ICE CREAM AT MR. PRINTABLES

Studying color in the esl classroom with Mr. PrintablesHi everyone! Today I’m popping in to share an amazing resource with you. I know we’ve talked about this amazing website before and they’re part of our Creative Teaching resource page, but last week I started using some of their new flashcards and games and they were such a huge hit with my very young learners that I simply had to dedicate an entire post to it! This is Mr. Printables in case you haven’t seen it, and it’s an absolute gem of a website where the activities and games are not only incredibly useful for the learning process but they are simply gorgeous. The illustrations and quality of the images are really impressive and I still haven’t found another website that compares to its fabulous quality. The most incredible thing is that their resources are free for download! Can you believe that? Thank you Mr. Printables! So far I’m a huge fan of their ‘Monthters’ which I use for my sticker system (more on this soon), their beautiful flashcards and their games. Last week (as well as this week because students asked me to play the game again!) I tried their Ice Cream shop game for reviewing colors and roleplaying.Using Mr. Printables resources in the classroom

Here are some of the activities I did with one of my very young learners and some other ideas:

– Review colors by asking students to follow the words printed on the shop (popsicle stick section), if they can read. If they’re at a pre-reading stage just read them out to them.

– Have students place the ice cream scoops on the correct cone and then play games for them to switch them around. For example “I would like a pink ice cream cone with a yellow scoop of ice cream”. Do it quickly so that students are challenged and get excited.

– Roleplay ordering ice cream at an ice cream shop, alternating roles (shop worker and customer).

– The game comes with some cones without color for students to decorate. You can have them paint them and describe their creations, or have a drawing dictation where you order your ice cream and they must paint it to keep the customer happy and serve them the correct ice cream (listening practice).

– Throughout any of these activities students will be learning and repeating expressions like ‘I would like” “Can I have” , saying hello and goodbye, asking questions, and vocabulary related to color, ice cream, and placing an order.

– For students that are simply reviewing color and are a little more advanced, you could talk about flavors and the fruits and other foods these can be made out of.

– As a fun follow up or for homework, students could make a drawing of a ‘crazy ice cream’ with very strange ingredients (fish, shoe laces, and lasagna are allowed!) and then make a presentation for the class. Write down new vocabulary for the items used in the drawings on the white board and play vocabulary games with those to close off the lesson and during the following lessons as review. You can even have an art show with their crazy ice creams! They love it when their work is proudly displayed.

Download the Ice Cream shop folder game here! I printed it out in card paper and it turned out great. Using games in the classroom

Do visit Mr. Printables and enjoy a myriad of beautiful resources. I must say that even the youngest students tend to like the materials I use from them a lot more, simply because they’re so pretty to look at. Grabbing their attention is always key right?

Please note that I’m not affiliated with Mr. Printables in any way, I’m simply a big fan of their work! I hope you like their resources as much as I do!

ONCE UPON A TIME – A LESSON PLAN

esl gamesHi everyone! I´m so sorry I wasn’t able to get together with you for Sunday Best last weekend but I was preparing something really special for you. In fact, it will be the focus of this week’s Sunday Best, if I can hold my tongue until then that is!

Today I want to share an incredible game and lesson plan with you which I created for my young students but that has actually been an incredibly big hit with adults as well.

In this game I call ‘Once Upon a Time’, students become storytellers, not of someone else’s stories but of their own. Students will be presented with three sets of story sticks, the green sticks represent the place where their story will take place, the blue will be their main character(s) and the red (my personal favorite) will be the central problem of the plot or a problem their main character must endure or overcome. Using games in the classroom

You can download my set of story sticks here and print them on card paper, or you can certainly edit the document or make your own. Making them on popsicle sticks by hand is even more fun, but if you’re pressed for time this is a faster option. Here are the steps to set up this activity in class:

1) As a warmer I like to ask students about some famous stories they might know or ask them to recap one we have worked in class. I use the one they choose to elicit who the main character is, where the story takes place and what the main problem or challenge is. That way, they’ve come up with examples themselves to serve as inspiration.

2) Ask each student to select one story stick of each color. In the first two or three rounds I always let them read through all the sticks and choose the one they like the best. In the next rounds I have them choose them at random (the funniest and craziest stories will come up at this point). Of course if you’re teaching a large class it might be best to do this at random from the beginning, students might take a long time choosing at the rest of the students might get restless.

3) Give students a few minutes to think about their story.

4) Students take turns telling their stories.

5) Awards ceremony: After a very creative lesson like this where students have worked really hard I always like to have a little awards ceremony. Click here to download my award envelopes. Inside I write what the prize is. In my case this usually includes earning one or two star stickers (I use a sticker system in my classes), being able to choose the extra activity or game next class, stickers, being able to choose and animated short to watch or the next song we will sing in class. These may vary depending on the type of class you have, so I’ve left the envelopes blank so that you can adapt them. If you find them to be too small, you can always select the figures and make them larger. Storytelling

My categories include:

– Creativity

– Best Character

– Best storytelling (pronunciation and fluency)

– Best grammar

– Best use of vocabulary

– Best behavior (and this includes their behavior while telling the story as well as their behavior while listening to their classmates stories).

I have to tell you, I have a big box of games and activities for my young students, but no other game has provided as much concentration, interest and good behavior as this one. Phrasal verb UNO comes in second in this department. It’s also great for you to check students’ progress and see what areas need a little more review or focus.storytelling game

I hope you enjoy it! Ask me any questions or leave me some comments in the section below. If you try this out and have some incredible stories (it’s amazing what their little minds can come up with), please share them in the comments as well!

PHRASAL VERB UNO

esl games Games are such an important part of the classroom when we teach kids, and they’re sorely unappreciated when we teach adults! I make them a part of all my classes, with some changes of course, but there’s nothing like a game to grab children’s attention and to inject some enthusiasm and laughter into the adult ESL classroom.

Today I want to share with you my Phrasal Verb UNO game. It’s so ridiculously simple to make and you’ll have it in your teacher’s materials forever. All you need is a pack of UNO cards (which we’ll use for many different levels and age groups so read on), some scissors, a glue stick and either a printed version of the language points you wish to play with, or some colored pens to write directly on the cards if you prefer. One pack of UNO cards will be enough for many different classes and grammar points, but soon your students will be hooked and you’ll find yourself making more and more.

So far I’ve made this version with phrasal verbs for an elementary/pre intermediate level. You can download the list I used here: phrasal verbs for uno game. Note that there are some extra ones in case some might be too difficult for your students or in case you accidentally cut one in half (hey! it can happen right?!):

1) Print or choose the vocabulary or grammar you will use. Download my phrasal verbs list for elementary/pre intermediate students here.

2) Cut out each part of the phrasal verbs and paste one part on a card and the other part on another card.

3) Continue with all remaining cards.Verb tense uno

(If you don’t have access to a printer feel free to write directly on the card. But use a pen or marker of the same color for the entire deck, you’ll see why in a moment).

4) Play UNO with your students following the normal rules with one exception: they can match the cards according to color or by making a phrasal verb correctly. Tell students they need to forget about the numbers on the cards. To sum up, only colors or a correct phrasal verb (any that make sense, not necessarily the exact pair from your list).

Here’s the beauty of this new version of UNO, although students can simply match the colors, they will make a huge effort to find the phrasal verbs (this happens naturally and it never ceases to amaze me). I’ve heard comments from 9 and 10 year olds saying “Oh well I have to match the color, what a bummer” They will always, always try to find the phrasal verb and you’ll hear them practicing pronunciation as well while they scan the cards they have in their hands to see if they have a match. Behavior will be wonderful as well. Out of all my games this by far creates the most peaceful students, believe it or not.

Adaptations

You can now create lists of any grammar points (where you have many options, enough for all the cards) and add them in the same deck of cards. Make them in a different color this time (if the phrasal verbs were in black do your next batch of strips of paper in blue or red for example) and place them in a different part of the card. When you play simply tell the students what color they are supposed to be playing with. Adaptations may cover such issues as:

– Different levels of the same grammar points (e.g. phrasal verbs for elementary students, phrasal verbs for intermediate students, etc).

– Different age groups.

– Different grammar points or even vocabulary points.

Here are some ideas for other grammar points and vocabulary that might go well with this game:

– Other phrasal verbs.

– Verb tenses.

– Compound nouns (one card says cup, the other says board = cupboard).

– Countries / Languages / Nationalities.

– Word families (photograph/photography/ photographer).

– Homophones (words with different meaning and spelling but the same pronunciation, e,g, new and knew, to and too)

Even if the list is simple and the spelling might make it obvious, students will still be scanning the options as soon as the card on the floor is revealed.

All of these are suitable with adults as well. Never underestimate the power and joy of a classroom full of adults playing games to learn or review English.

You can monitor and help students, make corrections etc. In private lessons or small groups you might wish to play along with your students and in larger groups you might need more than a deck of cards (check the package to see how many people can play at one time). When things quiet down you can ask the students for examples of what could go with the word that has been revealed on the floor pile. That way they’re practicing the entire time.

As always, don’t forget to…

Games in the classroom

Feel free to share with fellow teachers and leave me any comments or questions you might have! Enjoy!