  

Place around the classroom. Have the children stand next to a selected card.Throw your big dice and call out the number.

The children standing under that number must say the verb word and make a line in a previously designated place in the classroom. Repeat until there is one or less than six children standing.
Have the children in line call out the remaining flashcards so their classmates can come to the line.

Game 2: Spelling Verb Bingo
Place all the verb flashcards on the board. Have the children select only 6 and write them down on their paper. Call out a word and place a tick on the flashcard. Use the small cards for calling the verbs.
Children cross the words as they have it on their spelling bingo grid.

Game 3: Slap Use the small flash cards to spread out on the floor or a table face up. One student can be the caller, give him /her the slap caller badge and the other players  will be the slappers, who will slap  the correct card. The one that does it first keeps the slapped card. Continue until all the cards have been called. The winner is the one with most cards.
For the game I made these slap caller necklace. I cut and glued them onto fun foam, punched a hole and thread yarn into the hoop. I use them to have the group respect the caller and be more organized at playing the game. You can play with any set of word and use the necklace but change the caller every time. You can even write on the back of the necklace the caller´s  name so you choose a different child every time.

Game 4: Mime. Show a flashcard and do the corresponding action as you say it. Have the student mime and repeat the action.
Teacher: wake up,wake up !
student: wake up,wake up !
Get realia or use the cutouts for some routine verbs. Put them in a small bag or box. Grab one and do the action.
Teacher: (Pretending to brush her hair) I brush my hair with my brush.
Give the brush to another student and have him or her do the same.

Call several students to the front. Give a cutout or realia to each student and show the action flashcard and have the students do the action at your signal.. Have the rest of the class find out who is doing the action.

Teacher: Ready! Go ! read a book.
Students: David !
Teacher: David reads a book.
Students: David reads a book.

Place all the cutouts on the desk or around the classroom. Mime and say an action, but without the corresponding realia or cutout.

Teacher: I eat lunch.

Students run to find  the corresponding realia or cutout to hand it in to you.

Student: Here. ( gives the fork to the teacher)
Teacher: I eat lunch with my fork.

Game 5: Play I want to.  Continue with  all the cutouts in different places around the classroom.

Teacher: I want to brush my teeth.

The students run and the first one to get the toothbrush and hand it in to you wins a point.
Continue with more.

Game 6: Match card to cutout.I made small cards to go with the cutouts. Make some examples on the board and have the students arrange all of them using masking tape on the board. Then have them write sentences using the visuals as reference.

Teacher: go to bed. I go to bed at 11 o´clock every night.

Game 7: Print a camera for yourself in a bright construction paper. Have several more printed as well.

Teachers of all ages like the camera. Use  the camera to have the children name each verb as you pass the picture, you can make the strip as long as you want.  
I also included the photo clip art, children either draw the verb, look them up in magazines and cut them or simply cut them from the small cards here. They can also write the verb or write complete sentences. 
They can make a photo album using their own pictures and write sentences under each photo.

Game 8: Who is ? Have six children come to the front. Hand in a routine verb card to each one and the corresponding realia or cutout to act it out. They have to look at it and mime the action at your call.

Teacher: Ready ! Action !
Teacher: drink !
Students: Laura !
Teacher: study !
Students: Jorge !
Then do it backwards.
Teacher: Ready ! Action !
Teacher: Patricia !
Students: watch TV !
Teacher: Tomas !
Teacher:  Have dinner!

Game 9: Verbs in a bag. Place the routine flashcards in a bag. Sit the children in a circle if you have a small group. For large groups, it might be good to have several sets and do the activity in groups.
The first child of the circle gets a card from the bag and without showing it mimes the actions. The children have to guess and shout out the verb. Then make a sentence with the verb.

Children: play soccer !
Children: Henry is playing soccer./ Henry plays soccer/ Henry can play soccer.

Game 10. Questions. Place 6 flashcards on the board. Write a question word under each one: Who ?, Why ?, Where ?, When ?, What ?, How many ? . Divide the class into pairs and have them write questions with each question word. When all the questions are ready, have them exchange  the questions sheets with other pairs to answer them.

game 11. Pocket charts. Have the students make pocket chart phrases. If you  have a pocket chart, place it  in a visible location in your classroom. If not , children can make a similar one with poster board.

Write the list of the verbs or place the flashcard and have them make as many phrases as possible. They can either draw or cut out a matching illustration for their phrases. Make your own model. This is mine, I was planning on putting it on the pocket chart, but I couldn´t find it. Instead I grabbed a poster board and glued it like this. Children can make their own version, maybe a verb for each group and see what they come up with. Play it as a game by assigning a winner to the group that has the most phrases.

Routine Charts: make small groups and have the students fill out the chart template with the routine verbs. 
.The chart is for groups of 4 students and 5 verbs. Give them the template. They have to ask each other questions in order to complete the chart and give a final tally.

Student 1: Oriana, Do you jump rope at school ?
Oriana: Yes, I do.

Small cards.

Game 12. Small Cards. Lay all the cards face down on a table.  A student turns a card around, reads it and makes a complete sentence.

Student.:    clean. I clean the house with my mother every Saturday.     

If it is right the student keeps the card.  If the sentence is wrong, the student puts the card back.

Then I made two versions with the cards, one is glue the missing picture and the other is glue the missing word. It can be done by groups.

Game 13. BINGO! And I added a BINGO Grid. The grid is for 9 spaces. But you can give out only 3 spaces to each student. He/she can write the routine verb on each space or glue a routine verb from the small cards.