Sunday, November 29, 2015

Christmas Activities for Preschool ELL

Take advantage of students´ excitement  by the celebration and extend the lesson planning by doing different activities in the classroom that recycles all that has been learned.

Links to the files at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

Christmas puzzles are good for creativity, for problem solving and reasoning, and for developing motor skills. I created some to be used as a normal puzzle or they can be glued onto a construction paper for art work to be displayed in class

It is great that you do a read aloud in class with a Christmas Book. You might pair them or have them read silently. But, parents could be able to have the book at home. Prepare a class library where students can buy books or check them once a week for reading at home. Also have a selection of links where parents can buy books or download them.

Introduce art and review key vocabulary, giving a creative approach to your lesson planning for the Holidays. Don´t feel that this wasted time in your class, it is an opportunity to elicit language with this hands- on activity, reviewing the parts of the face and the clothes.

Art is an important means for self-expression (Wright, 2003)

I bought colored balloons and  cut the pieces. I glued them with silicon and see how they became the Christmas characters.

Art is an important means for self-expression (Wright, 2003)

I bought colored balloons and  cut the pieces. I glued them with silicon and see how they became the Christmas characters.

Have the children wear different character headbands.

Have all the snowmen get together in a group. Have all the other characters do the same.  When all the children are in groups, call some actions to perform.

Teacher: Snowmen, Jump !

Students wearing the snowman headband jump.

Teacher: Penguins, run !

Continue with more actions.

Or create a rope using a rope. Point to each Christmas Chracter and ask Who´s he ?


You might have seen and participated in photo booths at wedding, but I like to incorporate it into the classroom. Have all the props ready. Say a Christmas word, the child finds the prop and pose saying the word.

I ´ve noticed that you loved the Flashcards from last year. I made an update and completed 42 colored flashcards along with a black and white version.
Ask questions for each flashcard:
Teacher: Who´s this ?
Students: It´s Santa Claus
Teacher: What is this ?

Students: It´s a Christmas Tree
Teacher: Who are they ?

Students: They are the Three Wise Men.
Have a group of students choose a puppet, come to the front of the classroom  and have their puppet greet the class.
Student: Hello! I am Santa.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween 2015

Link to my free resources, for the first 10 teachers to download them.

Halloween Concentration:
Play the concentration card game using Halloween flashcards, or the old game Go Fish:  I usually print 4 copies of the cards and paste them onto black construction paper.   In groups of 4, students sit in a circle and take turning asking each other a question. Do you have (a ghost)?  If the answer is YES, the student hands in the card and the students that asked makes a pair and put it away on his/her pile. If the answer is NO, the student doesn´t get a card and the turn is for another student in the circle. The winner is the student that makes more pairs.

Halloween Banner: There are several heads of the main Halloween characters and the words in two different colors. I prepared one as an example.
Make 5 banners, one for each group. Place the letters all over the classroom, on the desks, ceiling, walls, door, window, in a random order. On your call, have two members from each group find the letters for each character and run to hand it in to the other two members waiting at the group desk to complete the banner. The group that has complete says STOP and wins.

Use the banner and have the groups make up words using the letters in the banners. Example: VAMPIRE. Map, are, air,pair,rap,etc.

This is a memory game or a matching game depending on the child´s age. This will help for successful readers and writers in the future.

I bought these cute candy corn clip art that I made a few things. This one is a coloring book. Show students the front of the book and name all the candy corn characters. Show them the pictures inside the book. Read the book with the class, have them point to each word. Read it again with the students. Then, have them color it according to the text. 
Do a read aloud to develop vocabulary and recall stories.  Preview the book. Use animated expression when reading, practice them before you read to the class. As you read interact with the students. Look at the bat. What color is his hair ? Does he have any feet ?

EFL students from preschool to 1 st grade are starting to read and write. Emergent book are a need and no book series have them. I always include them in my resources to fill in the void.  Children love the repetition in the book. Students can then move on to be independent readers.
A simple worksheet for color review or use as a classroom decoration.
And I made a new set of flashcards. You always write and ask for them.

  • Use them to:  identify Halloween words
  •    Describe the characters, their body parts and clothes
  •   Ask questions about the vocabulary: What color is the cauldron ?
  •  Write a sentence about each one.
  • Order them alphabetically on the wall or board.

  • make a  grid on the board and place a flashcard in each box.

Name a letter and number combination.
Teacher: D4.
Students: bag!
Continue with more.

  •     Make bottle caps letters and write the words.

Half card game: tailor the game to your students. I cut all the cards in half and hand them in in random order. All the students stand up and wonder around the classroom looking for another student who has the other half. Once they find their match, they stand together making a complete card. On your call, students stop looking and the winners are the ones who found their match.

Label Cards to review parts of the body and clothes.

Pocket charts:   use the for children to manipulate their own language review. Teach them how to place and remove the strips carefully.

Have students arrange the puzzles and exchange them with another one.
Trace cards.  Place clear contact paper on the cards. Children can trace the words with their fingers before they use a white board marker. Have them read each word.
Happy Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Halloween @ Facebook

Halloween is just in few days. I´ve been looking around in so many Facebook Pages. I´ve always wonder how the teachers celebrate all over the world in their classrooms.
Not so many schools celebrate Halloween, but the ones that do, it´s a big deal. You all know that Language is Culture, that´s  why you include it in your lesson planning.
All the schools have a  party with innovative costumes and candy.
These were my favorite, an inspiration.

1. ABC Kids in Serbia.
As in many countries ,crafts are a must do for Halloween. I loved the ghost masks which can´t scare anyone. The teachers read Halloween stories to the kids, which was one of the few sites that I saw that.  I also noticed that the pumpkins are tangerines.

2. English for Kids in Venezuela. Halloween in my home country!
They run several school in the city. I got pictures from some of them.
The kids played Musical Chairs, I guess. There were  games and crafts to motivate
children´s interest towards another country´s culture and Holidays. Don´t miss the photo booth.
3. Kiddy Cat English Island in Japan. Nice  classroom decoration ! Teachers have put in a lot of thought for developing cultural awareness, bringing rich content to make this Holiday fun. It is the first time that I see skeleton crowns and I love it to review the parts of the face.

3. Hello English in Chile. There´s  a variety of activities that address language, math, small motor skills and creativity.Bingo has been a favorite game for Halloween parties, especially when working with older kids.

4. María Kinder Kids in Romania.Teachers have focused the curriculum with different activities. They have managed to bring in the Holiday to the class.The bat spoon was interesting and new for me. I guess it is a wood spoon converted into a bat.The pumpkins were done in school with the parents.

5. Guarderia Bilingüe María Allende in Spain.  Children can appreciate other cultural heritage by doing all these crafts. The bat craft was my favorite, this is a versatile craft, it can be done on a witch, Frankenstein or a ghost.
6. Summer Fields Preschool- Kuala Lampur. These projects allow students individual creativity. Your spider decoration using a balloon is one of my favorite. Your decorations are awesome.

7. Sunny Point- Argentina.This school has a sense of fun with meaningful activities, expanding children´s knowledge and interest for a foreign Holiday. I found on your page lots of creative games to play during the party.

 8. Tiptoe Day Care. Beirut. I loved the door, the eyes are paper plates!! It was a language exploration even for the very little ones. The pumpkin face is adorable.

9.We Love English. Colombia.  The crafts are so pretty and offers a range of Halloween vocabulary and the possibility to review the parts of the face.There is a craft for each Vocabulary word, such as a spiders, ghosts, witches, pumpkins. The q-tips sketeton is amazing.
10. Colegio San Agustín El Marques. Venezuela. Teacher: Mariaymed Rodulfo

Her class time is devoted to playing number games, coloring parts of the face and reviewing vocabulary words from previous lessons.

With Holidays always keep a balance between the party and the activities that endorse Language skills. Research the Holiday before class so you can implement it appropiately.

Here´s an e book link:

I have more Halloween posts with ideas and resources that might be helpful.
and check my Pinterest page.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Adjectives for Preschool ELL

A free link to all the files, limited time only.

This was a hard blog post. I had to research all the adjectives that are commonly used along the book series for preschool. I only picked the most common.

Big and small. Give children the worksheet. Have them cut out pictures from magazines or draw pictures in both size.
I did a big/small pocket chart and puppets activity for the body theme.

Review colors to describe things. Make color puppets with the color splotches. Place them next to an object and have them say phrases or complete sentences.
Teacher: a blue book.

To introduce physical appearance I made this set of Monster Cards. They have a number on each.

Place all 12 cards on the board and describe a monster. This is a good listening and speaking activity.

Teacher: He is tall and fat. He has three eyes and two ears. He has a big nose. He is green.  He has two long arms and two short legs
Students: Number 10.
Teacher: Number 6.
Students: She is tall and thin. She is purple. She has 4 eyes. She has four arms and 4 hands. She has 5 legs. She has two big white teeth.

More activities with the cards: 
Separate the class into 12 groups. Hand in a monster card to each group. 
Describe a monster and the group who has the monster shouts and shows the card.

I made a Monster book using as many adjectives I could. 

A link to a cute video for many other adjectives:

Friday, September 18, 2015

Birthday and Numbers

And to continue the birthday theme from earlier blog posts:

All the files here for free, limited time:

Show the number flashcard one at a time in random order and have the students look  up for the number in their book and point to it.

Flashcard activity 1
Stand 10 students in front of the class. Hand in the number flashcards in random order. Stand behind a student.
Teacher: What is her name ?
Students: Patricia.
Teacher: What is Patricia´s number ?
Students:  seven.

Continue with all the numbers.

Flashcard activity 2:  Stand 10 students in front of the class. Hand in the number flashcards in order. Stand behind a student.

Teacher: What number is this ?
Students: four.
Teacher: What color is number 4 ?
Students: pink.

 Give number awards. Place a pin on the back and it can be word as a badge. You can also send it home with a magnet on the back to be used on the refrigerator.

Puzzles can help with spatial relationships, eye-hand coordination, and fine motor skills. Children can do the puzzles by themselves. Make two copies of each puzzle, one is for showing it to the students and the other is the one that you will cut apart to complete. Then, show the pieces of puzzle that the students are going to complete and count the pieces.

Listening Game:  Divide the class into groups. Assign each group a vocabulary word, either the birthday items or numbers.  Say a word and students clap their hands when you say the assigned word.

Numbers and shapes: I like to recycle words and grammar points along the lessons.  This is easy to do. Print my file or make your own. Choose the shapes that you have covered so far and the colors you want to review. The numbers come in colors or can be colored as you wish.  Place the shapes and the numbers and start asking questions.

Teacher: What shape is this ?
Students: It´s pink.
Teacher: What number is this ?
Students: It´s number 2.
Teacher: what color is number 2 ?
Students: It´s blue.
Teacher: Blue Number 2 is on the pink triangle.

  I created a birthday wheel to play a guessing game or for the students to make their own.
And I never miss the cutouts.