Monthly Archives: May 2012

English for Everyone Reading Comprehension


English for Everyone has a great reading comprehension section.  You can choose from grade-level readings or from the ability level section.

These texts have no images, so they’re a great way to test your students’ reading comprehension.  You can use the questions at the end of the texts.

The stories in the Beginner level are perfect for our school, as are the low-Intermediate stories.  By mid-intermediate, some of the stories are dealing with adult situations (a mortgage payment due the next day) which  most of our students won’t be able to connect with.  The Advanced level is almost entirely for adult classes.

If you need free worksheets for your students, you can find them from the main English for Everyone page.



Yo-Yo Prodigy


Here’s an article from the Globe and Mail about a yo-yo master.  There are two videos to watch, as well.  (They can’t open them in China, but you might be able to show them the videos if the internet speed is good all around.)

Bucket List for Kids


Here’s the link to a Globe and Mail article that Christine sent me.  It’s a pre-adolescent bucket list.  Good for conversation.  This will probably blow the city kids’ minds.

The list:
1. Climb a tree
2. Roll down a really big hill
3. Camp out in the wild
4. Build a den
5. Skip a stone
6. Run around in the rain
7. Fly a kite
8. Catch a fish with a net
9. Eat an apple straight from a tree
10. Play conkers
11. Throw some snow
12. Hunt for treasure on the beach
13. Make a mud pie
14. Dam a stream
15. Go sledding
16. Bury someone in the sand
17. Set up a snail race
18. Balance on a fallen tree
19. Swing on a rope swing
20. Make a mud slide
21. Eat blueberries or raspberries growing in the wild
22. Take a look inside a tree
23. Visit an island
24. Feel like you’re flying in the wind
25. Make a grass trumpet
26. Hunt for fossils and bones
27. Watch the sun wake up
28. Climb a huge hill
29. Get behind a waterfall
30. Feed a bird from your hand
31. Hunt for bugs
32. Find some frogspawn
33. Catch a butterfly in a net
34. Track wild animals
35. Discover what’s in a pond
36. Call an owl
37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool
38. Bring up a butterfly
39. Catch a crab
40. Go on a nature walk at night
41. Plant it, grow it, eat it
42. Go wild swimming
43. Go rafting
44. Light a fire without matches
45. Find your way with a map and a compass
46. Try bouldering
47. Cook on a campfire
48. Try abseiling
49. Find a geocache
50. Canoe down a river

Data Creation


As you know, we’ve been working on the curriculum.  Writing curriculum for the younger learners is easy: we’ve had them from the pre-reading-and-writing stage so they have no problems speaking.  What can’t be understood through images can usually be done with a dictionary (not ideal, I know, but we’re lacking sensory input when doing this over the internet).

The problem arises with older students who’ve been “reading and writing” — in one form or another — for several years.  I found this video on YouTube that has given me a couple of ideas.  Let me know if you’ve got anything that would help us.

Mystery Net


Mystery Net has good mysteries to solve (there’s the short Snack Shack mystery to begin with, and then The Case of the Ruined Roses).  I’m using this with a Level 2/3 class, and they love it.  The nice thing about mysteries is that you don’t have to ask comprehension or critical thinking questions: it’s clear when they understand it.  The search for clues has also kicked a couple of lazy readers into gear.

After this, you can play Baker Street (from Dave’s ESL Cafe Idea Cookbook.)).

Material World: The Museum Network


Material World is all about stuff you’d find in a museum.  It’s good for the end of the school year when the kids are going on field trips to museums, etc.  This is the main page, and this is the site map.  The articles are probably a bit difficult for most Level 2 students, but the Level 3 students should have few problems reading.

Students who like art will like some of the Glossary words.