Monday, 27 October 2014

Halloween Lesson!

Hello all, since this Friday is Halloween we are going to have Halloween themed lessons and take a short break from our textbooks to have a little fun.

And I thought I would post my lesson plan and materials before Halloween so that you all can make use of them if you've not yet planned. I will post photos of the lesson with the kids after Friday the 31st.

So here's the basic lesson plan:

Greeting: "Happy Halloween!" , go over date and weather as usual.
( I will be arranging the desks differently to leave a big space in the centre of the classroom for our games. )

FIRST - there should be music! And what better groove than the Monster Mash?
I'll simply have the video shown first before we get into a musical game. ~ 3 mins
Here's the kid friendly video I found on Youtube:


We'll play a " Pass the Pumpkin Game"

The kids stand in circle and pass a pumpkin around while the Monster Mash music is playing. When the music stops (stopped by the teacher) whoever is holding the pumpkin is ‘out’ and must sit down. The winner is the last person holding the pumpkin. They get a Candy. 
I am thinking to have more than one pumpkin so there are more winners. ~10 mins


Simple Number Music Game - play the Monster mash video and get the kids to dance. When you stop the music yell a number and tell the kids that they must make a group of the said number. They catch on pretty quick. The kids who are left over from the groups made are 'out' and I usually give the remaining 4 a candy , they're the winners.

AFTER THAT - Quick Halloween PPT with fun costumes (kid friendly)  to look at also.

I got this PowerPoint from Mes English .com where there are heaps of fantastic Halloween resources and more printables - as well as other themed classes and regular resources! A great site to bookmark! 

* Note: I made changes and added a couple slides to the Powerpoint to make it a little more interesting. Changes include a pop up picture of a kid in a cool Halloween costume based on the slide vocabulary. (see above sample slides).

BY THE WAY - ENGLISH LIT GEEK MOMENT - This is not "Frankenstein" this is 'Frankenstein's  monster' or 'creature' - In the book, Victor Frankenstein is the name of the scientist who creates the monster out of different dead body parts. But I understand that you might want to keep it simple in Bingo and say 'Frankenstein' only. ;) 
AND THEN - HALLOWEEN BINGO!   – a chance to give out candy and study a little English (vocab from PPT).

You can either use my bingo 'strip' cards below or use regular bingo cards from Mes English. com (click here for bingo cards).

How to play Special "One strip bingo" – each student gets a strip of Halloween themed pictures. When the teacher calls out one of the Halloween words the student may only rip off the picture called if it is on either end of their strip. 

For example: 
This is Minsu's strip:
The teacher says " There is a black cat!"
Minsu can rip off the black cat picture.
The teacher says "There is a candy!"
Minsu cannot rip off a candy because 'the creature' (Frankenstein's creation) is blocking the candy.

Get it? It's easy to do and less paper used. 
You can download my strips here:Download Strip Bingo cards ~5-8 mins one round

And for the FINALE ! 

Mask making!

I will set out newspaper before the class come in. Then they will paint from a selection of mask templates. ~ 10-25 mins

If you are working with young ones I suggest skipping paint and using felt tips and crayons instead. 

I got these fantastic mask templates free from Mr. Printables website.

you can download them coloured or blank. 

My collegue's Instagram of her class in the masks ! And the PPT in the background. 
:) So cute!

 Play Halloween TV show “Mr. Bean episode 3” Scaredy Bean (play while painting the masks).Mr. Bean Watching Scary Movies

Debating: Bring hair dryer for fast drying? 

Now, this may look like a jam packed lesson so I suggest if you are worried about time - to skip either the bingo or pumpkin pass game. I am also thinking to hold the bingo until later, perhaps after the masks - then if we have time we play, if we don't, we don't. It's all good. As long as they enjoy Halloween! 

Tip: try to have finished the song, pumpkin pass and PowerPoint done after 10 mins, -15 max. 

You can speed up the bingo and pumpkin pass as you are in control. Make sure to be looking at the bingo strips as you call also , so you can create winners faster also. 
My co-teacher and I dressed up a bit... I was poison Ivy by night , but mother nature by day hehe

Other useful Halloween Lesson activities/ sites:
ESL Kids Halloween Games - 
Halloween Worksheets- 
Halloween Flash Cards and Things - 

Well, I wish you luck and a Happy Halloween!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

"Mirror Mirror On The Wall" Worksheet and Short Video PPT - Describing People Vocab Project! Free downloads.

This is a super simple project that I recently completed with my grade 5's. Our topic "She has long straight hair" has come to an end so we needed a project to review the vocabulary. I decided to do a project with drawing as well as writing and based it on the beloved Snow White tale - highlighting of course, the evil queen and magic mirror.

So first, I showed this video that I linked in the powerpoint which you can download here .
They all knew the movie and the magic mirror so then I showed them on the powerpoint slide, what their project was, and we did an example project together.
I got the students to yell out sentences describing someone and I drew.

 They of course took the opportunity to make it funny. Then we wrote the sentences out next to the drawing . Easy as pie!

I then told them that they had a choice -to draw whatever they like and write the description in the box accordingly or they could take one of my drawing cards from my container and they would have to draw what the cards say. I like this for the lower level kids but it also means that they are comprehending the topic by reading a description and drawing it accurately.
Some of my cards:

You can download my cards to cut and put in a container here.

So that's about it, I gave the worksheets out and the kids had a good time designing their magic mirror people.

Please feel free to download the worksheet here.

Happy Teaching!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Easy Drawing Game + Review/Guessing Game! Describing Appearance Vocab - ESL Free Downloads!

We're still studying all about describing people - hair, nose, eyes, etc. So what better way than playing a classic and simple drawing game to practice speaking?

Before I started the drawing fun we did a quick review PowerPoint that has has a little guessing game inside it. I started out going over heights as the textbook never mentions the in between of tall and short... so I added 'medium height'. I guess average would work also, but they know the word medium so I thought it more useful.  And medium makes more sense to me...

So here is a few slides from the PPT you can download :

Note: I also have a He is _______ (handsome, good looking, etc) slide - not to worry. Just adding some better adjectives for them to learn.
I have 3 more guess who slides - Harry Potter, Jack Sparrow and Ariel the mermaid. It's easily played. Just read the slides with the sentences out and then reveal who it is after they have made a guess.

You can change and add what you want. We would read the guessing slide out as a class. There are a few new words but they were easy to translate and simple enough.

Okay, so after this simple review and game, we started the drawing game!

This game is super easy. All I did was get two students up to draw what I said. I would say sentences from what we have learnt: "She has long, brown , curly hair" etc. but after I would throw in "She has one big green eye", " She has two teeth" and more. They loved it. I even drew one of my own and they made the sentences for me, to write up.

My monster:

So after having a few teams to come up and draw I then got them into pairs and they played the drawing game with their friends. So simple. They had a great time and the speaking element was very successful. I heard lots of funny but full, grammatically correct sentences! The kids had a blast.

Check out their "pretty" and "handsome" people:

Happy Teaching!

Let me know if you use this lesson and I'd love to see photos !

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

"Crazy" Dress Up PowerPoint Activity ! "What do they look like?"

Ladies and Gents, this PowerPoint is one of my finest. It was a big effort to pull off, lots of clicking, cropping and moving on the computer screen to get this right - but boy, did it pay off! I had to do it for 3 different classes too!

Our latest topic for grade 5 is all about describing what people look like. It's focused mainly on facial features and the basic height descriptions of tall and short. Now, I have taught this unit before, but with far less free rein  and I wanted this year to do it far better and avoid bullying.

Yes, as we know, kids can be cruel. Anytime I teach anything to do with appearance I am very careful to NOT do the describing game using the students themselves. In my opinion it's a big no no as you're just asking for bullies to come out. However, how do you get to describe real life people you know - without hitting the bullying mark? Well, I think I found a fun way!


Before the crazy dress up PowerPoint I did my own review PowerPoint that went over types, lengths and colours of hair. As well as eye colour and more. I've made sure to add grey , red and blonde hair as my textbook doesn't seem to care about red heads and blondes! I also introduced hazel, the eye colour.

Here's some of the PowerPoint to get an idea... we simply read the sentences aloud. It was entertaining enough with the pictures and it's only a short one. 
So after the review I sneakily turned off the projector and wrote the following on the board, testing if they could understand and fill the blanks:

 She has _______, __________, __________ hair.      
               (length)    (style)            (color)

He has a _________ nose.
She has _________, ________ eyes.  
                  (size)       (colour)
She has ________ ears.
He has a _______ mouth.
He is ___________.
She is __________.      He is ___________.
            (beautiful, pretty....etc).

After going over the above (had my co-teacher translate what size, style, height meant, as it was easy for them to work out after the fact) I then announced that I would show them a picture of a person and they have to make the sentences. The students all agreed idea of the surprise to come!

Projector on! First (unlucky) student photo to be on screen and the laughs and squirming starts.
Here are some sample slides: (you fill in with your photos)

I created this PowerPoint using photos from the administration so they're all the same size. Then I found as many crazy wigs , eyes, mouths, noses and ears to dress up my students with. I decided to do every single student so everyone is laughed at, a healthy embarrassment as my mother would say - and more importantly, equal. My classes we're really good sports about it and just enjoyed laughing and cringing when their own photo popped up on screen, dressed with crazy facial features.

 (I swear I wasn't shouting, just very enthusiastic) hehe

Now, once the pictures are up on screen we simply make sentences describing their new 'crazy' looks. About 2 sentences per picture as I only added 2 crazy features to each photo.
You can have the whole class say it out loud as I did or if a quieter bunch, get them to volunteer or pick.

(sorry about the poor quality pictures)

If you attempt to do this activity it is going to take a lot of prep on your part with the PPT but here it is to download, I've taken the photos out so you just crop and paste yours in. Make use of the new Windows "remove background" button on the format picture options as well as the "arrange" button to move pictures forward and back.

Good Luck!
Oh and why not do one of yourself? I didn't get the chance !

Happy Teaching!

Friday, 10 October 2014

How Often Do You _______? Whisper Game & Class Survey ~ Easy Speaking Activity !

For my grade 6 classes we are onto the lesson "How often do you exercise?" this lesson is all about surveying health habits and more. It also practices frequency adverbs and goes over a few new words such as 'survey', 'about' and 'habits'.

For part 3 of the unit I decided to revisit the whisper game as this practices dialogue nicely as well as spelling, which many of my students have problems with. It went very well and the kids woke up a bit. (Holiday was yesterday so coming back to school for one day was a downer!)

Please see above 'whisper game' link to know the full rules if you haven't played my version before. :)

Dialogues used:


Hello, can you help me with my __________?       (survey)
Sure. What is it _________?                                    (about)
It's about your ______ habits.                                 (health)
How ______ do you _____ your hands?                  (often) (wash)
I wash my hands _____ times a ____.                      (eight) (day)


Hi, can I survey your health _______?             (habits)
How ______ do you brush your _______?     (often) (teeth)
I _____ my teeth ______ a day.                       (brush) (twice)
How often do you eat ________?                     (snacks)
I eat snacks _______ times a week.                 (three)
Great, thank you.
No, problem.

After playing the whisper game, we did a casual conversation activity between the class and I, by drawing a massive pictograph on the board. It looked like this:

Now, for all you mathematicians don't judge me! It's focused on speaking... not perfect grid lines or making complete sense hehe! (if you have a better design - let me know!)

So I first drew the X and Y axis and then titled the graph, I had the students ask me "what is the graph about?" and tried to get them to guess and spell "Health Habits".

After that, I wrote on the Y axis "How often do you..." and then had the class gave me suggestions for what "how often" questions to ask. Every class had a couple different such as "How often do you study?", " computer games? " and " your homework?"

Next, we filled in the X axis with the frequency words. I did a simple once a day/ week..., twice a day/ week/... and so on. I also added, in one of the classes 'Never' as a student brought that up.

So, after making the graph I then told the class to choose a question for me to answer. (This acted as my demo). The class would ask me "how often do you exercise?" and I would answer in a full sentence " I exercise five times a week" then, I marked with a simple illustration the correct place on the graph and added my name 'baia' to it.

After I completed a couple more questions as further demonstration I then asked the class who would like to come and answer a question for themselves?

 A lot of the class wanted to share, this was great. So one by one the student would come up, the class would choose together, a 'how often..." question and the student would reply in a full sentence and draw a little illustration on the graph.

The math side of this lesson is not supposed to be stressed, hence the lack of a grid and accurate placed drawings. It's all about the conversation. I also got the class to make the sentence after the student had completed their illustration, which was good to practice the "She/He brushes/ washes/ eats, etc" sentences.

It was really relaxing and kept them interested. I have cool rainbow coloured markers also which made the drawing bit fun also. I strongly suggest a class survey like this - and if you are more gifted in math (as I am terrible) you can make this a lot stronger mathematically and have a truly wonderful cross-curricular lesson.

Nayun takes a shower once a day.

<---- Look at her lovely shower drawing.

Chae Won washes her hands more than 7 times a day.

Hyon Yu takes a shower once a day. (Good to know!)

Health Habit pictograph :)

I'd like to take a moment to thank all who support and use this blog. I would also like to encourage you to make a donation or help in any other way to fight the Ebola epidemic. Any donation I receive on this blog will go straight to the Doctors without Boarders association. Hopefully, I will be getting a fundraiser started at my school - it's in the works. Will report back.

God Bless,

Happy teaching!