Resources and materials for ESL Kids teachers

ElephantReading Board Scramble. This activity encourages students to read words or short phrases quickly. Teacher writes words or phrases on the blackboard in a scramble here and there, but low enough that the students can reach. Examples include "elephant", "I love chocolate", "My sister's name is Mary", etc. Have two teams and call out a word / phrase. The person that is able to find and circle it first wins a point for their team. Even more challenging - have four teams all looking for the same word. The kids just love it. (Submitted by Susie).

DrumRhythmic Reading. This activity is fast-paced and lively, and improves word recognition, speed, and confidence in reading. Choose a reading passage (one page if using a basic text, maybe one paragraph if using a more advanced one). Start a rhythm (clapping or tapping on your desk). Choose one student to start. Each student must read one sentence (or word, if you want), exactly on the beat and pronounced correctly. Immediately after the first student finishes, the next one starts with the next sentence, and so on. If someone misses a beat or stumbles over words, they lose a 'life' or they are 'out'. If you use the 'out' method, it isn't so bad, because the 'out' students help to keep the beat and follow along. In my experience, all students, whether 'out' or not, have focused intently on the reading - waiting like hawks to hear someone's mistake. Of course you can vary the tempo, making it much easier or much harder. This can also be played as a team game (which team can make it to the end of the passage, on beat, with no stumbles or mispronunciations?). Good luck!  (Submitted by Melanie Mitchell).

Tic Tac Toe ReadTic Tac Toe Read. Draw a basic tic tac toe grid on the board with new vocabulary words written in each block. One student from each team is called up and must draw the picture of a word underneath. If the drawing is correct they can put a cross or circle in the block. If the drawing is wrong, the drawing is erased and the block remains open for another go. The team with three correct drawings in a row wins.  (submitted by Shawn).

WhisperWord Recognition Game. Write some words the students have learned in previous lessons on some cards (postcards are ideal).  Have all the students stand at one end of the room and the teacher in the middle.  Hold up one card and come forward and whisper the word in the teacher's ear.  If correct, they can go over to the other side of the room.  Students can have as many guesses as possible.

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