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.
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.
Awesome new game site for everyone! (Thanks, Stephanie!) An easy way to introduce the boring-but-necessary vocabulary.
Crocodile Games would be great for Beginners and Levels 1 and 2. The games with the light green backgrounds depend on audio (you’ll have to repeat what the game says), and the games with the dark green backgrounds depend on reading.
The Memory Games are just like the ones on Hangmouse website; best of all, they have a Colours game for those who can’t get the old one to work!
If you have older students at lower levels (or scurvy scalliwags of any age), you can also play Pirate games.
Levels 2 and 3–and maybe even 4–may like the Spelling games.
Levels 4 and 5 can beat their heads against the Connector games.
Of course, nothing is perfect: the Crocodile games have annoying background music that I can’t seem to get rid of on my computer. The Pirate games, though, were nice and silent. 🙂
News In Levels
Christine found this website. It would be good for Levels 2-5. The articles are less than 100 words each, and each article comes in three levels.
It’s not “current affairs”, which will make it even more appealing to the students. 🙂
On the left, there’s a link to some dictionaries. If you’re going for “all English”, I’d recommend the Longman Dictionary.
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.)
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.)).