Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Whose is it? Drawing and Speaking Game *Updated June 9th*

My 5th graders are currently on the topic of "Whose is it?" and today we had a class where I wanted to focus on speaking and learning the phrases as we've only just started the topic.

The phrases we focused on were as follows:

  • "Whose is it?"
  • "Whose ______________ is it?"
  • "It's mine."
  • "It's yours."
  • "It's ___________'s _______________."

So I wrote these (above) on the board, and the game was simple.
Whoever is drawing has the marker and asks "Whose _________ is it?" they can fill that blank with any object they know - I try to, when it's my turn, or if the students are strapped for an idea, tell them one of the words we are learning in the topic's vocabulary list such as : camera, umbrella, ball, pencil case, pen, etc. 

So, the drawer says , for example:

The other player replies (like Snoopy) "It's Matt's pencil case."
So, after this speaking exchange the drawer (Doraemon) will draw the object in the appropriate area on the board...

What's on the board? Well, before I start all this I draw and make sections on the board for different 'people'. You can choose to write the names of individuals in your class or make up names/ use cartoons, etc.
So here's a sample board: (made up names and me).

 So, each person has a section where the drawer can draw their objects - to practice the "whose" possessive quality.

So remember Doraemon and Snoopy?  (Imagine them as your two student volunteers).

 So the board should look like this after - because Doraemon would draw a pencil case in Matt's section:

SO if we play a new round, this time with 2 new players, they say:

"Whose ball is it?"

"It's Mrs. Baia's ball."
The board will look like this:

 The students got really into it because they got to draw and the speaking became easy and repetitive enough (but not boring!) that they learnt how to say the phrases really well -and understand them.

After playing a few rounds our boards and vocabulary were plentiful. And then I changed it up a bit.
I told my students they had the option to say "It's mine." or "It's yours." So in this way, when they say "It's mine" they had to draw a box on the board and write their name, and draw their object within it. This was especially easy as I did this with a small class. I suggest if you have a large class you only have a select number of students that you play the "It's mine" and "It's yours" part with. 

This was my board when I played with my one student at my small school - I only have 1 kid in 5th grade. However, I plan to play this with a larger class and simply have student volunteers to be the drawers rather than every student - although, if we have time I'll try to get everyone to draw.

As you can see on the far left there are two small boxes. One is labelled with my name "Baia teacher" or Mrs.Baia (depends on grade lol) and then the other box has my student's name 'Yong-Hun'. This was used when we played the "It's mine."/"It's yours" part.

By the end of the class the students should be able to make the Whose is it ? questions easily and say who it belongs to, etc. 

Oh and before I forget, you can download my "Whose is it? comic book" to do for the project time in your class or for a simple writing / homework activity.

Update, June 1st:

A friend and fellow teacher in Korea said she used this activity in her class recently and it went really well! I'm always pleased to hear of other teachers using my ideas - and sending me pictures!
You should also check out her fab blog about living in Korea : The New Glam ~ Daharis

Her blackboard looks great!
How fun :)

Another teacher also sent me a picture! She spiced it up by printing out cartoon characters and sticking them on the board. :) Looks fun! Thank You Sheena Teacher!

Happy Teaching!

Friday, 27 March 2015

What's this? that? / What are those? these? ESL Card Games for Demonstrative Pronouns

Here are some of the card games I play in class for teaching demonstratives :

1. Bingo-Card-Train

All you do is get your class into teams -preferably teams that are in a line. So if your class is in rows, I would have the first row be team 1, the second row is team 2 and so on.

SO after sorting the teams give the students your flashcards. These are the flashcards I used for teaching "what are these?" and "what are those?" You can download them here.  or make your own! 
Just have images or words that are plurals. I have flowers, piggy banks , socks, flags, gloves, cookies and fans. 

After giving each student a set of these cards tell them to choose only 3 of these cards and hide the remaining under their books. After you have all the students ready with 3 cards go to the front of the class and write on the board:

Now you'll stand at the front of the class with your own set of cards or none, up to you - and you tell the class to ask the question on the board "What are these?" or "What are those?" You can simply point to it at the start of each round. 

Once they ask, answer with "They're ___________" and choose one of the flashcards. Tell the students, if they have the same card that you call they can put that on the desk, it's their first bingo. 

E.g. Students: What are these?
        Teacher: They're flags!

If the students have the flags card they put it on the desk, if they don't they do nothing. Now, do it 3 more times. (4 times total - this is my recommendation but up to you, only twice if you're short for time).

Once you have gone 4 rounds the teams should have some cards on their desk - I call it the card train as the cards will be lined up on the row of desks. You go around and count how many cards each team has. The team with the most cards wins. 

I play about 3 games, stop between games to have them pick 3 new flashcards each time from their set of 8 (hiding under their book)...usually, I play one game for the amount of teams and have a point keeping table on the board. 

This game practicing speaking as they learn the questions "What are these ?" and "What are those?" very well. 


Now, to make it even more useful for learning demonstratives - add in some flashcards that aren't plurals but singular. You can have word flashcards instead as this will get them reading. Mix these flashcards with the picture cards. 

I made these on Cambridge FlashCard Maker Online. Such a great resource to have on hand!

So this time give them both the picture and word cards. You could also give out one sheet of plural flashcards and singular word flashcards to a pair each to reduce your printing. Add two new sentences to your white board:

Ask them again to take only 3 cards. This time you call out not only plurals "They're ______" but also call out "It's a ____________". And to change it up a bit, you could ask teams to take turns choosing the question they prefer - so team one might talk together and decide they have more singular word cards than plural so they'll ask either "What's that?" or "What's this" instead of a these/those question.

Once again, the teams with the most cards after your bingo rounds is the winner. This game will practice speaking, reading and understanding the this/that and these/those differences.

Making Sentences Card Game:

Using the same picture flashcards also add flashcards that have the words "what" "these" those" "are" "?" written on them. 

Give only 1 set of sentence flashcards and picture cards per pair. Now, on the board have the picture cards projected on the board or simply have them cut and stuck on the board with magnets. 
After that, you should stand next to a picture card and point to it -touching the card OR stand far away from a card and point but be clear what you're pointing to -but it's ok to say flags, flowers, socks, etc if the students can't tell -just don't say these or those.

The students should make the correct dialogue on their desks according to the distance you've made between you and the picture. If you are standing close and touching the picture they should use "these" in their dialogue. If you are far and pointing they use "those".

 So they should arrange the cards in correct sentence structure order on their desks and add the appropriate picture card. 

E.g. Teacher calls "These are flags." while standing next to the flags card.

Students should arrange cards on their desks as so:

This way the students are learning the difference between these and those as well as practicing sentence structure. The class should read the correct question and answer dialogue to check. If the pair gets it correct they earn themselves a point. 

Play multiple rounds and ask at the end which pairs have the most points.

Happy Teaching! Hope this helps! 

Friday, 20 March 2015

What Grade Are You In? Where Do You Live? - Sentence Making Game Lesson

For my current 6 grade classes we're still on lesson 1 and studying the main phrase "What grade are you in?" There are also a series of other sentences that detail facts about different kids. For example, the textbook has a reading passage about 'Jack Harris' who lives in San Francisco, U.S.A and goes to Golden Gate Elementary School, etc. So the lesson aims to teach basic sentences that the students can say to introduce themselves and their backgrounds.

So, after we did the reading from the textbook about Jack, I put up on the white board a passage of my own but with blanks. Then I had the students in teams, a pair playing against each other each round - the game : who can fit their word into the correct blank space first.

Here's my passage with blanks on the white board:

My words that I had printed and cut up were:

  • Maple Leaf
  • Sophie Grant.
  • Toronto, Canada.
  • big, exciting
  • art
  • painting pictures
  • "Sop-VanGogh"
  • fifth
I got 2 students to come to the front and gave them a different word and card each. Then I asked them to race to write their word in the correct blank.

Here's the filled up passage :

After filling in all the blanks then I showed the first slide of my PowerPoint - free to download.

We would read the passage with blanks filled with the PowerPoint. I animated the PowerPoint to show images one at a time, that matched the sentences of the passage on the board.

Example : My name is Sophie Grant.
This girl pops on the slide.

Next sentence, I'm live in Toronto, Canada. 

And so on, this is a good way to practice reading and do a comprehension check by use of pictures.

After that we played the same game except I made it harder by not giving them a passage with blanks to fill out. Instead 2 players came to the front, facing a blank white board and I would give them one word or words (E.g. Toronto, Canada) and they had to this time, write an entire sentence. The first player to write the sentence correctly, wins a point for their team.

The PowerPoint features 4 different kids from around the world and has pictures to match the following word sets below:

(you can guess which words fill in sentences by looking at the picture of my white board earlier in this post).

Lihn Po.                              (This info about "Lihn Po" is taken from textbook)
Hanoi, Vietnam.
busy, noisy and interesting
HuiHua Village
riding my bike
“Miss Bike.”

Pedro Santos
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
huge, colorful
Tasso Elementary
playing soccer

Chloe Smith
Auckland, New Zealand
relaxing, wonderful and beach-filled
go fishing
“Chloe-stein”        (Chloe + Einstein) 

Hope this can be a game for your class!

Happy Teaching! 

You Be The Judge! English Club - Judging A Singing Competition!

I have to keep my English Club fun and lively or the students won't bother to show up... and who can blame them? I've never been a fan of after school class as a child.
SO, in my most recent class I thought I'd teach a few words about singing and how to describe one's voice all while playing the role of competition judge - mimicking the likes of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.

I did a simple PowerPoint with the students first, with many pictures and transitions - to go over the basic vocabulary that we could use as judges.

You can download the Singing Competition PPT for free on my Teachers Pay Teachers page.

Here are a couple sample slides so you can get the idea... note: I used an internet translator to help with the Korean words that appear - you can simply delete if you want it all in English or have a check with your co-teacher if it's all ok. My students had no issues understanding though! Just warning you, I don't promise amazing Korean.

After the quick PowerPoint I wrote a bit on the board to remind them and get ready for our judging part. On the last slide of the PPT it has links to 4 different Singing Competition videos (X-factor, etc) the last video is actually a Korean show, with a little Korean girl singing.

Before watching each video, get the kids to write on cards - the numbers 1 -10. These will be their judging cards.

Next, play the videos and after each one ask your judges what points they give the singer. Then encourage them each to make a sentence from the vocabulary you studied in the PowerPoint. 

If your students are shy to speak , point to the board and sentences and ask them "Does she have a soft voice?" , etc.

Hope you have a good class!

Happy Teaching!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Snakes & Ladders for Grade 4 ! "This is Bora."

This is a quick way to practice speaking and I've used it for small classes (as seen in the pictures) as well as with large classes.

The game is simple - Snakes and Ladders, you can make it on a PowerPoint or you can draw it on the white board or even make the game board out of card, etc. (Leave the squares blank).

So first you present the board and in this case my board had many words from the textbook as well as some I knew they already could read and understand.

Our textbook phrases for that lesson was "This is my ____________." So before playing, I would point to each square and test the class if they could make the right sentences. For box one as seen above, it says "My name is _____________." - this was to revise the phrase, so we all said "My name is _________" one by one. After I pointed to the 2nd box, they read "This is my ball" then I went to the 3rd box and they said "This is my cake." and so the pointing continued until we reached the last box.

Right, now let's play.

 So, for the game, when they roll the dice they land on a square - it could be a snake or a ladder they land on also, so move their marker accordingly (I used cups for my markers but on the big white board with a large class, I'll use magnets). Then, when they have put their marker on the box they have to make the sentence accordingly.

The students are very keen to play and get to the finishing square -all while practicing the key sentence.

You can make this game more advanced by adding more than one word to the box so that the student can make 2 sentences, and so on.

Read more on snakes and ladders in the ESL classroom by checking out one of my earlier posts where I played the same game but with a large class and different topic.
I also played it while teaching an emotions lesson - this had a pictionary twist!, read here.

Happy Teaching!

Friday, 6 March 2015

First Week Back - ABCs, Phonics and Handwriting!

Dear teachers of the new Korean school year - hang in there, we'll be in routine soon enough. It feels like a long week already as we've come back from our vacations...and or desk warming (YUCK!) and now we've got new schools and/or new classes, new faces and more.

For my first week back I wanted to do a kind of intense yet fun, back to English program. I thought a good way to stay the year was to check on the student's phonics, handwriting and reading. This lets me get to know my new student's levels as well as check on where I'm at with the students I already know.

*** I also made name tags / desk tags with the students to learn their names - takes some time but good for us to learn those names asap.***

A great phonics song to start with:

I've got three schools total now, so I am teaching grades 3 and 4 as well as 5 and 6. I'll have a lot more resources for the young ones this year!

So first off, a phonic game for grades 5-6...it's a bit too challenging for my grade 3s and 4s.

The What Rhymes With What PowerPoint

This PowerPoint is downloadable from the Twinkl website - it's a great website for all sorts of primary/elementary resources and spans across all subject fields. You can always make your own version of this powerpoint by writing out the question "What rhymes with _____?" and having a selection of words the kids have to choose from.

Good words to rhyme and find other words easily that rhyme are:

take - cake, bake, make, lake, rake, snake
wall - tall, ball , fall, all, small
man -pan, can, ban, van, fan, gran

This was a great game to practice spelling and phonics with as rhyming can teach the sounds of words and letter combinations. You play simply by having the class tell you the correct word match.
I wanted to be more creative, so I had the students with their mini whiteboards and markers, they wrote their answers on their boards and waited until I said "show me!" to reveal their answer.

For example:

PowerPoint slide shows:

"What rhymes with pig?"

The students can choose from either:

They should write their answers silently on their whiteboards and when the teacher says "show me" they reveal their boards and as a class we say the correct answer together.

This worked really well as everyone, even the lower level students, could see the connection between the sound and spelling of the word. A great way to practice phonics in the first week!

Other Phonics Activity:

You can download the A here for free!  
Download the B here.

I'm creating these ABCs that children can colour in and I am planning to teach 2 letters and their sounds every lesson for grades 3 and 4. This way we learn phonics throughout the year (well, at least through half the year) and it is also a nice little and creative routine to have every class. I tried letters A and B with my grade 3s and 4s this week and they really enjoyed the colouring part of it.

Before colouring I had written on the board, using my best handwriting possible, the letters A and B in both capital and lower case as well as the words ant and bear (to match my letter illustrations). I had the students copy down the letters and words in their best handwriting in their textbook. We even went over how to write the letter.

I plan to use these alphabet handwriting worksheets from twinkl.com for my next lessons:

I also played the classic Alphabet Stew game with my 5th and 6th graders to get them thinking and a little expanding of vocabulary. This is a game where you simply write out the Alphabet on an A4 paper (portrait way) and then tell the class they have 3 minutes (adjustable) to write an animal/country/clothing item/ whatever-topic-you-want for each letter. We did animals and jobs for 6 grade as one of the textbook starts with jobs anyway, so a good intro to the upcoming lesson.



Link: Animals A-z list


Engineer ...

Here's a link to a list of jobs alphabetically sorted for when you check as a class after you see who got the most and reward them with winner title and/or candy. Job List

 I also did a quick 'Sentence Unscramble' and handwriting practice, also downloadable from Twinkl.


Happy Teaching!

I'll be back to regular blogging from now on :)