Teaching English as a second language can definitely be a challenge. Students often have trouble understanding lessons or need to listen to instructions multiple times. Sometimes they can feel frustrated and start to tune the lesson out altogether. This is all part of learning a new language. It’s up to ESL teachers to keep students engaged and feeling optimistic about their progress and to look beyond the occasional frustration or outburst.
Things can easily become overwhelming, however, with a classroom full of young students who speak a first language that you yourself have only just learned as a second language. Most days ESL teachers have no choice but to take a breath and keep plugging along, effectively managing students who are acting up or talking loudly in their native languages. But, as teachers of all subjects know, there are some days that you just need a little peace and quiet in the classroom and are prepared to give your students whatever activity it takes to get 30 minutes of quiet time at your desk. At the same time, you want any activity in class to involve significant English practice. So, next time you simply need a moment of peace, try out one of these quiet and educational activities.
K- 2nd Grade:
1. Letter Coloring – Take a black permanent marker and draw the letters of the alphabet individually on sheets of paper in fun bubble or square letters. Let your students choose their own letters and color them in. After, say your ABC’s as a class together and have each student hold their letter up as it’s repeated.
2. Connect the Dot Numbers – Connect the dots are fun and a great way to learn how to draw numbers correctly. Pick up some connect the dot worksheets or make your own.
3. Draw Your Family – As part of a family words unit, have students draw and label their families with crayons and white paper.
3rd- 5th Grade:
4. Finish the Sentence – Using vocabulary words or familiar verbs, create a fill-in-the-black worksheet that incorporates all the different words they need to know.
5. Draw Your Day – Using morning, afternoon, and evening key words, have your students draw and label their typical weekday and typical weekend day.
6. Word Find – Word finds are always a lot of fun and can keep students entertained for hours. Depending on their age and skill level, make your own word finds by using premade grid paper. Simply write vocabulary words horizontally, diagonally or up and down, like a Scrabble board. Fill in the empty spaces with random letters.
This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes for online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99 @gmail.com.