Thursday, May 21, 2015

Toys Thematic Unit for ELL

Children learn by doing fun activities in significant situations. Children learn by playing and interacting.

All files for free for limited time only.

    Get some real toys to introduce  the words. Relate each toy to an action.
Ball (throw a ball)
Yo-yo (move the yo-yo up and down)
Doll (cuddle a doll)
Teddy bear ( hug the teddy bear)

     Paper Bag Puppet: children have fun placing 4 finger inside the flap of the bag, moving the flap up and down making the puppet speak, they are so easy to operate. Start your puppet collection. I just created a new PUPPET board on Pinterest, with many links to make your own puppets. If you like mine they are free upon request at

Review all the face and or body partsIf you are using the coloring page.
Teacher: Show me the doll´s hair. Color her hair brown.
Continue with all the body parts. 
There are labels if you want to use them.

If you are using the blank face.
Teacher: Draw the doll´s eyes. Her eyes are green.
 Continue with all the face parts.

    Draw the face on the toy. Drawing precedes writing. The two toys´ faces are blank so you can dictate the drawing.Teacher: draw the eyes. (continue with more body parts)
      Flashcards stimulates language development and increases children´s  reading abilities by the oral repetition and visual association.       

Game 1: pass a toy flashcard to a student.
               Teacher: This a drum.
              Student:  This a drum.   ( passes the flashcard to another      
             Continue with all the flashcards.

            Game 2:  Distribute all flashcards to some students in the class. Name a toy and have that student stand up and say the name of the flashcard and show it to the class.
Student: I have a ball.

        Classroom word decoration: use the ceiling, the cabinet, a door to give extra energy to the class and to use them effectively by memorizing the words in a fun routine. Engage students into practicing with the words.

Alphabet Arts and Crafts: do this easy and fun Letter Arts and Crafts Project, the last one I did has been one of my best sellers on my TPT store.(

 Teachers have used it for decoration or for an art activity for their students. I used capital letters for the toys. You can either trace or print each letter onto colored construction paper. Create a letter gallery in your classroom.

Toy Domino: a game to reinforce vocabulary words by matching the pictures. There are 28 tiles.

Memory cards: improve students short-term memory and cognitive skills to match the cards. There are also color words to match to each picture.

  Number card puzzle: use them to develop mathematical communicative competence from an early age.
Teacher: Number 3.
Students: Purple

      Toy Bingo: The bingo will reinforce the vocabulary words and the children will have fun. Instead of making bingo cards for each student, I made the teacher´s board cards and a blank page for the students to draw their 4 toys. The cards can be used to create a word wall.

             Puzzles: use them to entertain and to learn patience, perseverance and play fair with other children. It will also develop problem solving techniques.
       Favorite toy. Have children draw and color their favorite toy. They can cut out a picture from magazines, brochures, etc. A picture can be brought from home.

Do a show and tell activity as volunteers show their favorite toy to the class and say the name of it and describe it.
There´s another blog post entry for toys:

Do a show and tell activity as volunteers show their favorite toy to the class and say the name of it and describe it.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mother´s Day Activities for the ELL

Mother´s Day is celebrated in more than 40 countries al over the world this month. So many Facebook  and Google + Pages have pictures on how EFL/ESL Teachers celebrate. You do amazing things that I have shared on my own pages.

Get the files for free for limited time only:

Book Marks: an easy craft with 2 versions, a cut and paste one and a print as is. I glued on sequins and flowers, used ribbons, chenille shoe laces, curly ribbons for the tassle.

A crown for Mom. Use basic materials to decorate the crown.

Purse Door Hanger: print one purse, trace another on another cardboard, cut both and glue together leaving an opening to stuff paper inside to make it tridimensional.Staple the opening. Hang on the door.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Body Theme for Preschool English Learners

Emotion, play and  surprising activities are the secret ingredients to learning.

Knowing the body part vocabulary will build positive self -awareness.

Get the files for FREE at my TPT store, but for limited time only:
 Robot puzzle: 
Use the puzzles to make a whole body and help the child understand the concept of the body and the location of the body parts. The puzzles are 4 or 8 pieces each. Use the colored version or the coloring page puzzle. The children can exchange their puzzle pieces with a partner.

Body Colors Puzzle:  print the puzzle pieces onto different colored paper.

Point to each body part and have the children name each one.
Teacher: What´s this ?
Class: arm.
Say a color and the students should identify what body part is inside the puzzle part. Then do the opposite.
 Teacher: red
Class: leg
Teacher: foot
Class: green

Do the same but using shapes.

Left and right Concept: use arrows to indicate the concept of left and right.

Then have children show their hands as indicated.
Teacher: Show me your (right/ left) hand.
Teacher: Show me your (right/ left) knee.
Teacher: Show me your (right/ left)leg.
Teacher: Show me your (right/ left) eye.
Teacher: Show me your (right/ left) arm.
Teacher: Show me your (right/ left) foot.
Have children march in class as you say: Left, right.

Hand match. Have students match the right and left hands. Use the hands to make patterns on the board. Also distribute all the hands and have them find their partner.

Body Parts Flashcards: show the body flashcards one at a time.

Teacher: This is a leg.

Encourage students to make similar sentences with all the flashcards.
As you show a body flashcards, students should touch  or move their body parts at the same time. They gain spatial awareness by locating the position of their body parts.
Teacher: hand.
Students: hand (touch or move their hands)

Have students match the smaller cutouts to the big flashcards.

Memory Game: you can enlarge the memory cards and play a giant memory game in a bigger space, by gluing the pictures onto small paper plates.

Puppets: I found in my files this Carson Dellosa puppets.  Encourage students to ask questions to the puppet. Student: show me your hand. The student touches the puppet´s hand. Request the file for free:

Domino: scatter the domino face down on the table of 4 group members. When a member places a domino piece have him/her name the pictures on both sides.

Body Numbers: students have to learn the linguistic and mathematical ability to express themselves using numbers.
 Hang all the cards in numerical order. Ask students about the cards.

Teacher: What is number 3 ?
Students : a foot.
Teacher: leg.
Students: Number 6.

Some worksheets to use as a listening activity.

Friday, April 17, 2015


I posted a longer blog entry about classroom commands at my other blog:

 Use the commands in class as often as you can. Using the word and picture flashcard will help students focus with all the directions given in English and help you not to translate. The flashcards will be free for limited time only.

Activity: Say stand up and indicate with your arms to stand up. Do the same with sit down.
Give more instructions with Boys and Girls.

Teacher: Boys, Stand up. Girls, sit down.
Have students give out the order.

Activity: give instead of 1 direction, a series of 2 up to 4 commands, such as:
Teacher: sit down, stand up, write, read a book.
Vary the instructions.

 I created a set of symbols to represent the imperatives. You can also put them on the board when you need them. Give orders by pointing to the symbol card.

I made some cards with all the commands. Use them to play Simon Says, but Blue Bear says. Keep them in a book ring , so they will be handy when you want to review some commands.
Get the file: 

Some videos:  

Video: stand up, sit down, turn around.

Fun English Video series:

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Family Theme for ELL

Provide an environment with lots of exposure to the family theme.

11. Flashcards are useful to review family words. You can start using only a few cards not the whole set, introduce more as you see progress.

Preschool Activity 1: Place the  flashcards around the room
Teacher: sister. Point to sister.
Children look around and point to the family member. Repeat with more family members.

Preschool Activity 2: Place the number 1 to 9 on the board and a family member next or above each number.
Teacher:  Number two.
Students: Mom. ( Continue until all the numbers have been called out)
Teacher:  Grandpa.

Students:  Number six.

Preschool Activity 3: Give students a flashcard and have them stand in line.
Name a family member and instruct that students to step forward and spin or turn around in place.
Teacher: baby! Where´s baby ? Turn around , baby!

12.     Puppets: Make some puppets with the family members. Dramatic play helps with learning new words and expressions, while enhancing the skills of  listening and speaking. Make puppets part of your routine.

get the puppets and more at my Teachers Pay Store for FREE!!! Limited Time Only.
 Puppet activity 1
Have the class greet the puppets:
Teacher: (showing the dad puppet)Hello , students!
Class: hello, dad!!
Repeat with all the other family members.

Puppet activity 2:
Teacher: (Point to daddy). Who´s he ?
Students: He´s daddy.

Puppet activity 3: 
Hold up a family member puppet.
Teacher:   Is this mother ? Students have to nod or shake their heads or hold up the yes or no puppets. (available on my TPT store)
Students:if the answer is YES, have them wave and greet the family member.
 Hello, mother!

3. Puzzle:  Cut the family members cards into 4 pieces. Show one piece to the class and have them guess the family member. Place on the board. Have the children come up to the front to put the puzzle together, or have them do it on their tables.
4.      Family Shapes. There are 2 versions for this game.
a-    The family members are in each shape. Have the children say which family member is in each shape.  Name a family member and have them say which shape that person is in. 
I created a flannel board out of an old file folder, by pasting felt directly to the file. I also glued some velcro on each shape.

b-    Blank shapes and separate family members. Place the shapes on the board. Have the children place a family member where you say.
Teacher: Grandpa is in the circle.
            Baby brother is in the oval.
            Baby Girl is in the rectangle.

Get them and more at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store for FREE!! Limited Time.

5. Family drawing: have children draw their families and describe them to the class.
6. Family draw inI made all these family members without face parts. The chidren will have to draw them and make them happy, sad or angry to review emotions and parts of the face. There are also big faces to do the same, but with pink or red yarn paste on an emotion to it.

7. Animal family: I ran across these animal families and made them as into matching cards. 
8. Awards: put a safety pin behind.

9. Family Domino: paste your domino onto old files or scraps of old cardboard. Give them free play time with the dominos.

10. Family Halves Game: give students all the halves and have them sort the people by family members. Also, give each student a half and have them get together by finding a partner with another half. Then, have them get together by family members.

11. Family Album: have the students cut and paste family pictures in each space. Then can also draw each family member.