Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas Pancakes and Mr. Bean

This year we couldn't really prepare a big Christmas class as we did last year. Not sure why, just didn't work out and we were teaching up until the last minute at my main school. However, for one of my schools who I love teaching at, I decided to make more of an effort for them as we had the time... and they're my favorite school. (sh! Don't tell)

So the night before I tried my best to make some Christmas themed pancakes. I was inspired by those pancake artists online... but I certainly have a long way to go! It's much harder than it looks!

Here's what I ended up with after a lot of giggles and wasted batter...

And you know what, despite their looks lol... the kids really enjoyed them and were happy to see the different Christmas-y shapes and things. I was so thrilled. I brought syrup along with me and they gobbled them up. 

And then we watched the best Christmas ESL friendly video of all time - Mr. Bean's Christmas special! It's on Youtube!

Stay warm, enjoy Christmas and of course, happy teaching!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Lesson Review ~ By Blogger & Teacher Semeerah @perfectlyimperfectmeya.blogspot/

This is my first post where I let other teachers write a review of one of my lessons. I enjoy the feedback and different perspective from other teachers who use my resources and ideas. If you'd like to review a lesson from my blog, feel free to contact me on my Facebook Page.  In return, if you are a blogger I'd be happy to promote your blog on my site also. 

Halloween Role Play & Making Spaghetti Lesson Review 

Written by Teacher & Blogger, Semeerah 

Lesson planning can be stressful and we have all been there, but where to go for help?  I have been saved on numerous occasions by friend & blogger Ardyn - also known as "Mrs. Baia". On her blog, she is kind of enough to share with us her wonderful lessons that have been carefully thought out and planned.  I used her Halloween skit with my third graders and IT WAS A HIT. (Third grade in Middle School).

 I was worried at first, because my students are beyond shy, but this brought them out of their shell and it worked really well. The dialogue was great as my students got a chance to read, pronounce and practice their English. But also, they got to have some fun!  The script has lots of room for sound effects and silliness, as well as being ESL level. Below are some videos of how great my students did, with her Halloween Dialogue. It saved my life, as I was highly stressed out during the Halloween lesson planning stage and her blog came to my rescue. Now, they are not Oscar award winning actors (yet) but for my students, this is a big step, acting and trying to be creative with a script. I also loved the script, and very impressed that Mrs. Baia wrote this herself! Great for ESL level students young and old.

See script by clicking here.

I have also had a spaghetti inspired class, because one of her posts called  “on top of spaghetti” , featuring the song was really perfect to use for our cooking lesson. Her PPT helped me go through the ingredients of what was required in spaghetti, so before we made the spaghetti, I used her PPT and showed the song.

 My kids loved the song and were well engaged, before we started the cooking part of the lesson. It was an excellent way to start our cooking spaghetti lesson and practice the ingredient names and other cooking vocabulary that we would use during the practical part.

Her lesson was made for young learners but my students are quite low level so it worked okay with middle school students also. I also liked the online reading activity (you can see it on the computer projection in my pictures below) as this helped us to do a little reading & English practice. It's also a funny story as the meatball rolls out the door. hehe

Her blog is colourful, well organized and very easy to navigate. She provides you with her PPTs and handouts. Also, her blog illustrates her passion not only for teaching, but to help other teachers to bring the best out of their students, and I testify to this, because using her Halloween Dialogue brought the best of my students that day. They had fun while learning and after all isn’t that what our goal is at the end of the day as teachers?

So the next time you are stuck or uninspired go straight to her page and I know you will find at least one thing if not more to teach your students. 


Semeerah teaches in South Korea and is from Canada. Her blog 'Perfectly Imperfect Meya' is a blog about living and working in South Korea. Some of her popular posts include a review on South Korean Beauty Products , an article on Living Expenses in Korea  and a post about her view of being a Muslim Woman in South Korea

Watch and Speak ~ Fun Foods Lesson

Hey all, at some of my schools we have finished the textbook and instead of watching movies (as I won't see them often enough to complete both parts of a film over 2 weeks) I wanted to do some super, simple and stress free speaking lessons that I could use for all grades. And what better topic than food?
It was a total hit with all my grades, they were very interested and everyone had a chance to speak.

So first, I ask "What does favorite mean in Korean?" for the younger and lower level I translate it for them. I've learnt from the textbook favorite is "  joh-ahaneun " (좋아하는).

Next, I have written on the board "My favorite _________ is from ____________."
Then I ask, what's does 'breakfast' mean? and in Korean it's "achim sigsa" (아침 식사). And that's when I fill in the first blank of my sentence - "My favorite __breakfast__ is from ________"
Then I get them to read it, and I say "Okay, now we will watch a video about breakfasts from many countries" (Many countries = "mahnun nara" = 많은 나라 ).

Usually they get the gist , and I show them this great buzzfeed video called "What Does the World Eat for Breakfast?"

You can, especially for the lower levels , shout out some of the country names in Korean, I don't know many, I just know mee-gook, yongook, indo, etc.
While watching, and they are usually really into the video and you'll hear them murmuring "delicious" a few times. Or "ma-si-sseo-sseo-yo" as we in Korean know well.

Next, I asked them "Do you know what 'lunch' is?" and they nodded , most know this word. So then I explained the next video would show them lunch from different countries around the world.
This is also from buzzfeed and even better than the Breakfast video, it includes a Korean lunch.

It's called "School Lunches Around The World" :

After watching, I asked them like with the breakfast video "What's your favorite lunch in the video?" and they were able to once again to my sentence with blanks on the board, which I changed to:
"My favorite __lunch___ is from ________." I personally want to eat France's school lunch - gee, they eat well! Once again, everyone was keen to make the sentence.

Next crazy sushi, - this one is a huge hit! The video is called "Can You Sushi it?" and it's amazing, I want to eat all of the sushi made in the video. For the lower level kids I told them sushi is like gimbap and they could easily understand. 
And for my sentence on the board I wrote:  "My favorite __crazy sushi___ is from ________." - they got a laugh from the 'crazy' part. 

Here's the video, "Can You Sushi it?" by Buzzfeed, once again: 

The kids loved this one and they all were pretty excited to tell me their favorite crazy sushi. After this video I had the idea to get them thinking creatively and I asked what crazy sushi they would want to make and try. I've made this little PPT , so that if you have the chance to teach this class, you can make use of it...


You can get them drawing on a paper or in their books, I wouldn't bother printing anything.
Then show them some strange sushi that does exist:

Now some other food related videos I recommend for more fun and speaking are as follows:

Crazy Burger Pie (too much, waaaayyyy too much!)

Another School Lunch Video, very nice photography:

Hope this helped! Happy Teaching and happy holidays !

Monday, 21 December 2015

Inside Out Theme Check Cards ~ Class Management Idea for the Little Ones

I've been working on a new system to implement in my grade 1 and 2 class. They can be very unruly at times and a friend of mine suggested this great class management idea the other day, and I am ready to try it out this week!

I made these Inside Out Themed Check Cards today, I will laminate them and then have the students write their names with a white board marker when they come to the lesson. I will explain that 10 checks will mean 1 coupon. (See my English market post to understand the coupon system).

When they are doing the activity well and being good , I will come round and give them a check. When they are unruly, I am able to take a check off.

I am hoping that this works well and my friend who suggested the idea said it's a hit in her class. She also gives candy instead or with coupons. Also a nice idea.

Happy Teaching!

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Winter Camp 2015/16 ~ Day 4: The Wooden Horse & Sweet Things to do this Week Craft!

I like this story so much, because it is simple and ESL suitable but very easily captures the Greek legend's story line and with vocabulary I can actually teach! It's called The Wooden Horse. I want to do this lesson with grade 5 and 6 more so, as it's a bit more advanced for my grade 3 and 4. But you can always try it with the young ones, they can handle it if higher level especially.

*updated, scroll down for craft!*

Here's my plan:

Camp Day 4: The Wooden Horse
Lesson Plan:

Warm up: Target Practice 

  • Draw or project an archery target on the board, big enough for them to use as a target board with paper airplanes. 
  • This can be played in teams or with individuals. 
  • Make or have ready one paper airplane (prepare a back-up if you are repeating this lesson)
  • Tell the students, the most outer of the target is worth 1 point and they must answer a difficult question, the next circle inner, is worth 2 points and has a less difficult question but still not easy, the next inner circle (before the bullseye) is worth 3 points and it’s an easy question. If they get the bullseye, it’s worth 5 points and there is no question, they can have another turn. 
  • Remember to make sure the board and distance of throw is a challenge, you want less bullseye hits than anything else! 

  • Now, prepare some 1 point, 2 point, 3 point questions. (difficult, medium to easy) – you can have them written on cards or you can just read them off a paper you have quickly written down.
  • Suggested, Sample Questions: (The only get the point if they answer correctly).
  • 1 Point: Difficult questions
  • How do you spell this sentence in full? : “My favorite food is apple pie”
  • Count to 30 in English.
  • Name 3 countries starting with ‘A’. (Argentina, America, Australia, Austria, Afghanistan, AFRICA IS NOT A COUNTRY!)
  • Name 3 colors starting with B (Blue, Black, Brown)
  • 2 Point: Medium level questions:
  • Name 5 foods.
  • Name 5 colors 
  • Name 5 animals that don’t swim
  • How do you spell it? – chocolate , swimming, delicious (choose one word) 
  • 3 Point: Easy Questions – I’ve made these personal for a chance at discussion.
  • What’s your favorite food? 
  • What’s your favorite subject?
  • What’s your favorite sport?
  • What is your friend’s name? 
Read the book! 
  • I know I usually don’t start with the book, but since the warm up could take a while, I think we should just get into it. A nice change too.
Read ‘The Wooden Horse’ on Starfall
  • Make sure to discuss the story, see if they know of it and more.
  • Listen and repeat, reading. Delegate pages or sentences to each student to read. 
You can Optional, watch the Trojan Horse clip from the movie Troy (note, has dead people on the beach in it)

New Vocabulary PPT
  • Go over new words and meanings with slides. 
  • The PPT is more like a quiz, the students are given the word and they have to choose the matching picture or Korean translation. I got the translations from an actual English – Korean dictionary so they are more trustworthy than Google Translate, etc. 
  • There is a crossword that you can ask them to complete during or after the PPT. Edit - the crossword didn't work , sorry, must have been a translation issue as I made it online. Sorry if you printed/used it.

Re-read the story
  • In this reading, make sure to have the students lead and delegate parts for them to read.
‘The Gift’ – after reading discussion and lead into ‘gift’
  • Start a simple discussion about the story using the PPT slides and lead them to the theme of gifts and gift giving. 
  • Follow slides and then start on what’s better – to give or receive discussion, which will bring you to the craft / project
2016 New Year’s "Sweet Things to do this Week"

  • I thought this would be a great way to start the New Year as my camps are before and after New Year’s Day but close enough. Plus, I would like my kids to be a bit nicer in 2016 – lol… some of them have become so spoilt and entitled… but that’s another story.
  • So, it’s a simple craft project where you discuss doing nice things “gifts from the heart” - moreover, good deeds.
Watch Good Deeds Video – Mabel’s Good Deeds Montage

Brainstorm some Good Deeds with the class.

“Sweet Things for the Week” Craft

Double sided display for kids, to motivate them to do 'sweet things' (good deeds)
4 good deeds per week!

Below are images of my own demo Sweet Things for the Week craft which I made, illustrated  and colored.
 I updated the display to have decorations of sweet things in the boarder, so the kids can color more and make it look even sweeter!
You can see my own colored sweet things pockets below, and imagine how the black and white could look all colored in. You could even print these on colored card!

As you can see there's a sentence for them to write - it says "I want to _____________" You can brainstorm ideas for this, such as "I want to  be a better person", "I want to be nice." , "I want to be good" ...etc. It's sort of a goal for these good deeds.

  • Now, you can use my word doc file or use one of the many other ideas for a similar activity. There are heaps of similar ideas  online. 
How to, pockets:


You cut and paste the pockets to the display above, the display is folded and glued at the bottom to make it stand. Best if you print on card, or thick paper!

The table is full of some sample good deeds and plenty of space to write their own. 
 Download this resource here: Sweet Things To Do This Week Craft

  • The Idea: I wanted to make some sort of display using card & paper where the student can pick at least 4 good deeds to do each week / or month (I guess a month might be more realistic for some) and so, in the lesson I wanted to get them writing their own ideas for good deeds as well as using some I've already written. 
  • They can have personal good deeds this way, like "Help grandma water the flowers" etc. This is a great teaching moment to brainstorm and get them thinking, speaking and writing. 
Provide a template sentence or sentences like:

Help (someone's name) wash/clean/with ...

Call (someone's name) to say hello and how are you?

Write (someone's name) a nice letter/card.

  • Ultimately, they will go home with at least 31 good deeds (thinking, one month in my head) and a display unit. 
  • The display unit will allow them to pick the 4 good deeds randomly from their 31 - maybe it's kept in a jar or envelope and they just stick their hand in blind. Then they attach them to the display (the good deeds are written on small cards) and so, they have to set the goal of completing all 4 good deeds within the week. 
  • I personally think a week is doable but maybe you'd want to let them know that they could change it to two weeks or a month. 
  • Now, the good deeds should be nice things but nothing insane or difficult for a child to do. Realistic is the word that needs to be in your head for this lesson.

Example good deeds that children can do in a week:
  1. Say something nice to someone - a compliment.
  2. Help someone with cleaning - mum, dad, family.
  3. Write a nice letter or note to someone you love and give it to them,
  4. Pick up any trash you see around you today.
  5. Call someone you love to say hello - grandparents, aunty, uncle.
  6. Help your friend with something.
  7. smile!
  8. Hold (open) the door for someone today, as many times as you can.
  9. Remember to say please and thank you this week.
  10. Hug someone you love!
My sweet things pockets, cut and colored. 

Other Good Deed Ideas for Craft Time 

Good Deeds Calendar:
These are both made for Muslim kids during Ramadan, but I figure you can use the same idea, how they constructed it, etc. You could just do one month and then have them rearrange the deeds at the end of every month. That's a deed a day, so very ambitious for some students.

Home School Muslim Pintrest Page

Yasin Ahsan (age 8) – Winner – Good deeds calendar and reward chart

Crayola, Good Deeds 'Quilt' :
View the link to see full, how to instructions.

Good Deeds Jar Craft:
You can buy jars in Korea from stores like diaso for cheap actually!
You could also use an old tissue box, or any box to mimic this craft.

25 Days of Service Craft - need clothes pegs

Trojan Horse Cookie Craft

I will probably be doing this day over 2 days, so I'd like to do a Cookie Craft - making a trojan horse with cookies. I've recently done a lesson on cookie houses at my main school for lesson "What a Nice House."(click to see post)  and as it worked really well, I think I'll also do it during camp.

Here's a cookie horse I found online:

Happy Teaching!

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Winter Camp 2015/16 ~ Day 3: Chicken Little

Of course, you must know this story! I love the simple version that's provided on so I made sure that this story be included in my winter camp 2015.

So here's the plan and resources for you to download, free !

1. Warm up: Whisper Game 

  • This is my way of practicing the words in the story and since the names of the characters are in a slight way like ‘tongue twisters’ then it’s perfect for the game.
  • I want to play this in the traditional way of getting the students in a circle and then I whisper to one student and they whisper it to the other side, and then the last person will reveal what they heard. 
  • Things to whisper: Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, Goosey Loosey, Turkey Lurkey, Foxy Loxy, ‘the sky is falling’
  • When they reveal the whisper, write the name on the board. Ask questions – what animal do you think about? Etc.

2. Scavenger Hunt – Find the Characters of Chicken Little
  • Prepare this before class! Better to do it the day before, than the morning of as many students can come to school early during camp.
  • Print out the cards of the characters - Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, Goosey Loosey, Turkey Lurkey and Foxy Loxy. Print out a few copies (5-10) on card or thick paper.
  • Next, hide them – seriously, hide them like crazy and have fun with it. 
  • Put the students in teams, give them a limited amount of time (this is important –time limit) and then say go! The team to collect the most cards is the winner and to make it more interesting, give extra points for Chicken Little character cards. 
  • Depending on the amount of cards you hide – you should give more or less time.
  • Kids love the hunt style games so it should be a little bit of madness but it’s all in good fun. 

3. Vocabulary PowerPoint & Scrambled Vocab Worksheet 
  • Go over new words with pictures and have the students find the correct scrambled word on the scrambled worksheet. 
  • Make sure to check spellings and meanings.
Slide Preview:

4. Read the book online at – Chicken Little. 
  • Make sure to read at least twice and ask comprehension questions.
  • Who said “the sky is falling” first? 
  • There's also this maze worksheet available on Starfall for free to print also. Good for the grade 3 and 4 especially. 
5. Reading Memory Challenge, 
  • see PPT, straight forward, boxes fall after covering words from the story. Kids should guess and try to remember. 

6. Paper Plate Chicken Craft & Book Report
  • Using the website instructions from Molly Moo Crafts.
  • Optional – to make it easier, don’t bother with the papier-mâché and just paint over the tape (masking tape would be better also, easier to paint over). Or, don’t even bother to stuff it all the way, stuff it without touching the rim of the plate and secure with tape.

  • Now, the book report part – instead of painting both sides, write answers to questions on one side of the chicken. Only paint or color the other side.
  • Again, like past winter camp classes in this camp, give the same style of questions for the kids to answer about the story Chicken Little. 

7.  Food/Snack option: Make some chicken shaped snacks! 

You can order this one off Alliexpress if you'd like. 
Or just decorate a boiled egg like an angry bird character, like you see in the bento above!
  • There are tons of chicken shaped snacks you can do. Living in Korea, even better – we have access to a lot of Bento Box food cutters – a chicken can be a bird shape easily. If you can’t find a bento box cutter a cookie cutter will do! Just anything that looks like a chicken.
  • If you can, a whole farm animal set would do well also as the story is pretty farm like in vibe and with animals like a duck, hen, chick, turkey, etc.
Or you can just use rice and pieces of carrot.
Or the cute chick in the back is only made with a boiled egg and some seaweed.
I love this, it's just yellow food colouring on rice with seaweed and carrot to decorate.
  • Here's a great site for more Bento box ideas. 

8. If you can – Watch Chicken Little! 
  • The movie is adorable, and you could make this a relaxed day by finishing with a movie, and maybe finish the other half the next day. It's not a bad thing to watch a movie during camp. I am going to see if I can get away with this for this camp - some of my school's are stricter than others, so we'll see.
  • Or, if you can't watch the movie there is quite a few cartoons online that are shorter animated versions of the story too.
  • The Disney Version is quite good too and on YouTube. But a bit high level, they get the idea though. 

9. Role-Play  

  • Now, I was too lazy to write/make a role-play worksheet this time. lol.
  • But I found this one online, and it's violent as the original tale has the king chop off their heads - shock horror! - but I think, because my kids are nutty and like a little zombie/violence as in their PC games and more, it would be quite enjoyable to act it out. 
  • I found the script on
As I have said in my last post, I will probably prepare some bomb games for each day, in case I run into extra time. Although most camps are about 4 hours for 1 day, and different grades, maybe an hour for each grade, plus breaks - so I think what I have in these posts is plenty. I'll upload my bomb games in the final camp post. :)

Happy Teaching! 

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Winter Camp 2015/16 ~ Day 2: The Turnip

Hello all, as promised here is day 2 of my camp and it's all about the Starfall story online called 'The Turnip'. Yes, it's based on that old (Russian?) folk tale 'the gigantic/huge turnip' but Starfall simplifies it for ESL level. Love this site!

Download the complete bundle of lesson resources and PPT here.

So below are the activities and lesson ideas I'll do to teach the story during winter camp.

1. Warm Up 1 & 2: Verb Musical Chairs and Verb Pantomime Relays

  • An oldie but goodie, play musical chairs as you normally would but instead of just walking around or dancing around the chairs in the middle while music plays - get them moving in actions, specifically verbs you'd like to teach.
  • So before you play the music, go over verbs from The Turnip:
  • Plant, cry, pull, call, come, hold are the main verbs in the book. So act them out and teach them to students before the game. Use simple gestures. 
  • For 'call' you can mime out a telephone call or call out with hands by your mouth, for 'hold' you can hold your body or you can get them to hold their classmate's hands, etc. And 'plant' you will need to mime out actually planting a seed,etc.
  • Have your co-teacher help when possible, or if without a co and you are with low level students, have a white board and marker ready to draw and write out words.
  • Next, play musical chairs but while music is playing, you call out verbs and they have to circle the chairs as well as act them out. Good way to review verbs and listen.

2. Verb Pantomime Relay
  • Have class in two teams or more. Move desks to make space in the class to run from one side to the other. Teams should be in single file lines on one side of the class. 
  • The first runner, runs to other side of class where a box of verb flashcards are sitting.
  • The runner should take out the card, read the verb and pantomime it to his team.
  • When the team can correctly guess and call out the verb, then the runner can run back, tag the next in line member and the relay repeats. 
  • You can play until all the flashcards are finished, the first team to finish, wins.
  • Teachers should be listening intently and monitoring the speaking and guessing throughout. 

3. Vocabulary Review and Learn on PowerPoint & Word Search Worksheet
EDIT : the word Pulled is absent from the word search! Sorry!

  • Go through the new vocabulary with pictures and also give students the word search worksheet I made to match the story. 
  • The word search should be filled in as we go along. 
  • You can reward the student who is able to finish the word search first, if it works out well.
  • You should practice spelling also.
Slide Preview

4. Now, read the story online! Link:  The Turnip 
  • Link is included in the PPT also.
  • Read to them once or let the computer, and then re-read as a class.
  • Ask students if they would like to read certain pages or paragraphs also.
  • While reading, ask discussion questions and comprehension check questions especially focusing on vocabulary. 
5. Reading Memory Challenge in PPT
  • You can easily test their reading memory with the memory challenge slides. 
6. Next Watch the 'Tango Turnip" video
  • This is a silly video I found on Youtube to get them having fun when thinking about this odd vegetable. 
  • Watch and then after, it leads to the Design your Tango Turnip activity...

7. Design a Tango Turnip Worksheet

  • This is my sneaky way of doing a book review as well as something more crafty.
  • I also highly recommend if you have the budget for string, you can get them to glue on string for the arms and legs of the turnip.
  • This is a worksheet/crafty-ish idea for limited budget/time teachers. Students are able to draw and decorate their musical turnip and in the speech bubbles can write a fact about the book.
  • I recommend, you set the criteria for example, accepted facts... e.g. Ask them to write answers to such questions as:
  • Who is in the story? What is the vegetable in the story? What animals are in the story? Who is the last one to help pull the turnip? Etc.
8. Optional Craft idea (additional or alternative) Puffy Paper Turnip Book Reports

In this picture , I made the craft by printing out the turnip template (included in download bundle) and printed it twice. Cut it, coloured it and on the back wrote some facts about the story. Then I stapled half of it, stuffed it with tissue paper, stapled more, stuffed more and viola! Done, a puffy colored, book report Turnip! 
Took about 5 minutes. 



More info:
  • Make some 3D turnips.
  • You'd need cotton wool/tissue and turnip shapes, printed out and cut out by students, and a stapler with plenty of staples, paint and or sign pens/coloring pencils.
  • If you have paint, paint the turnip cut outs first and let dry. If no paint, colour in before cutting and more...
  • Next, have the students cut out their 2 turnip cut outs, next staple only half around the shapes together, forming a kind of turnip shaped pocket.
  • Stuff this with cotton wool or whatever alternative and then staple it up so it's all locked inside.
  • Viola, you have a puffy paper turnip.
9. Watch the Barney and Friends version of the Turnip story on YouTube.

10. Role-Play time, Writing and Performing 
  • Like my Mr.Bunny Fill in the Blanks Script, this is very much the same idea. 
  • The students can write in a new root vegetable that's grown so big and got stuck.
  • And you can also add new characters.
We changed 'turnip' to slice of cheese because we found a cheese slice in our prop box. It was really fun as they acted out the play and all acted out pulling the cheese from the ground! :)

  • After filling in the scripts, act and perform. You could also just do it as a class.
11. If you have time, I made a Superhero Match-Up game with The Turnip Theme. 
  • I may or may not add a bomb game for each of these days, when I have time, or just simply repeat one of the warm ups to review and wrap up.

Also, here's a link to a cool Pintrest page about Turnip Crafts. :)