Resources and materials for ESL Kids teachers

BlindfoldBlindfold Activities (2).  Blindfolds can be used in many fun ways - I use ones that airlines give out for sleeping.  For younger kids have students stand in a circle with the blindfolded student in the center. Spin him/her around a few times and have him/her approach the nearest student to ask general questions in order to guess his/her identity.  Also, have blindfold students guess objects by feeling or even food by tasting.  Another use is to practice giving directions - the blindfolded S is directed around the classroom by his/her partner to reach a target.

Blue TackBlue Tack. Extremely useful. You can stick posters, pictures, colored paper, students' work, virtually anything on the walls of your classroom or use to stick pictures on your board. It's also good for the treasure hunt prepositions game.

Calendars.  Have a big, colorful calendar on your classroom wall.  At the beginning of each class have your students point out the correct date and tell you the day and date in English: "Today is Monday the 4th of August".  Try doing this quick activity each class.

Classroom PostersClassroom Posters.  Posters on your classroom wall can be used for much more than making the room look colorful.  For young students you can have them find different colors, letters and words on your posters. Play touch: Teacher says "Everyone, touch red / the letter 'd' / the word "elephant" / etc"; students run to the posters find the correct color/letter/word to touch.

Egg TimerEgg Timer. Great for timed games, throwing around the classroom (see timebomb game) and setting time limits for tests, etc. I use mine all the time (see photo).

Glitter. Kids just love using glitter with their drawings - it can really liven up a picture.  By using a glue stick students can draw shapes and objects, sprinkle glitter over the glue and then lift up the picture so the unwanted glitter falls off.  Some glitter usage examples: Weather pictures (yellow glitter sun, blue glitter rain, rainbow glitter!), stars and moon, Christmas pictures, glitter face pictures, glittery Easter eggs, glitter snow scenes (glue figures to the inside of a jar lid, put water and glitter into a jar, close the lid and shake), etc.

Origami paperOrigami Paper. Great for teaching colors and just for doing paper folding. You can get it quite easily in arts and crafts stores and stationery stores. There are lots of simple activities you can do:

Pin boardsPin boards. Great for teaching the weather, days of the week, months and dates: have your students draw one set of weather picture cards for the classroom (rainy, windy, snowy, sunny, hot, warm, cold, etc.). Make sure they also write the word on the cards and color them in. They need to be as attractive as possible. Before the next class laminate the cards as you will need to use them every week. Prepare a small cork board with the words "Today the weather is ..." at the top and attach a plastic folder to the board (at the bottom) to keep the weather cards in. Each lesson, students have to take out the cards which best describe the weather and pin them to the board. In addition: the board could also have days of the week cards, months of the year cards, date cards, etc. which the students pin to the board each class. It's a really nice classroom reseource.

Play DohPlay Doh Recipe. Play Doh (see picture here) is such a useful supply, especially for younger students.  It can be used for making food and animals, teaching colors and even used to make alphabet shapes.  You can buy it at most toy stores but it can be easily made - either before class or during class as an activity. Here is a worksheet recipe that can be used to make play doh in your class - click here.

Stop WatchStop Watch Activities. A stop watch is a great classroom supply.  It can be used to add an element of competition to activities (e.g. put the alphabet in order in less than 1 minute) and students can try and beat their previous best times in following weeks.  It is also a good tool for teaching "How long does it take" - set up various activities for students to complete and time them (e.g. How long does it take you to count to 100, say the alphabet, run around the room 10 times, write your address, etc.).

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