Mazzocchi ESL

Archive for the ‘Games & Activities’ Category

Animal Vocabulary for Beginning ELLs: Smithsonian Launches New Game

Shutter Bugs is a wonderful game for beginning English Language Learners to learn the names of animals as well as different verbs.


Grades 6-8, ELA, ELL

Watch video HERE.


Work in groups to analyze speeches and share expertise

Video Length

11 min

Questions to Consider

  • How does Ms. Langlois use both homogenous and heterogeneous groups?
  • Dr. Walqui talks about the importance of scaffolding quality interactions among students. What are some examples of quality interactions from Ms. Langlois’ class?

The World of ELLs

How can teachers use media sharing sites in the classroom??

Here’s a “Quick List” of ideas!

Use media sharing sites for…

  • Virtual tours of different towns, states, countries, and important sites around the world
  • A “What is it?” game with students guessing uses for an uncommon object
  • Autobiographies
  • Geography studies
  • Visual representations of novels, stories, and picture books
  • Evidence to support an argument using visual data or primary sources
  • Debates on a topic or essential question

Ideas by Grade Level Clusters

  • K-5: take digital photos of school and create a virtual tour for new students; upload photos to VoiceThread and post spoken or video comments about events, classes, and celebrations
  • 6-8: use Flickr as a multimedia reflective journal by creating a visual interpretation of poetry or young adult literature being read in class; upload photos to correspond with literature
  • 9-12: Upload images of places in the world being students as…

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The World of ELLs

How can teachers use social-networking sites in the classroom??

Here’s a “Quick List” of ideas!

Use social-networking sites for…

  • School club or class pages
  • Creating pages for someone famous in your discipline (e.g. a scientist, a sports figure, or a literary character)
  • Setting up an events page and inviting people to attend (e.g. have a look at the “Perseids Meteor Shower” on Facebook)
  • Fundraising for a service project or charity
  • Debating themes in literature, science, history, and so forth
  • Sharing videos, music, and other information with students or fellow teachers
  • Connecting to other classes around a common topic or theme

Ideas by Grade Level Clusters

  • K-5: brainstorm what a character’s Facebook page would look like, design a page as a class that reflects the character’s personality, Twitter – compare and contrast typical school day after connecting with a class in a different country
  • 6-8: visit “cause” pages to learn about a…

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The World of ELLs

How can teachers use social bookmarking sites in the classroom??

Here’s a “Quick List” of ideas!

Use social bookmarking sites for…

  • Team research projects
  • Webquests
  • Taking notes directly on a Web page
  • Annotating text
  • Asking questions regarding confusing information
  • Collecting research data
  • Collaborating on group projects
  • Finding new information via social networks

Ideas by Grade Level Clusters

  • K-5: collect class web sites and to share them with caregivers at home.  Students access to research, homework, and group projects
  • 6-8: group projects, keeping track of favorite sites, collaborative work, comment and critique each other’s collections
  • 9-12: write reviews and summaries, post questions or summaries

(From: Empower English Language Learners With Tools Form the Web, by Lori Langer de Ramirez)

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The World of ELLs

How can teachers use virtual worlds in the classroom?

Here’s a “Quick List” of ideas!

Use virtual worlds for…

  • Sharing autobiographical information via avatars
  • Oral practice with virtual partners
  • Pronunciation practice
  • “Fantasy trips” to other countries
  • Interpersonal communication practice
  • Nonverbal communication practice (via avatar gestures)

Ideas by Grade Level Clusters

  • K-5: sign on to Panwapa and create avatar – great connection to vocabulary of physical description and clothing
  • 6-8: starting at age 13, students can use Teen Second Life; can create avatar and talk with another resident about simple, everyday topics; take a screen shot of the interaction and report back to class about conversation; read news articles about online virtual worlds and set up a debate
  • 9-12: in Teen Second Life, set up conferences and presentations for other residents in world; 18+ can graduate to adult version and visit English Learning World, university areas, and other areas

(From: Empower English…

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Spooky Science Ideas

By Deva Dalporto (WeAreTeachers)

With all of its creepy, spooky elements, Halloween is a great time for some mad science! Here are four freakily fabulous science experiments that will chill and thrill your students:

DIY Creepy Lava Lamp: Teach your students about polar molecules with this great, ghoulish activity. It’s easy and has a big “wow” factor. Fill a jar one quarter the way full with water and top off with vegetable oil.  Next, squirt in some food coloring and drop in an Alka-Seltzer tablet to form citric acid and sodium bicarbonate. Then, watch the carbon dioxide bubbles carry the creepy blood red bubbles to the top! Read the full directions!

Black Dry Ice Bubbles: Halloween is a great time to bust out the dry ice and teach your students about the properties of carbon dioxide. Fill a dish with bubble solution (or dish soap and water), add a few drops of black food coloring, and pop in a piece of dry ice. The water in the bubble solution will melt the dry ice, forming gaseous carbon dioxide that the soap will trap it into bubbles. Boo!

Slime Time: Get your hands dirty and give your students a lesson in polymers with this icky, sticky experiment. Have them mix together borax, craft glue, food coloring and water to create some spooky slime! Read the full directions!

Ghost Dance: Give your students a lesson in static electricity with this spooky ghost experiment. Have the children cut little ghosts out of tissue paper. Then give them each a balloon to inflate. Have each student rub his or her inflated balloon on his or her head to create static electricity, then hold the balloon over the ghost and watch it eerily rise!