Celebrating autumn with language

Word clouds:


Prose: Autumn is here. Temperatures are falling along with the leaves. Winter clothes, yellow, orange, and brown, are out of storage and the pastel shades of summer disappear for another year.  Cheers for the winning football teams are loud and clear along with the crackling of burning wood in the chimneys. Do you smell the smoke? Do you smell the spiced cider on the stove and the pumpkin brownies in the oven? Isn’t autumn fabulous!


autumn haiku

Found on https://www.pinterest.com/1goody2shoes/haiku/

Following recipes: 

Cider RecipeFound on turnstylevogue.com

Illustrating recipes: Illustated pumpkin recipe

Found on https://www.pinterest.com/samiammullen/hand-written-recipes/

Songs:    41 Songs to Fall in Love with Autumn     (The Ultimate Fall Playlist on Spotify by Mashable)
Listen! Sing! Discuss the lyrics! Move to the music! How does the music make you feel?

How will you celebrate autumn with your students?



A good resource for word cloud apps is http://www.edudemic.com/word-cloud-generators/

Haiku2Found on learninghub3.blogspot.com

What’s in Your Town?

I use these pictures for high beginning ESL conversation and employ questions such as the following:

  1. What does the building look like?  Describe it.
  2. Is it a business or a government office?
  3. What is it for? Why do people go there?
  4. What different kinds of work do people do there? What do they call people in those jobs? (sales clerks, secretaries, judges, etc.)
  5. Do you ever go into a building like that?
  6. Is there one in your town (city)? Where is it? How do I get there?
  7. Is there public transportation for me take there?  What kind? How much does it cost?
  8. Do you live in a house, condo, or apartment? What does it look like? How many rooms does it have? Do you rent it or own it?
  9. What is your address? What is your telephone number?
  10. How do I get to your house (apartment, condo) from here? Please give me directions.

For higher level students, some of these questions or versions of these may be appropriate:

Simple past:  Did you go to the _____________ last week?  What did you do there?
Present perfect/simple past:  Have you ever gone to a __________? (Short answer: Yes, I have; no, I haven’t.)  What did you do there?
Future using present continuous:  Are you going to (planning to) go to a _________ this week? What are you going to (planning to) do there?
Conditional 1: If you go to a __________ this week, what will you do there?
Conditional 2: If you went to a _________, what would you do there?
Conditional 3: If you had gone to a __________ fifty years ago, what would you have done there?

Key to items on slides:
Slide 3:  Gas station
Slide 4:  Grocery store (supermarket)
Slide 5:  Barber shop
Slide 6:  Shoe store
Slide 7:  Bakery
Slide 8:  Shopping mall
Slide 9:  Parking garage
Slide 10: Sports stadium (American football stadium)
Slide 11: Museum
Slide 12: Library
Slide 13: Movie theater
Slide 14: Cafe or restaurant
Slide 15: School
Slide 16: Church
Slide 17: Mosque
Slide 18: Court house
Slide 19: Fire department
Slide 20: Police station
Slide 21: House
Slide 22: Condos
Slide 23: Neighborhood

Additional Resources:  
ESL Around the Town Beginner
Teaching Conditional Forms to ESL Students
Jobs, Places, ESL Vocabulary Wheel of Fortune Game
ESL Vocabulary Quiz – Occupations

For Better or For Worse by Lynn Johnston

Boning up for my annual error correction conversation!  Enjoy!

Profiles of Life and Learning on Glogster EDU: A Follow-up

At the beginning of this past fall 2010-2011 semester, I posted my plan, Profiles of Life and Learning on Glogster EDU, for using Glogster as a tool to summarize and synthesize student learning in my advanced ESL class, and I promised that I would display their final glogs at the end of the semester.  However, WordPress only allows us to post individual glog links rather than the actual glogs, so I decided to post them all first in one blog (Blogger), and then give you the link to that blog.  Why Blogger?  I chose Blogger for several reasons: 1) Blogger makes posting the glogs very easy for me; 2) there’s easy access for my students because they already use gmail accounts for their school email and can use that address for Blogger; and 3) comments are easy to make after each glog on Blogger.

I presented Glogster EDU to the students early in the semester with a minimum of instruction and gave students a total of four communication prompts throughout the semester. They were told to vary their forms of presentation on Glogster either with writing, an original audio recording, or a video tape of themselves responding to the prompts and that they would have approximately 30-50 minutes of class time each week during the semester to create a glog representative of themselves and their language and creative skills.  Students were required to seek answers to their glogging questions first by going to their classmates instead of me, which worked very well for all concerned. Additionally, I made myself available via email as well as for one extra hour most days after class to offer extra help either with their language or presentation efforts.

The end result of this semester-long assignment was positive.  The last two hours of our course were dedicated to the student presentations of their glogs. Students joyfully commented on how much they enjoyed learning to use this technology, i.e. downloading video and pictures and uploading them to their glogs, doing Internet searches especially for videos about their homeland, and using this technology to present themselves and their work in a creative and artistic way. But, because the semester ended only too soon, I promised the students that during semester break, I would compile, publish, and email them the final presentation of all the glogs, and that I would review their work with them during the break or early next semester if they so wished. I published all the glogs whether they were finished or not, since each offered information for us to learn from.

Was it worth the class time and the effort, and would I repeat this assignment again? Absolutely, but I would probably be more adamant about having them make their own video and audio recordings in addition to their writings. I would definitely plan on once again offering extra time and assistance to my students after class as it minimized the anxiety level of the technology novices even though they truly did get most of their technology help from the other students.

Once again, here is the display of our glogs.  I hope you will enjoy the students’ work and in return share with me how you use or plan to use Glogster in your ESL/EFL classes!

Profiles of Life and Learning on Glogster EDU

This semester my Advanced ESL adult students will summarize and synthesize their learning by developing a glog on Glogster EDU to profile their lives and learning, which they will present to the class at the end of the semester as a final project.  If they will allow me, I will then post their glogs on our ESL website (ecampus.matc.edu/southesl) to share with the other students as well as a sample or two in this Web 2.0 for ESL blog to share with you.

I’ve taught this course several times now using Side by Side Book 4 as our textbook.  Of course, as all teachers, I do something different each semester, but this semester I’ve decided to hit hard on the use of technology to enrich and supplement student learning.  And, I have to say, my class seems thrilled albeit a little intimidated.  They are happy to have the opportunity to develop better computer skills, explore new Internet tools, and express themselves and their recently acquired English skills in new, creative and challenging ways, but some are wondering if they will have the ability to pull it off.  Because I am requiring the use of so much new technology, I have made myself available to this group of students an extra hour after each class for help or practice with the tools.  I am fortunate to have an hour to work with them after they have finished their courses for the day.

I’ve started off  this project by getting each student his/her own account at edu.glogster.com.   I requested and received 25 subaccounts attached to my account, one for each student and one for my own “test student.”  The test student I created to check my instructions to the students by being able to sign on as a test student and see the site through a student’s eyes rather than only seeing the instructor’s page and guessing what the students “should be able to see” on their own pages.

Glogster EDU then sent  nickname codes and passwords for each student in a “message” on my Glogster EDU Dashboard.  I missed this the first time around, and when I didn’t receive the message as an email, I thought I had to assign passwords to my students.  This was a false step that I was able to rectify easily with the forgiveness and cooperation of my students.  Once I realized what I had done and after testing the new “codes” on my “test student account,” I assigned each student an account, gave each a typed copy of their userid and password, and asked them to test the codes by signing into their accounts.  There was only one problem associated with the codes, and that was in deciphering an “l” from a “1.”  If the students were successful at logging in, I asked them to transfer the userid and password info onto a form I had given them at the beginning of the semester to record all userids and passwords needed for different web tools used in my class this semester.  Then their first assignment was to take a few days to explore and get to know Glogster EDU and its tools, sampling the different tools and options, picking out “walls” and perusing the many different glogs already created and published.

The students will be receiving a “creativity prompt” for each chapter we cover during the semester, and I expect each item to involve either written or spoken English and an artistic presentation of the prompt.  I expect it to involve a video, picture, drawing, or other type of image with either audio or an article attached.  Each prompt will involve a grammatical structure or structures presented in a specific chapter, and will be graded on the correct structure usage and creativity of presentation.  The prompts will revolve around life and learning in their homeland and here in the United States.

This is their first prompt:  Compare your life before coming to the USA to your life now in Wisconsin.  Use past tenses to speak/write about what your life was like for you in your homeland and present tenses to talk about what your life is like now in Wisconsin.   You can use video, photos,  drawings, music or other media to illustrate your comparison.  I’ll be looking for correct English usage and a creative method of presentation on Glogster EDU.  Have fun creating!

Related Reading :  The 12 Days of Technology-Day 11: Glogster

Detailed Tutorial on Glogster EDU – Online teaching and learning tool

Glogster on Slideshare (a tutorial)

5 Traits of the 21st CenturyTeacher

Things We Say Wrong

[blip.tv ?posts_id=719979&dest=-1]