Thursday, 30 April 2015

Strange Animals ESL Class ~ Free PPT and Worksheet

Today I recycled one of my reading time lessons into an English after school (club) lesson that worked really well!

See my older post on easy PPT lessons for reading here

The lesson topic: Strange Animals !

The objectives: learn some new words, learn about some strange animals, practice reading and listening...creative drawing!

The PowerPoint: I made a powerpoint that features a zookeeper I named Ella who wants to show us some strange animals from the zoo, we start in the aquarium. Ella introduces us to the Blobfish, Dumbo Octopus and the Narwhal.

(I've also created a follow up lesson if you have time which is a part two, where Ella travels to Australia and we see animals from there.)

Download the  Learn and Draw Strange Animals PPT for free at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

The Worksheet: I designed a worksheet to go with the PowerPoint, each time we learn a new animal we draw one. And at the end I ask the students to draw their own strange animal -you can ask them to make one up or draw one they actually know.

Download the Draw Strange Animals worksheet for free at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

Sample Slides:

The Worksheet looks like the one shown in the power point, except that it's blank so they can draw their own. My students really loved to see the drawings on screen to copy or be inspired by.

One of the last slides instructs the students to draw their own strange animal. The students really enjoyed when I made some crazy strange animals on the white board -simply by drawing cartoon animals on strange bodies on the white board:

(There were many giggles)

The students especially liked my "Bearsnakechick" hehe.

Here are some of the students hard at work (well, not too hard) and some of the final worksheets that were finished. I rewarded with big stickers, of course.

Very happy with how the lesson turned out! The students were really interested in the YouTube videos and pictures I showed of the animals and loved the drawing part also.

Her strange animal - the "rabtle" hehe! How creative !

I think it's a fish and robot combined?

I love his "chickshark" !

His strange animal - "manyface" me the chills actually...I could only think of that scary human centipede movie. ugh!

Happy Teaching!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

No Computer , No Problem... Simple ESL Projects

Today I had major computer issues and all of my lovely video warm ups, textbook computer CD-ROM activities and PowerPoint games were useless. So with 5 minutes till class time I had to improvise. The results, not half bad! And it reminded me just how important it is that we don't rely too much on technology in the classroom.

Before our projects I played a little speed game. This is simple and can be adjusted to numbers and ordinal number practice also. 

Get the students in a group, if you have a big class make groups of about 4-5. Then, hand the groups one piece of paper and one pen/pencil. 

You tell the students that they must write the alphabet in order, but one group member writes one letter and passes it to the next, and so that everyone participates and the aim is to get as many letters (or words if you're doing another topic) on the paper as you can in a short amount of time.

I usually give about 2 minutes and for higher level 1 minute or less. This is very good for practicing the order of things. You could play it with days of the week and months also...


These were all the materials I had, under such short notice...the kids luckily had their own sign pens (felt tips) and crayons.

 For Grade 3 we were luckily on the topic of food, practicing simple phrases such as “I like bananas” etc. So I had the quick idea to do the writing activities in the book and then we made menus. It was a fun activity and the students got really into it, trying to make the best menus and after their homeroom teacher even let them spend extra class time finishing them. I rewarded with big shiny stickers.

You can see them using their textbooks to write their menus.

You can also view my previous posts on menu making that I've done with role-playing and more! 

For Grade 4, I was also computerless so we reviewed the song as I remembered it from last class and we did the short writing activities in the textbook then I told them to design their own ‘Sports Day’ posters or advertisement which is Gwang-go (광고) in Korean by the way -came in useful to know. I did a quick sketch on the board to show them how they could design it but expressed that they could make changes and do it in their own way.

Here’s the finished product… and I’m thankful to have survived the classes without technology!

Until next time… Happy Teaching!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Birthday Card Making - These & Those

We've come to the end of our topic about 'these' and 'those'. I decided , a nice way to warp up would be with a simple project. My kids aren't all artistic but it turned out very fun and pleasant. We made birthday cards.

I used plain A4 papers that I cut in half. Easy preparation!

I showed them a couple birthday cards online for inspiration first and also I showed them some shape poems and shape cards that use only the words 'Happy Birthday' to make a shape:

This image is from the website :

Next I showed my demo card and explained that inside the card they needed to make two sentences. "Those are ____________" , "These are _______________." They were able to use vocabulary from the lesson as the textbook showed a birthday party, teacher's day party and children's day party texts.

My demo card:

I told them they could choose any objects to complete their these or those sentences. They did well. Here are some of our cards:

 ^This girl is an artist, she especially enjoyed this activity...but she forgot to write "balloons" ... lol.

In case you were wondering, my textbook looks like this (for this topic):

Happy Teaching!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Restaurant Role-Play

I've done this lesson before but this is my most recent class and it went really well. You can see my previous post on this, it differs as we made our own menus in that lesson.

So, in our class our simple warm up was listening to a song - this is a teacher student favorite I've discovered so play it for any food related lesson:

So I bought a cheap table cloth and had some doilies laying around and some old chopsticks so I stuck them in a cup and put some tissues for a more restaurant table effect...wish I bought a cheap vase with plastic flowers...

Then before starting the role-play we played a quick game of 'Alphabet Stew' -it's a favorite of mine. You have the students write the alphabet and then write a word that starts with the letter a, b, c and so on. We obviously did it with 'foods' as our topic. Kids enjoyed this, we just did it on the white board together as it's a short lesson and they always arrive a tad late.

A apple
B banana
C cookies
D duck...etc...

Here they are...reading their menus!

After reading the menus together as a class I had them also read the script I wrote on the board:

Next, I acted as the waiter and said the 'A' lines...I also asked in between "what drink would you like?" and the kids were able to act along with me. It was a good practice of reading and speaking. Even my lower level/shy students took part easily. After, I asked more confident students to go around and be the waiter --taking our orders and we had to change our food choices each time.

We also played a short memory game at the end where I explained that I would go first and say "I want bananas" then the next person has to repeat what I say and also say a new food :

A: I want bananas.
B: I want bananas and cake.
C: I want bananas, cake and pizza...etc

This also was fun and worked really well, they could easily use the food written on the board during our 'Alphabet Stew' warm up or refer to their menus.

Maybe next lesson we will make our own menus! 

So, I drew my own menus as I love to draw and had some free time... you can get them from my Teachers Pay Teachers page.

When you download you will get my original menu, a menu without 'Baia' on it and instead a blank space to put a student's name as well as a blank menu for the students to draw and write their own food and drink options. 

Happy Teaching! 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Clothes Line Warm Up :) Sit Down, Stand Up

For a simple warm up with my small grade 3 class I did this clothes line activity.
I first wrote out on the board instruction sentences that were missing words. Then on separate paper, I wrote out the remaining sentence -these papers are what they should hang up onto the clothes line with the pegs provided.

Because it's such a small class I divided them in teams (4 students total, 2 teams of 2) and gave them 3 cards each... then they had to pin it up , matching correctly. Whoever finished their paper matches first won.

How to play with a larger class? I would with a class of 25 -30, separate into 2 teams again and have them line up, then play the whisper game as I have before but instead of a dialogue with blanks to fill I would have the close line! See my post on the whisper game for more info.

 My board before pinning the paper matches..

My board after:

Kids found it fun and liked the pinning aspect, very simple but a good warm up. They had to read to find the correct match and afterwards we read all together. Takes about 5-7 mins.

Keep following my blog as I suspect I'll be using the clothesline again for larger classes and different lessons. :)

Happy Teaching!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

A Word On Piggy Banks...

My grade 5 students are studying "what are those/these?" and within the topic vocabulary comes "piggy banks" . Confused student comes to me and points to the rabbit shaped piggy banks in his textbook asking " are these rabbit banks?" I laugh. ..but then I had to think , why do we call them piggy banks ??
Wikipedia is awesome. I quickly searched and found that in English we have two meanings for 'pig' , obviously the animal but also pig refers to an earthenware pottery that's not fired. So the piggy banks first made were made from 'pig' which is why the animal pig shape became popular for their design.
Lil' history lesson for ya.
Hope this helps if your students ask the same !

Do You Like Dancing? PowerPoint Lesson for fun ESL

I recently did this with my grade 5 and 6 after school English class and it went really well. The students were intrigued by the videos and we practiced some new and old vocabulary as last week we did a class called 'Singing Competition' where my students acted as judges to american idol and the voice audition tapes I found on YouTube.

It is a relaxed lesson and please, I don't claim to speak Korean so my translations could be wrong but I had no issues in my class.

You can easily adjust this vocabulary to be more simple or more difficult.

PowerPoint Preview:

I had the students after every video clip give their opinion, practicing some of the sentences that were new and old (from last lesson).

You can download this powerpoint for free here.

Happy Teaching!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Target Practice! Flying Airplanes For ESL

Today I had all my classes play a simple paper airplane game that helped them with their lesson vocabulary. I've used this airplane game before and played it like the hammer game. But this time I tried to introduce more speaking via role-play which takes place within the throwing of paper planes.
Students loved it.

You can use this as a warm up or end of lesson game.

How we played it...

First, I showed them a picture I found online for how to fold an airplane, the one below is what I used... It's good to have an illustrated guide and also fold along with them and show Ss who are having any troubles how to do it with your own demo one.

Next , I had them stand in a line, in front of the whiteboard where I had previously made my English word target.  Now I did this with different grades and different topics so here are my different boards :

Grade 3- Topic "What's this?"

Dialogue/Vocab:  "What's this? It's a ____________." pencil, pen, book, eraser, cup, ruler

How we played :

Students make a line and I ask "What's this?" then they fly their airplane and try to hit any word/target area on the board. Depending on where they land they answer "It's a _________."
Everyone takes a few shots each, rotating in their line one at a time.

Extra time? Ask one of the students to be the teacher and ask "What's this?"
Or you can play by reversing the dialogue. The student asks you "what's this?" and you reply with "It's a ________" and they have to try aim for what you said.

Grade 4 - Topic: She's A Doctor
Vocab: "singer, farmer, doctor, dancer, artist, teacher"
"He's/ She's a ______________. " "an" " He's my brother" "She's my sister" "Who is she/he?"

How we played:

I ask "Who's that?"
They reply with either He's my brother or She's my sister.
Then they have to fly their airplane to wherever on the board , where it lands determines what job their sister or brother does. So if the plane hits dancer they say "He's a dancer" / "She's a dancer."

I wrote the following on the board to help them:

"A: Who's that?"
B: She's my sister / He's my brother.
B: She's a ________. / He's a _________."

Extra time?

Have a bag full of cards that have either 'she' or 'he' written on them. Before they shoot their plane, they pick a card without looking from the bag. If they get she then they have to use 'she' in their dialogue ("She's my sister. She's a doctor.") and vice versa for 'he' cards.

Grade 5 - Topic - Whose ball is this?

Vocab: umbrella, pencil, picture, camera, pencil case, bag
Dialogue: "Whose _________ is this?" / "It's ________'s ______."

How we played:

I played this in teams because it was one on one - you could also play in teams for large classes (boys vs. girls, etc). A point is awarded to every successful hit.

I said "Whose __________ is this?" then the student would have to hit the object I said.
E.g. I said "Whose camera is this?" so my student aimed for "Baia teacher's camera" on the target. Before flying his plane he had to say "Baia teacher's camera" also. I played against him so he and I would take turns saying "Whose _________ is this?" therefore controlling the target and practicing the vocab.

Grade 6 , Topic- I want to be a cook
Vocab: teacher, soccer player, cook , doctor, scientist, singer, artist
Dialogue " You're good at _____________" "singing, cooking, playing soccer, drawing, helping people, English"
"You should be a/an ___________"

How to play:

I say "You're good at ___________" and the students must match my sentence to the correct job.
Because it was a class of mixed levels, I wrote in black some ideas for saying 'you're good at'

For example, in the English teacher zone I wrote "English" which means that they can make the sentence "you're good at English" and this corresponds with "You should be an English teacher."

After the students say the correct "you should be a ________" sentence they then have to try hit the right target / job zone.

Other examples of dialogue:

I say "you're good at drawing."
The student replies with "you should be an artist." and takes her/his shot.

I say " you're good at playing soccer."
Student replies "you should be a soccer player"

etc, etc...

Extra time?
Have the students take your place by saying the "you're good at_________" sentence to their classmates who are flying the airplane.

So as you can see, it's easy to design your target board and you don't need to be a master of circle drawing either.

After the game I suggest you have them write out the practiced vocab and/or sentences on their paper airplanes , if you have time. This is a quick writing practice that's spiced up by simply writing it on their airplane than in their textbook.

Here's my grade 4 paper airplanes that they wrote and decorated after playing the game:

After playing this airplane game the dialogue was in their heads and practiced well. I would highly recommend this for the start of any topic as it's so easily adjustable! And for any level of ESL.

Happy Teaching everyone!