Sometimes, you just have to do what the kids want to do. >.<
These stories are best for high-Level 2 or Level 3. Go all-pink if you have only girls; the boys might tolerate Mulan… or you can put up with the whinging and whining and broaden their cultural horizons.
This one is Sandra’s fault. 🙂 Sandra is, by the way, notorious for finding websites that the kids love ad nauseam.
This is a great site for beginners, especially those who believe they are too old for Starfall’s Who Am I? It’s the same idea: build a person with features and clothes. You can add accessories and backgrounds, too.
Got older teenagers or adults who need to practice this vocabulary? Try having them PowerPuff a famous actor, musician or athlete. (Can Lady Gaga be PowerPuffed?) After they’ve created their perfect character, feel free to help them write a story about person.
There’s a story from my children’s youth that involves two preschoolers, a six-hour car trip, and a tape of Robert Munsch reading his own stories. Though some of us may still be traumatised by Mr. Munsch’s existence, the fact remains that everyone still loves his stories. Younger students will love having The Paper Bag Princess read to them; slightly older students will enjoy the prince’s epithet; even middle-school students will applaud the feminist themes.
A game from Sandra. Good for older students, Levels 3 and 4 (or precocious Level 2s), and those with an affinity for physics.
Sandra says, “It can work (with extra help) with younger students, but it is best with older students who can grasp the game mechanics. They can really get into it! It helps them with their numbers, and orders. I think it’s different from the usual games, so it adds some variety. I just do the first level with them, and it can take anywhere from 4-10 minutes (depends on the game/students)!”
For those of you who (like me) are slightly traumatised by the numbers and wish to sneak in a bit of history, Murder is Everywhere has a good blog–though it’s at Level 5, so you’ll have to summarise for the students.
Free, illustrated, and popular: that’s the way the students like their books. If your students need a break from the curriculum, We Give Books is a great site.
For young kids, Jan Brett (try The Hat) and Rosemary Wells are highly recommended.
Elisa started using The Hemingway App with some of her MA TESOL assignments, and thought others might find it useful. Just click on “write”, copy and paste your text where the grey sample text is, and click “edit”. It’s quite accurate, I found.
This would be useful if you have a story that you want to test with your students, or if you have a class that’s not following the curriculum normally. You could also check the students’ writing so they can see what level they’re at (though I’d only recommend this for Levels 4 and 5).
As for writing like Hemingway… well, why in heaven’s name would you want to do that?! Timothy Findley: we all want to write like Timothy Findley. 🙂
Sandra sent this link to Hidden Picture Puzzles on Highlight Kids: an alternative to wordsearches! She draws a grid using the Go to Meeting pen (she says you can hold down the shift key to get a straight line), and the kids have to give co-ordinates.