miércoles, 16 de agosto de 2017

Nature or Garden Theme for Elementary ELL

 Use the Flashcards for Speaking. 

And here is the link to all the resources:

Place several flashcards on the board and write a number above each one and ask questions.
Teacher: What is number 3 ?
Students: It´s a plant.
Teacher: Is number 4 a cactus ?
Students: No, it isn´t. It´s a tree.
Have students make sentences.
Students: Number 1 is an acorn.

Have students draw the nature items and write sentences on their notebooks.
This is an acorn. This isn´t a stick.

Students can talk about numbers. Write the numbers 1 to 6 on the board. Have  2 students come to the front and place the flowers flashcards under the corresponding number.
Teacher :How many flowers are there ? Pointing to number 1

Students: one. One flower.
Have the students continue counting.
Students: Two flowers, three flowers, four flowers, five flowers, six flowers.
Teacher : What color is flower number 1 ?
Students: red.
Teacher: It´s a red flower.
Students: It´s a red flower.
 Continue with all the other flowers.

I found these great clip art for There is and There are sentences.
Place one or more on the board and model the sentences. Place more flashcards on the board for the students to say what they see.
 Then hand out all the other flashcards and have them make sentences on their notebooks and share with the class.

Review prepositions with the flashcards. Write the prepositions on the board and have the students sort the flashcards.

Ask questions:
Point to the first flashcard,
Teacher: Where are the flowers ?
Students: They are on the cactus.
Point to the second flashcard,
 Teacher: Is the butterfly on the flower ?
Students: Yes, it is.
Have students make and write a sentence for each flashcard.

And some Verbs related to the theme. Select the flashcards that you want to students to come up with phrases. Place them on the board and start from the picture.
Teacher: What is he doing ?
Students: He is planting a tree.
Suggest that he can plant any kind of trees. Have them think of other trees and write their answers.
Students: an apple tree, a big tree. They may come up with diverse answers.
 Here are the Verb related flashcards

With the flashcards you can the students classify them into verbs or nouns.

Place a flower flashcard on the board, review the parts of the plant that the students remember, if not, place the flashcards on one side of the board to remind them.
Draw an arrow with the words for each part of the plant. Ask them which parts are missing, they might have to say the roots and the seed. Draw them under the flower. Go to this link and download this easy worksheet made by Wendy Gilstrap.

As dictating all the color for each part of the plant, which is a good listening exercise. I had each word cut out and each part. Then the students had to line the words in alphabetical order and glue the part next to each word.

If you want to go further with the verb planting. I suggest you do, because you can introduce the words, first, then, next and finally that can be used for writing a text in the future.
Teacher: First, get the flower seeds.( emphasize the word first, use your finger as in number 1)
Then, bake the seeds with a little salt .( emphasize the word then, moving your hand or finger forward)
Next, put the seed in the soil.( emphasize the word next) Ask students, what does the flower need to grow. Show them the flashcards of soil, sun and water.
Finally, watch the plant grow.( emphasize the word finally by showing with your hands the end.)

And the trees change within the seasons. Remember that some countries don´t have all the Seasons. It is good to review the Seasons with the trees and see how they change.

Some games to end the theme.

First, a board game. I made one with the most common words and a blank one for your or the students to fill out with the words that will be playing.I added 8 game pieces. The students can select who or what they want to be at the game. I make the pieces stand by placing them in a binder clip.
And the other game is the traditional Bingo. I added the Bingo grid but you can do the Bingo List on their notebooks. I like this kind of game to practice Spelling.But for a twist I got a flower pot which I turned into a pocket. I used the flower template to make the flower words and glued them onto a craft stick for Bingo calling.

viernes, 21 de julio de 2017

Recycle your old CD cases- Food Theme for ELL

Just putting things in order in my studio I found some old Cd cases. I didn´t want to throw them up and started a Pinterest search. Teachers have some genius ways to use them and that gave me some ideas.

Link to the resources:  

My very first idea was to create a traditional Spinner, yes, not a fidget spinner, which are popular between children.

I would suggest that you use cardboard for printing the template. Use an X-acto knife to make a small cut in X on the center of the circle where the Cd inserts. Carefully grab the arrow and the template with a brass fastener, leaving a little space for the arrow to spin.
 The spinners can be used by two students. It is a good idea to laminate them. There are 32 food items for breakfast and lunch. I can add more if suggested.
Student 1: ( spins the spinners and lands on pizza) pizza!
Student 2: looks for the pizza and puts it under the word.
I am sure that the students will invent more games.

I found a second idea of making a board game. I had these food people clipart which are so nice that I had to bring them to the game.  I used colored binder clips for the food people counter and a die. The good thing is that all the pieces can be kept inside the Cd case. Students can choose the character and count in English, besides learning the phrases: miss 1 turn, go back, go ahead and roll again.
Board games are fun. Use them as a reward system or after a test with those 5 minutes left.

The good thing about the Cd case is that it is erasable. I made this shopping list template and used dry-erase markers. A baby wipe is good for cleaning. Have the students write a shopping list and then exchange with a partner. Each student has to line up the food right next to the list.
Writing skills are essential to advance in their English learning. They can make sentences or a short paragraph to finish the activity.

And if you want to role play, use the Cd case for the menu. The case can be decorate with fun foam objects, buttons or anything that you have for recycling.

And more writing practice. Tracing is a good way to memorize words and how to write them. Besides, tracing creates better writers, handwriting is still an essential skill to develop in the tablet age. Tracing is an important step when writing in another language.

I saw an idea about an accordion book in the Cd case. I grabbed a book that I had made and never included in any product. I made the accordion and a final page has to be glued onto the cd case to hold the book.

Review the vocabulary words in the book, point to them in the pictures. I made it black and white so children can color the food vocabulary and you can continue dictating how to color the children.
Teacher: Look at Pete! He has blond hair and a blue party hat.  Then have the children color as assigned.

When students move on to Elementary we stop sorting. By sorting food we are doing math in the English class. Students can identify the similarities and the differences in the food, such as, juice can be either for breakfast or lunch. Thinking skills are active while sorting and the food vocabulary will make sense to the learners.

I used the food theme but any theme can be used with the Cd cases, let me know if you want me to create something. And ideas from you are welcome as a blog post here or post  them directly in any of my Facebook Groups.

jueves, 6 de julio de 2017


Days ago I was contacted by Education.com, and I was asked to publish one of their activities that could work well 
for EFL, ELA or ESL teachers.  I am so happy for this honor.

Here is a short description of their web page.
Education.com aims to empower parents, teachers, and homeschoolers to help their children build essential skills and excel. With over 12 million members, Education.com provides educators of all kinds with high-quality learning resources, including worksheets, lesson plans, digital games, an online guided learning platform, and more.
Link to their resources:

Here is the Activity: Practice Reading with a Rainbow Puzzle!

 Puzzles are fun, and guess what? They're also a great way to help your child learn to read! Your kindergartener is probably already learning about sight words--short words that appear again and again in our language that children should recognize instantly. With this activity, you can easily turn sight words into beautiful rainbow puzzles for your emergent reader to reassemble. It's fun for your child, and you'll rest assured that she's getting some important practice in reading!

I couldn´t help  but to get inspired by this activity and off I went to buy some things to do it. Then, I started thinking that there is no official list of sight words for EFL students. I created one for this activity:
I, am, Let´s, Yes, No, a, an , What, is, this, It, not, here, color, and, can, we, be, you, are, can, in, on, under, the, where, who, she, he, my, there, they, like, so, much, How, many, your.

I bought lined/ruled cards so the students can write the word or you, glue it onto cardboard and have students outline the word with crayons or markers. Then cut it out and place it in a bag with the word written on it as a reference for the students. I used markers that are for writing onto plastic.

And bought some 3D stickers for the students to create the word, then do the outline with crayons or markers. Continue with the puzzle.

And with big craft sticks you can make a bigger puzzle. Students will write the word, outline in a rainbow manner on cardboard or white paper and then cut it. Glue onto the lined craft sticks and then wait to dry. Cut carefully with an exacto knife each craft stick.

Loved these foil letters that are for the bulletin board. You
 can give the students all the foil letters and a list of words 
to make on a cardboard. Then, have them glue the word, 
outline the word and create the puzzle.

There are so many options for just one activity at www.education.com.
Visit them !

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 (http://eflelementaryresources.blogspot.com/2015/10/adjectives-for-elementary-ell.html) ,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 ( ei98srl@gmail.com)

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.