It is Dr Seuss’ birthday this month. As it is a special month we have a great opportunity to work on some literacy related fun activities in the classroom and celebrate his birthday by learning and enjoying reading at the same time.
He gave us so many excellent books to read, learn from, enjoy, entertain and have fun with. Have you prepared something, yet? If you haven’t, there are some ideas help you to make it unforgetable. Using literacy, rhymes, alliterations, hands-on and moving activities or some art.
Whatever you choose probably the first thing you do is to find a book that is suitable the age group and the level of English that your children in the class understand and capable to work with.
So here is a round-up of some Dr .Seuss stories you could read to your kids:
Green eggs and ham: This is one of the most popular book by Dr. Seuss. It is written with very simple words for children who’s just begun reading. Great practice as he keeps repeating the basic words (here, there, like, do not, etc…) So you can use them with young learners to teach and reinforce reading whilst your kids enjoy the storyand laugh along.
Read more about The 8 fabulous Dr. Seuss books you can read and learn from on Miss T. ESL
Teach and have fun with your students whilst they are learning to read high-frequency words
When it comes to reading everybody awares of the fact how important is to teach children the high-frequency words. Although there are thousands of words in the English language, it is only a couple of hundreds that we use frequently.
There are so many reasons why to teach children to read these high-frequency words but one of the most important one is that these words don’t fit in the commonly taught phonics and children are only able to recognise them by sight. Also if they can recognise them by sight it makes them read faster and easier in long term. Another reason to teach these words is although they don’t usually have meanings on their own but they make the other words understandable or they alternate their meanings.
The question is how to help students to learn high-frequency words without being boring or uninteresting for them.
1. Print out and laminate some sets of ten high frequency words and play treasure hunt with them.
2. With the same sets children can also play memory game.
3. Every student can have a set of words that they lay on their desks. You give them clues to find and point to the right word, like this word begins with a ‘d’ and it is the opposite of up (down).
4. Play Snakes and Ladders boardgame with them.
5. For practicing spelling they can write the words on lines shaped and coloured as a rainbow.
6. With scribble and write they can also practice the spelling. To make it a bit more exciting, use different colours with different words.
7. Enjoy playing High-frequency words bingo with your students.
8. Take some old newspaperor magazines to school and make children find and circle the given high-frequency words. Circle different words with different colours and get some exciting, colourful newspaper at the end of the game. You can even make a competition out of it. Whoever finds the most words wins.
Which one have you tried or will you try with your children? Any other ideas to teach high-frequency words? Leave your comment below!
Celebrate Chinese New Year or ‘Spring Festival’ with some meaningful, engaging activities.
Explore some Chinese customs, teach them about the animals of the Chinese zodiac using the famous story of the race amongst the animals. Motivate and keep them busy by decorating the classroom with some fun arts and crafts activities. Choose out of the resources listed below:
1. Firework picture to decorate the walls, door or windows. Teach your students about the midnight firework and the meaning of it.
2. Make Chinese lantern using red and gold the main colours of Chinese New Year.
3. Create the Great Wall of China out of construction paper and set up a writing activity for the children called The Great wall of wishes.
4. Do wordsearch with the children about the Chinese zodiac.
5. Make a postcard.
6. Plan a story-time lesson. Get children to know more about the Chinese customs by reading them picture books. Talk about the story, draw the characters and act out the story after.
Watch or read children the story about the animals of the zodiac. Depending on your class interest choose a story out of the Chinese Tales series which contains tradicional Chinese legends with beautiful illustrations:
Aren’t they all sound fascinating? I could only think of which one I’d like to start with.
7. Watch Mulan or Kung Fu Panda with your students. Stop the video often to discuss the story, check comprehension. Ask questions, make predictions.
8. Make a dragon out of TP rolls.
9. Give out tangerines that symbolise good fortunes and prosperity.
10. Make a costume and a Chinese hat or headband with different Chinese letters for the children to have a dressing up ‘party’.
11. If you have a chance invite a Chinese person who can talk about these traditions.
Do you celebrate Chinese New Year with your kids? Have you got some more ideas to add?
Plan your week around Valentine’s day with different, entertaining, fun but educative activities and enjoy this festive with your class.
It is a magical time of the year. All kids and most grown-ups like expressing their love and everybody likes receiving it too. To spread the love in the world here is a collection of the best activities for the week:
1. Teaching Valentine’s vocabulary could be the first, obvious step.
Children learn or revise words such as love, kindness, be my Valentine, February, sweet, hug, kiss, heart, cupcake, postcard, smile, give, roses, get, flowers, balloons, happy, Teddy bear, hands, etc…
2. When they know these basics you can play different games with them to practice.
Kids love playing bingo but any other word games, spelling games, word search would be beneficial too.
3. If you have older students you can tell them about this English custom and the origin of it.
4. Get them make an Acts of Kindness List.
See what sort of things they come up with. This exercise is a great opportunity to teach or reinforce some verbs like smile, hold hands, show love, help, play, give, get. If they need, put some helping words on the board for them to construct their sentences with.
Your students can possibly say ideas like these:
- Smile at random people who you don’t usually talk with
- Make a Valentine’s Card
- Give a hug
- Cheer up a friend
- Be kind with your family and friends
- Help someone who needs it
- Listen to the others without interruption
- Give compliments
- Open a door to someone
- Play with some other children who you usually don’t play with
- Share a snack
- Give a flower
- Eat lunch with somebody you don’t usually eat with
- Help your mum tidying up
- Bake cookies to share
- Give an unexpected gift
- Say Hello!
- Say Thank you!
- Tell your mum, dad, brother, sister how much you love them
5. Valentine’s stories to read and discuss about. These books are perfect for Valentine’s day reading:
- I love you little monkey by Alan Durant
- Happy Valentine’s Day Mouse by Laura Numeroff
- The day it rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
- Snowy Valentine by David Petersen
- Roses are pink, your feet really stink by Diane deGroat
- Pete the cat: Valentine’s Day is cool by James and Kimberly Dean
- There was an old Lady who swallowed a rose by Lucille Colandro
6. Teach them a Valentine’s song.
It works really well with the little ones. As they love singing and through songs it is easier for them to remember words, sentences or even paragraphs.
With older students you can listen to songs, teach them the song or do a gap filling activity whilst listening to the song.
One of the greatest choice for young learners would be the Skidamarink song Make up some movements with the song to get them move around and have fun.
7. Make Valentine’s Card
8. If you are prepared for the fun and also the mess make any other Valentine’s craft activity with them.
Take out the glitter and all of your students will love you but don’t expect any nice words from the cleaning ladies.
9. Get students say one nice thing about each other.
Put everybody’s name in the middle of a heart and make the others write their sentence around. Easy to make, little gift to take home and a nice memory for later.
Can you add anything else that you do with your children? Let us know in the comments below!
For those who were born after 1990 a little story about how kids used to send messages to each other,
Jotted on a piece of paper might seem something so old school, it could only exist on black-and-white films. Yeah, sure it’s hard to imagine that not everybody had an own mobile-phone, let alone a network with the whole knowledge of the humanity at their fingertips. However, some people were quite creative with cheat-sheets.
Technology has advanced so fast so far that pupils nowadays don’t actually need physical books or notebooks. Everything exists and more importantly easily accessible for everyone on a device weighs less than a history book. Beautiful new world, that is.
We haven’t had to wait too long to see another bastion of humanity surrendering to the digital revolution. What started in Britain in 1760 with the industrial revolution is going to change soon. 3D printing is aiming to change the world manufacturing process as we know it. More precisely, eliminating it as a whole. 3 dimensional printers are able to create any shape of objects by gluing together the row material and build it up layer by layer. It’s possibilities are truly endless. Ranging from modelling in the classroom to print houses.
I’m sure a plenty of people heard about those techniques which makes us smarter without putting any effort into it.
Most of us even tried one or two of them. Like sleep learning, photo reading or uploading data directly into the brain. I wonder if it was only me trying to cut the learning process short by stuffing various books into my bed in Year One. The only thing I learned that sleeping on top of books isn’t comfy at all and it is more effective if the book is on my head. After ditching most of the techniques I went along with the more conventional ways like chocolate, note taking and sometimes sleep. If I had known, I was doing the wrong technique it could have changed everything. Recent research found that wearing a superman T-shirt boosts exam performance by almost 10%. The whole comes down to psychology.
Prof Pine said the results showed that people’s mental processes and perceptions can be primed by clothing, as they unconsciously embody the symbolic meaning of their outer layers.
This explains why the participants were overestimating their physical strength as well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that no-one needs to learn any more. To achieve a good mark requires at least 50% of the exam points most of the time. But above that the possibilities are endless.
The Queen’s English or the one from the States should be The ONE?
Or perhaps a polished accent from Africa and some highly similar Philippine talk will do just as much?
What about the Indian English?
These questions always come up teaching English in different countries all over the world. Lots of times students or parents demand native speakers to teach them English and of course the perfect accent because as Urszula Calrk states:
A common and long-held belief among many in the English teaching profession is that the best people to teach spoken English are ‘native’ speakers of the language, especially the teaching of pronunciation.
This is often the only requirement for twice a week conversation classes where a white or let’s say fair skinned bloke entertains the group with stories and jokes. Proper jobs that require a degree often discriminate application based not only nationality but sadly skin colour, too. Even if the job description doesn’t state it, many teaching institutes lean towards candidates where they don’t need to explain anything like: She has raised in England but their parents didn’t.
Either it is laziness or simply satisfying costumers needs it’s disappointing.
Successful communication is more a question of understanding, and being able to engage successfully, in the contexts of use rather than whether one is a ‘native’ or ‘non-native’ speaker.
Researches show that not only teaching English as a second language is more effective if the teacher speaks the native tongue of the students and knows the cultural background they are from.
But the importance of so many times praised accents or correct way of speaking are in fact diminishing. Replaced by a wider variety of English spoken by the international community in various trades. Where the weight lies on the understanding and being understood rather than the ability to replicate the perfect accent.