“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,

Danielle

ESL writing activity

Fête des mères – Mother’s Day

 

DIY necklace by Learn and Play en Anglais
DIY necklace by Learn and Play en Anglais

Bonjour à tous,

Nous avons terminé le projet de fête des mères commencé samedi dernier lors de notre Maternelle Club. Pour ceux d’entre vous qui n’ont pas suivi, vous pouvez trouver la première partie de notre projet ici. Dans ce post, vous trouverez un collier et une carte faites main.

Bien que la fête des mères soit passée, vous pouvez toujours utiliser ces projets pour d’autres occasions comme les anniversaires, ou juste pour dire je t’aime à quelqu’un que vous les aimez. Nous espérons que ce projet rendra quelqu’un de spécial dans votre vie heureux!

Just Speak,

Danielle

Hello Everyone,

We finished our Mother’s Day project this past Saturday during our Maternelle Club. For those of you that haven’t been following along, you can find the first part of our project here. In today’s post you’ll find a DIY necklace and a handmade card.

Although Mother’s Day has come and gone you can still use these projects for other occasions like birthdays, anniversaries or just as a way to tell someone that you love them or that you’ve been thinking about them. We hope that this project will make someone special in your life happy!

Just Speak,

Danielle

Practice writing your message out on a piece of paper first.
Practice writing the message (that will go on your hearts) out on a piece of paper .

 Écrire un message à l’arrière de votre cœur, mais assurez-vous de pratiquer d’abord!

 Write a special message on the back of your heart but make sure to practice first!:

Mère, maman / Mother, mom

Vous êtes spéciales / You are special 

Je t’aime – amour / I love you – love

Merci d’être une super maman! / Thank you for being a great mom!

Now write it out on the back of your heart decoration.
Now write it out on the back of your heart decoration.

Passez maintenant à faire votre carte …

Now move on to making your card…

Younger children can draw freely and skip the writing.

Use the stencils that you used to make your heart decoration on your card.
Use the stencils that you used to make your heart decoration (in the first part of this project) on your card.

Use bunched up scraps of paper to decorate the inside of your hearts.
Use bunched up scraps of paper to decorate the inside of your hearts.

Here's an example of a finished heart on a card.
Here’s an example of a finished heart on a card.

Ensuite, il est temps de faire notre collier d’été fait main!

Next, it’s time to make our DIY summer necklace!

Use a skewer to make it easier to paint your beads.
Use a skewer to make it easier to paint your beads.

Paint your beads
Paint your beads

...

...beads drying...
Let them dry out.

Vernir les perles après les avoir peint. Le vernis empêche la peinture de se détacher des perles et d’endommager vos vêtements.

Please note that we varnished our beads after we painted them. The varnish keeps the paint from coming off of the beads and damaging your clothes.

Now have the children string their necklaces in whatever order they'd like.
Now have the children string their necklaces in whatever order they’d like.

Very young children can aslo benefit from this activity.
Very young children can aslo benefit from this activity.

Now I'll show you how to tie an adjustable knot for your necklace...


Apprenez comment attacher un nœud réglable pour votre collier:

Learn how to tie an adjustable knot for your necklace:

Here is our finished necklace!
Here is our finished necklace!

Enveloppez votre cadeau avec du papier recyclé:

Wrap your gift with recycled items:

Use some cellophane (we used one that held fresh flowers from the market) as packaging for your gifts.
Use some cellophane (we used one that held fresh flowers from the market) as packaging for your gifts.

Use a stapler to seal the bottom (cut off some cellophane from the bottom if you need to).
Use a stapler to seal the bottom (cut off some cellophane from the bottom if you need to).

Wrap up the necklace in some tissue paper (our tissue paper came from the fresh flowers that we purchased too).
Wrap up the necklace in some tissue paper (our tissue paper came from the fresh flowers that we purchased too).

use stickers  to seal your gift
use stickers to seal your gift

Seal the back of your package with a sticker.
Place the necklace with the hearts and then seal the back of your package with a sticker.

Roll up your card and add a ribbon.
Roll up your card and add a ribbon.

Here's our finished Mother's Day gift, made with love!
Here’s our finished Mother’s Day gift, made with love!

À bientôt!

Danielle de Learn and Play en Anglais

See you all again very soon!

Danielle from Learn and Play en Anglais

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Éruption d’un volcan!

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Press on the bottle top to help push it out of the volcano.
Press on the top of the bottle to help push it out of the volcano.

Flip the box over and pull out the plastic bottle.
Flip the box over and pull out the plastic bottle.

Cut off the plastic from the tip of your volcano.
Cut off the plastic from the tip of your volcano.

Put two pumps of soap into  your bottle, then add two teaspoons of baking soda.
Put two pumps of soap into your bottle, then add two teaspoons of baking soda.

Put your bottle back into your volcano.
Put your bottle back into your volcano.

Pour about half a cup of vinegar into the bottle and watch as your volcano erupts!
Pour about half a cup of vinegar into the bottle and watch as your volcano erupts!

Bonjour à tous,

Nous avons pris beaucoup de plaisir à faire notre volcan en éruption au cours de notre classe de samedi dernier. Tout ce dont vous avez besoin pour cette petite expérience à la maison est de vinaigre, du bicarbonate de soude et du liquide vaisselle. Vous pouvez faire l’expérience dans un verre d’abord, comme nous l’avons fait, pour vous assurer que vous utilisez les bonnes quantités  pour l’éruption.

En outre, il est bon d’agir comme des scientifiques et de leur poser des questions sur ce qui va se produire lors de votre expérience. A cet age, les enfants ont une imagination énorme et ils pourraient penser qu’ils ont vu du feu et /ou de la fumée. C’est juste l’excitation et l’imagination à son meilleur.

Voici une autre petite astuce: utilisez du colorant alimentaire dans votre mélange pour  l’éruption du volcan afin d’obtenir des couleurs plus authentiques. Nous n’avons pas utilisé de colorant alimentaire pour les nôtres, parce que nous avions déjà à la maison du vinaigre de vin rouge qui a très bien fonctionné.

Passez tous une trè bonne semaine!

Just Speak!

Danielle

Hello Everyone,

We had a lot of fun making our volcano erupt during our class this past Saturday. All you need to do this little experiment at home is vinegar, baking soda and dishwashing liquid. You might want to try out the experiment in a glass first, like we did, to make sure that you get it right before trying it out in your volcano.

Also, it’s nice to act like proper scientists and ask questions about what you expect to occur during your experiment as well as what occurred afterward. At this age children have HUGE imaginations and they might still think that they saw fire and/or smoke even after your experiment is over. Don’t worry about that, that’s just excitement and imagination at its best :)

Here’s another little tip: use food coloring in your volcano eruption mixture in order to get the colors to look more authentic. We didn’t use food coloring for ours because we had red wine vinegar on hand and that worked fine but perhaps a little food coloring wouldn’t have hurt.

Have a great week everyone!

Just Speak,

Danielle

Volcanoes!

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Gobo stands proudly next to our paper mache volcano
Gobo stands proudly next to our paper mache volcano

(Scroll down for English)

Bonjour à tous,

Au cours de notre Club de Maternelle du Samedi matin nous commençons toujours la leçon en chantant et en parlant à notre marionnette préférée Gobo. Après cela, c’est le moment de travailler sur notre nouvelle activité: cette semaine,  créer un volcan en papier mâché! Il est au séchage en ce moment au soleil mais, la semaine prochaine, nous serons en mesure de le peindre et de le rendre plus réaliste. Après nous prévoyons de faire une petite expérience scientifique afin qu’il soit en éruption.

Just Speak!

Danielle

Hello Everyone,

During our Saturday morning Maternelle Club (Preschool Club) we always start the lesson off by singing and talking to our favorite puppet Gobo. After that it’s straight to work on our new craft and for this week’s class we started to work on making a paper mâché volcano. It’s outside drying in the sun right now but, by next week,  we’ll be able to paint it and make it look more realistic. After that we plan on doing a tiny science experiment to make it erupt.

Just Speak!

Danielle

des anges avec des cheveux – angels with hair

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Bonjour à tous,

Aujourd’hui, notre classe du samedi a été en partie passée à faire des anges. Mais ils ne sont pas vos anges réguliers parce que ces anges étaient pleins de caractère! Il suffit de regarder leurs cheveux;)

Passez un joyeux samedi!
Just Speak,
Danielle

Good morning everyone,

Today our Saturday class was partly spent making angels. They weren’t your regular angels though because these angels were full of pizazz and character! Just look at their hair ;)

Have a happy Saturday!
Just Speak,
Danielle

learn and play en anglais!

lion mask

lion mask by Learn and Play en Anglais
lion mask activity by Learn and Play en Anglais

tear up long strips of paper to make his mane
tear up long strips of paper to make his mane

give your child a helping hand
give your child a helping hand

make a lot of strips in order to create a lovely mane
make a lot of strips in order to create a lovely mane

lion mask by Learn and Play en Anglais
lion mask by Learn and Play en Anglais

practice your writing skills
practice your writing skills

Learn and Play en Anglais used the book "Les animaux" by Sachiko Umoto
Learn and Play en Anglais used the book “Les animaux” by Sachiko Umoto

Bonjour à tous,

Dernièrement, nous avons été tellement occupés avec nos projets pour Halloween que nous avons décidé de faire une petite pause et de tout simplement s’amuser avec un autre de nos sujets de prédilection, lions. Nous avons trouvé à la bibliothèque locale un petit livre merveilleux intitulé “Les Animaux” par Sachiko Umoto qui apprend comment dessiner des animaux. Si vous vivez à La Ciotat, je vous suggère de vérifier par vous-même –   ISBN: 978-2-501-06759

Et comme nous l’avons utilisé pour faire un masque de lion, à la fin il peut encore être associé à Halloween car vous pouvez l’utiliser pour votre costume le 31 :)

Just Speak – Danielle

Hello Everyone,

Lately we’ve been coming up with so many small projects for Halloween that we decided to take a small break and just have fun with another favorite subject, lions. We ended up finding a wonderful little book called “Les Animaux” by Sachiko Umoto in our local library that teaches people how to draw animals. If you live in La Ciotat, I suggest that you check it out yourself :)            ISBN: 978-2-501-06759

And as for our lion mask, in the end it can still be thought of as a Halloween craft since you can use it for your costume on the 31st :)

Just Speak! – Danielle

Lean and Play en Anglais