Four Dynamic Activities for the Classroom!
As a teacher, it is important to find activities that are engaging and dynamic for your students. We have all had days where we come to class excited about the class we have prepared and it just doesn’t seem to resonate with the students. Here are four activities I have done with my ESL classes that have been fun and have offered creative ways for the students to practice English!
- 1) Pen Pal exchange: Last year I set up a pen pal exchange with my high school. I remember when I was learning another language how much fun it was writing to students from another country, learning about a new culture and practicing my Spanish. I reached out to my Spanish teacher and coordinated with her class and my English Club to write back and forth to one another. This activity offered a chance for a cultural exchange and gave the students time to practice their writing in a fun setting. They went above and beyond and made a video for the students in the states showing them the school and more about Colombia. It also helped them to see that no matter what language you are learning, everyone makes mistakes and that’s OK!
- 2) Picta-phone: This is a game that combines writing, drawing, and speaking. I have played this game with my family during the holidays and thought it would be a fun one to share with my students. Each player has the same amount of sheets of paper as players. The game begins when everyone writes a simple sentence on their paper. The sentence can be silly, but it must be grammatically correct. For example, “the dog and the cat jump over the moon.” After writing their sentences everyone passes their sentences to the right. Next, everyone draws on the next sheet of paper the sentence that they see. For example, if I receive a sheet of paper that says “the dog and the cat jump over the moon,” I will draw to my best ability a dog jumping over the moon. Everyone then passes their drawings to the next person and the players must write a sentence based off of the photo that they see. The game continues until everyone has completed all of the pictures and sentences. The final step of the game is to share all of the drawings and sentences that students come up with!
3)Thanksgiving celebration: I have found that students are very interested in learning about American culture and I thought I would share with them more about my favorite holiday—Thanksgiving! I first did a presentation on the holiday and then followed up with Thanksgiving Jeopardy where students were able to practice speaking. I also shared an apple pie (which they had never tried!) and we did a writing activity where every student wrote what they were thankful for on a leaf to represent Fall. The students were very engaged the entire time and excited to learn more about my favorite holiday! 4) Tasting new foods from around the world: This is probably my favorite and most memorable activity I have done with my students. Last year, I had a student who was really interested in Korean and Japanese culture, it gave me the idea to bring back snacks from an Asian market near my house in Portland, Oregon. When I returned to Colombia I brought things back like gummy coke bottles, wasabi peas, rice crackers, etc. For the activity, I first taught ways to express likes and dislikes. We then reviewed different flavor vocabulary (sweet, spicy, salty, bitter, sour, etc) the students got to try the different foods, expressing whether they liked the food or not and why. I will never forget their faces when they tried wasabi peas for the first time!
- Author: Erin Enberg
Leave a comment
Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.