“I am Special” – An ESL writing activity

Today I am going to share a little project with you that I like to do from time to time at the start of the school year. It’s called the “I am Special” project and I use it to expand my students’ ability to talk about themselves and to add in some positive vibes right at the start of the term.

The photos that I am including in this post come from last year’s project and what’s great is that I got a lot of help from Twinkl. If you have not heard of Twinkl (you can thank me later!) it’s an online platform that provides worksheets for teachers, students and homeschoolers at a yearly price. You can get it for free, but in my experience as a teacher, it’s not enough and I had to move up to a yearly subscription.

What I found really useful about Twinkl is that most of their worksheets are differentiated! And if you are a teacher, I am SURE that you’ve had that word drilled into your head for the last few years. ALL schools are looking for teachers that are willing to differentiate in the classroom and yet no one can seem to tell you how to do that without working nonstop night and day...Right! Well, that’s where Twinkl comes in – You pick a subject (and I mean ANY subject) and hone in on a specific area. Once you find what you’re looking for you’ll more than likely have at least 3 options (easy, intermediate and difficult) to choose from. Simple! AND, your students will all be working on a worksheet that looks similar – so no more – “Oh, yours is so easy!” or “Hey, why is mine so much harder than so and so’s?”

Here’s a simple rundown of how I run this class:

Introduction: Gobo (my puppet) comes out and starts talking about the fact that he is not sure if he is special or not. I reassure him that he is and talk about how everyone is special, even when we are not so nice or when we do things that we’re not supposed to, etc….

I will then get into a conversation with my students about what makes them different from one another. What do they look like? Does everyone look the same? This is where we’ll talk about our facial features, hair color, etc. and the things that make us special visually.

Next, I’ll introduce the “I am Special” poem from Twinkl. We will help Gobo fill one out his poetry worksheet whole group (that means that the whole class helps in this) and then I’ll have the class break into partners to fill in their own worksheets and I’ll also ask them to make a self portrait (a rough draft) on the back of their worksheets when they are done. I like the partners to consist of at least one person that can manage the activity on their own. Or, two students that will at least give it their best shot. Remember, since the activity is differentiated, some students will have a word bank to work from, which helps a lot. Also, I will have left our Whole Group poem (Gobo’s poem) on the interactive white board.

As the students are working I will walk around the room helping the partners who need assistance. As soon as I see students working on their portraits I’ll know that I can check their work too.

During out next lesson I will ask the students what it means to be special, who is special and how they themselves are special. All of this will have already been discussed in our first lesson and so it will be a good starting point for our second class.

This is also a time where I’ll pass out their work and ask if anyone would be willing to share their poems so far. I usually have a lot of volunteers, so this can take a few minutes.

Next, I will show the students an example of a finished poem (which will be handwritten on another piece of paper) and a completed self portrait. At this point I will have several piles of construction paper that is of different size and color that will be used for the writing and drawing part of this project. My students (if they’re ready) will receive their materials and get right to work either reviewing and editing their poems or starting their first or final drafts of their self portraits.

What I like to do is give a check mark to the poetry rough drafts. Once a student receives that, they’ll know that they can take a specific piece of construction paper and get to work writing out their final drafts. I use the same method for the art work too. If a child has a check mark on the rough draft of their self portrait, they’ll know that they can take a specific piece of construction paper to begin the final draft of their portraits.

I like working this way because it help the students to know that work is all about PROGRESS and that a rough draft is meant to be worked on before finally moving on to the finished project.

In addition to the activities that I already mentioned, I usually always add a picture book to read from that connects to our project and we, of course, always start and end our lessons by singing songs. At the very end of our project Gobo is usually invited back to see our work.

They just love impressing him :)

Please let us know if you try this project out or what you think of Twinkl.

Wishing you a nice day,


ESL writing activity

Time for a little shopping…


I love to use student-made teaching materials in my ESL class. The items that we made this time were drawings of objects that my students were going to sell to each other. I understand that some parents find the use of     art in a ESL classroom as irrelevant or just a waste of time. I beg to differ. My students and I use that time to actually talk and sing. You’d be amazed at how much more relaxed children can be when they are in the middle of creating something. Singing becomes more fun and I get the time to question them about everyday occurrences. More than that, they are actually made to use the actual language (and phrases) that they would benefit from the most. 

Here’s how my lesson went-

After we learned some typical phrases like:

“How much does this cost?”

“It costs # euros and # cents.”


“That’s expensive!”

“That’s a good price.”

“That’s a bargain!”

I then had them practice naming all of the individual coins:

“Twenty cents, ten cents, one euro, two euros…”etc. 

We then quickly moved on to adding up different sums and they really enjoyed showing off their ever growing math skills. I then asked them to pick out a particular item to sell and to then choose a price to sell it at. Working in pairs they took turns asking, “How much does this cost.” ” It’s costs # euros and # cents. ” Whereby their partner would answer,       “That’s expensive!” or one of the other phrases. 

How did my students like this activity! Let’s put it this way, it was hard to get them to end the lesson. They were hooked. 

Until next time!

“Just speak!”


Let’s sing some Christmas songs!

Gobo in front of his Christmas tree!
Gobo in front of his Christmas tree!

Bonjour tout le monde!

J’ai trouvé quelques belles vidéos pour vous amuser à chanter à la maison avec vos amis et votre famille. Je les ai reprises ci-dessous et classées selon le niveau scolaire de votre enfant. Amusez-vous bien et j’ai hate de vous revoir bientôt :)
Just Speak,

Pour mes petits élèves de GS: Little Snowflake by Super Simple Songs.

Pour mes élèves de CP: We Wish You a Merry Christmas by Super Simple Songs.

Pour mes élèves de CE1: Hello Reindeer by Super Simple Songs.

Pour mes anciens élèves de CE2: Jingle Bells by Super Simple Songs.

Je vous souhaite un Joyeux Noël !!

Hello everyone!

I’ve found some lovely videos for you to sing along to at home with your friends and family. I’ve listed them below according to your child’s grade level. Have fun and I’ll see you soon :)
Just Speak,

For my little students in GS:
Little Snowflake by Super Simple Songs.

For my students in CP:
We Wish You a Merry Christmas by Super Simple Songs.

For my students in CE1:
Hello Reindeer by Super Simple Songs.

For my oldest students in CE2:
Jingle Bells by Super Simple Songs.

Have a very Merry Christmas!!


shapes and colors







Bonjour à tous,

J’espère que vous appréciez votre semaine de relâche et que vous vous occupez bien. Je voulais juste partager un projet très simple avec vous qui peut être fait avec des enfants dès l’âge de deux ans. Cette activité s’appelle autocollants, papiers, marqueurs et/ou crayons.

Tout d’abord, choisir des formes d’autocollants sur lesquels vous aimeriez que votre enfant travaille et dessinez-les sur une feuille de papier. Puis, demandez à votre enfant de colorier les formes avec un crayon de couleur de la même couleur (faites le premier à titre d’exemple, si nécessaire).

Par la suite, demandez à votre enfant de faire correspondre chaque forme avec l’autocollant correspondant (un peu plus complexe car à la fois la forme et la couleur doivent correspondre). Et voilà, maintenant vous pouvez féliciter votre enfant pour ce travail bien fait!

Exemple de vocabulaire:
Red- Rouge / Circle – Cercle
Blue – Bleu / Square – Carré
Orange – Orange / Oval – Ovale
Yellow – Jaune / Rectangle – Rectangle
Green – Vert / Triangle – Triangle Purple – Violet / Hexagon – Hexagone
Black – Noir / Pentagon- Pentagone Brown – Marron
Pink -Rose

Hello Everyone,
I hope that you are enjoying your spring break and that you are keeping busy by doing things that you love doing. I just wanted to share a very simple project with you that can be done with children as young as two years old. This activity calls for stickers, paper, markers and/or crayons.

First, choose the sticker shapes that you’d like your child to work with and draw them out on a white piece of paper. Next ask your child to color the shapes in with the same color crayon. Color the first shape in for them as an example if necessary.

In the last part, ask your child to match up each shape with the correct sticker (this is a little more complex as both the shape and color should match up). That’s all, now you can congratulate your child on a job well done!

Example vocabulary words :
Red- Rouge / Circle – Cercle
Blue – Bleu / Square – Carré
Orange – Orange / Oval – Ovale
Yellow – Jaune / Rectangle – Rectangle
Green – Vert / Triangle – Triangle Purple – Violet / Hexagon – Hexagone
Black – Noir / Pentagon- Pentagone Brown – Marron
Pink -Rose

des autocollants / stickers



Utiliser des autocollants pour développer la motricité fine de votre enfant.

Hello Everyone,

Did you know that stickers can be a great way to get children to develop their fine motors skills? There are countless ways of doing this activity but I only used two during this class. The first one involves the child simply applying stickers to decorate the page as he or she chooses. The second way has the child use the sticker shapes to come up with a scene. In this case the scene was “Springtime”.

Have a great evening and I look forward to seeing some of you tomorrow!

Just Speak!

Danielle from Learn and Play en Anglais


la peinture et les crayons / crayons and watercolor





Write 1

photo 2

(please scroll down for English!)

Bonjour tout le monde !

Ici, à Learn and Play en Anglais nous aimons apprendre l’anglais en utilisant le langage de tous les jours dans une ambiance détendue à l’aide de la musique et de l’art. Chaque fois que nous nous rencontrons , nous chantons des chansons, dansons, faisons des l’activités artistiques  et de l’écriture . À chaque fois! :)

Une des dernières fois que mon Maternelle Club s’est réuni, nous avons utilisé une technique qui consiste à mélanger la peinture et les crayons afin de dégager un effet magique de notre travail . Tout ce que vous avez à faire est de prendre un crayon blanc et de dessiner une image sur un morceau de papier blanc. Ensuite, peindre sur le blanc avec des aquarelles (nous avons fait notre propre aquarelle pendant les cours ) et bientôt vous verrez par magie le crayon blanc commence à apparaitre.

Pour clore notre classe , nous avons travaillé sur la lettre G . D’abord l’échauffement en écrivant les lettres ” C ” et “j” car elles sont similaires. Cela me vient de l’habitude, comme eux, de pratiquer l’écriture en utilisant des formes (ou lettres) familières avant d’écrire une lettre plus difficile. De plus, cela leur permet de voir comment les parties de lettres peuvent être combinées pour former de nouvelles lettres. Ainsi, il ne faut pas beaucoup pour changer un ” C ” dans un “G” .

C’est tout pour le moment, j’espère que vous profitez tous de vos vacances de Pâques !

Just Speak! – Danielle

Hello Everyone!

Here at Learn and Play en Anglais we like to learn English by using everyday language in a relaxed setting with the aid of music and art. Every time that we meet we sing songs, dance, do an arts and crafts activity and practice our writing skill. Every time! :)

One of the last times that my Maternelle Club (Preschool Club) met we used a technique that involves mixing paint and crayons to give off a dreamlike and magical effect to our work. All you have to do is take out a white crayon and draw an image onto a white piece of paper. Next, paint over the white on white drawing with some watercolors (we made our own during class) and pretty soon you’ll magically see the white crayon start to “pop”.

To close out our class we worked on the letter G by first warming up by writing the letters “C” and “j”. There’s not a lot of science to the worksheets that I make for my students, I just usually like them to practice writing out some familiar shapes (or letters) before writing the harder letter that they are working on. Plus, it allows them to see how letter parts can be combined to form new letters. For example it doesn’t take much to change a “C” into a “G”.

That’s all for now everyone, I hope that you are all enjoying your Easter Break!

Just Speak! – Danielle