Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Activity Roundup: World Cup By The Numbers, Grandparents, and Reader's Logs

Welcome to the summer term! Here are some current materials you could use in your classes.

I've designed a vocabulary activity to go with this video. Students will decide the meaning of 6 verbs and 4 nouns from the context in the video, and then complete a handful of comprehension questions. Three of the vocabulary items (participation, predicted, and decline) are from the Academic Word List, so the last part of this activity focuses on those word families.

It's always time to remind ourselves how rich a resource StoryCorps is! I chose two stories featuring grandparents and grandchildren, and designed short dictation exercises with the downloadable transcript. The conversation between Kay Wang and her granddaughter features simple grammar, whereas the conversation between Barbara Handelsman and her grandson has more complicated constructions. After completing the dictations, students can speak with a partner or write using one of the prompts I drafted - or one that you think of! This exercise might lend itself to some Venn diagram work, as well.

I'd also like to share more of an idea than a standalone activity. A K-12 ESL teacher friend of mine shared this list of reader's log prompts with me a while back, and I thought I would share it with you. He asks students to choose their own leisure reading, and to write about it in a journal. Each student staples a copy of these prompts in a composition notebook, and then writes a response based on one of these prompts. I was beyond impressed with the volume and scope of the responses he shared with me. Even if you don't keep reading journals with your students, perhaps you will still find this prompts useful for in-class response writing.

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