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SOME IDEAS FOR USING UNIT ON PEOPLE AND PLACES. JUST IN TIME CIVICS FOR BEGINNING STUDENTS. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE? . Principles: Language acquisition benefits from students shutting off the “monitor” and answer questions without much thinking.

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Some ideas for using unit on people and places l.jpg

SOME IDEAS FOR USING UNIT ON PEOPLE AND PLACES

JUST IN TIME CIVICS FOR BEGINNING STUDENTS

just in time civics - Heide Spruck Wrigley, 02


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WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE?

Principles:

  • Language acquisition benefits from students shutting off the “monitor” and answer questions without much thinking.

  • Connecting language to personal interests keeps students engaged.

  • Connecting English grammar to student ideas helps students remember structures.

  • Setting up a “game” (who said?) helps students remember and keeps them interested.

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WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE?

Basic structure:

  • Quickly move around the room asking questions.

  • Don’t let students think much but keep coming back to questions they had trouble with.

  • Allow students to think about answers until the next day.

  • Start with more proficient students so they can serve as a model for others.

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WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE?

Extension Activities – Listening Comprehension

Set up a game and do a True/False Quiz

Ask students: “Who said ‘December is my favorite month’?” “What’s Sylvia’s favorite color, etc”?

Create a few simple sentences and ask students to raise their hands to indicate if a sentence is True or False: “Barbara’s favorite month is December because it is her birthday.” WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE?

Follow up: Favorite place to dream about

  • Select pictures from the internet or from travel magazines and tourist brochures and let students select a picture or graphic (in pairs or small groups).

  • Bring in poster board and invite students to paste up their picture (or a series of pictures) and write a few sentences underneath – or encourage them to do a travel poster.

  • Ask student groups to present their dream place to the rest of the class (each group decides who will talk; others provide support).

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Follow up: Favorite place to dream about

  • Select pictures from the internet or from travel magazines and tourist brochures and let students select a picture or graphic (in pairs or small groups).

  • Bring in poster board and invite students to paste up their picture (or a series of pictures) and write a few sentences underneath – or encourage them to do a travel poster.

  • Ask student groups to present their dream place to the rest of the class (each group decides who will talk; others provide support).

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ASK SOMEBODY ELSE

Principles:

  • Inviting students to ask each other questions provides opportunity to use English in a “sheltered” situation.

  • Asking different students similar questions provides reinforcement.

  • Sharing information with others creates a “community of learners”.

  • Acquiring information about your students helps you connect to them on a personal and individualized level.

  • Surveys offer opportunity for analysis (math concepts).

  • Moving around while using English creates energy and helps the brain to stay active.

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ASK SOMEBODY ELSE

Basic Structure:

  • Explain to students that they will do a survey so that all members of the class can find out more about each other and share information about what to do with kids.

  • Ask students to talk with 4 other students and ask them questions about their favorite holiday and their favorite song to sing.

  • Model the activity with a couple of students (you ask a student and then the student asks you).

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ASK SOMEBODY ELSE

Basic structure ctd:

  • Ask students to report back and give information about a person they interviewed.

    • (“this is Sylvia. Her favorite holiday is …”)

  • Don’t try to cover all the topics or introduce all the students in one session but come back to this activity during the next few sessions.

  • Make a list of the holidays or songs that students cite and discuss what makes them special.

  • If you do math in your class, ask students “how many people said “Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday?” and then create sentences like “10 out of 12 people …..”

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ASK SOMEBODY ELSE

Basic structure ctd:

  • Ask students to talk about why they like a certain holiday or a certain song. Then make up some sentences that you will use as a dictation for students to write down.

  • “Sylvia likes Christmas because the whole family is together and everyone gets presents.” “Ana’s favorite song is “cielito lindo”. She likes it because her mother used to sing it to her.”

  • Write the sentences on the board and let students correct them themselves (or type them up and hand them out).

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ASK SOMEBODY ELSE

GRAMMAR AND VOCABULARY REINFORCEMENT

  • Ask students to create flashcards with words and phrases they want to remember (“De Colores is my favorite song to sing”).

  • Put some time aside during the week to review grammar structures and assign worksheets (from text books or make your own) as homework.

  • Structures to focus on include:

    • Basic questions and possessives

    • What’s your favorite?

    • My favorite; her favorite; his favorite, etc.

  • Language functions include:

    • Expressing likes and dislikes (I like; I don’t like; I like xyz the best; I like abc the least, etc); asking about preferences (which do you like better, x or y? What is your favorite?)

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WHEN YOU WERE LITTLE

Principles:

  • Positive memories open the mind to taking in new language.

  • Talking about memories provide opportunities for positive conversations within the generations.

  • Identifying games can be linked to writing instructions and procedures in English.

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ASK SOMEBODY OUTSIDE OF CLASS

Principles:

  • Language acquisition develops through use of the language with a variety of people.

  • Language acquisition accelerates if the speaker uses the language in new situations that seem a bit scary at first.

  • Getting to know other people in the program presents opportunities for ongoing conversations between staff and students.

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ASK SOMEBODY OUTSIDE OF CLASS

Basic structure:

  • Let other people in the school know that your students will be coming around asking questions and to please be kind.

  • Allow students to work in pairs or triads and take turns asking.

  • Encourage more proficient students to ask “why do you like “xyz”? As a follow up to the answer they hear.

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….ASK SOMEBODY OUTSIDE OF CLASS

Extension activities:

  • Invite students to write 3 or 4 sentences about the survey (“I talked with 3 people: Ms. Savino, Ms. Valdez etc. Ms. Savino said “…”).

  • Check textbooks, newspapers and magazines for simple surveys and bring into class. Discuss what a survey is and how it is done. Develop graphic literacy with your students by analyzing charts that accompany surveys.

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….ASK SOMEBODY OUTSIDE OF CLASS

VOCABULARY, GRAMMAR, AND LANGUAGE FUNCTIONS

  • Vocabulary: Survey (noun and verb), polls; analyze; results; etc

  • Grammar: Affirmative and negative (I like; I don’t like); present and past tense (when I was little, I liked, but now I like..);

  • Functions related to doing a quick survey.

    • Teach phrases, such as “excuse me, we are doing a survey for our ESL class. Can I ask you a question?”

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PEOPLE AND PLACES

Exploration and Discussion

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THERE’S A PLACE FOR US

Introduction: Multi-media

  • Talk with students about the area where they live– what makes it special and different.

  • Brainstorm ideas and discuss special places (both sides).

  • Use maps and flyers to give students a sense of place.

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IMPORTANT PLACES FOR FAMILIES

Multi-media: Tourist information

  • Ask students to work in small groups to identify important places.

  • Brainstorm about places where families go

    • to learn new things

    • to have fun

    • to get help

    • to celebrate

  • Ask students to select 3 places and discuss in small groups why they are important.

  • Students present information to the rest of the class.

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DRAW A PICTURE

Principle:

  • Drawing or creating collages draws on a different part of the brain and facilitates learning in multiple modes.

  • Drawing allows students to express themselves non-verbally.

  • Drawing allows talent to emerge and provides recognition for students who don’t always get a chance to shine because their English is limited.

  • Drawings can be shared with others via the web page and thus present a showcase for students.

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GOOD PLACES AND NOT SO GOOD PLACES

Introduction: Multi-media

West Side Story (“America”)

Discussion: Community is made up of places and people. Some places have negative associations, others positive. How you feel about a place depends on your experience (example, courts or police; schools).

Introduce West Side Story as an example of immigrants from Puerto Rico who are not sure about “America”. Most think it’s a great place, but one person disagrees.

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GOOD PLACES AND NOT SO GOOD PLACES

West Side Story: “America”

  • Introduce the segment to students and ask them not to worry about understanding the language of the song.

  • Explain that 80% of the messages sent in conversation are non-verbal (context; tone; gestures) and a great deal of comprehension is possible even if you don’t understand the language.

  • Ask students to watch and guess what’s going – without listening to the English.

  • Write some key words or phrases on the board and play the segment a second time. Ask students to listen for these key phrases.

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GOOD PLACES AND NOT SO GOOD PLACES

West Side Story: “America”

  • Copy lyrics from web page and change print so it is easier to read.

  • Ask students to read along as you play the segment one more time. Discuss some of the key phrases

  • Listening comprehension: delete key words from the printed lyrics and replace the words with blank lines (_________). Ask students to listen to the song and work in pairs to write in the key words they hear.

  • For more proficient students, delete additional words and ask them to fill in the words (ask students which version they want to work with);

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… GOOD PLACES AND NOT SO GOOD PLACES

  • Introduce or review English words associated with feelings –

  • Play the Beatles’ song “Yesterday” and ask students which feelings are expressed in the song. Discuss vocabulary and structures.

  • Type up lyrics with blanks representing words or phrases you want the students to remember.

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… GOOD PLACES AND NOT SO GOOD PLACES

  • Ask students in small groups to select one place that’s connected to a feeling and explain why.

  • Ask students to talk with their children about favorite places (inside and outside of the house); on the U.S. side and in Mexico.

  • Ask students to work in groups to fill out chart. Discuss why a place is considered a good place or not a good place.

  • Ask students to work in pairs or small groups to use English and present a place to the rest of the class – explaining why a place is a good place or not a good place.

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… GOOD PLACES AND NOT SO GOOD PLACES

Vocabulary, Grammar and Functions

  • Vocabulary: Review the vocabulary from the songs you played in class and have students do flash cards or add them to their personal dictionary.

    • Create a short vocabulary quiz for the students (match words and their definitions; ask students fill in words that have been deleted in sentences; match English words with their Spanish equivalent).

  • Grammar: Past tense, affirmative and negative; (Why she had to go, I don’t know, she didn’t say)

  • Functions: Expressing feelings and their associations (I feel sad, when…; xyz makes me feel sad).

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ASK SOMEONE OUTSIDE OF CLASS

Good Places to Take Children

  • Have students ask teachers of the children

  • Ask other staff of the program

  • Try to find tourist information on these places (brochures etc)

  • Have students generate questions that they have about these places (how much it costs; opening hours; what happens when you get there; can you bring in food)

  • Make a plan with students on how to find out answers to the questions – (look at brochure; call)

  • Practice phone skills

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GOOD PLACES TO TAKE CHILDREN

Talk about intergenerational activities with children

Work with “If you’re happy and you know it…”

  • listening comprehension

  • reading and cloze

  • memorizing

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A PLACE WE LOVEA PLACE WE DON’T LIKE

Introduction: Multi-media

  • West Side Story: There’s a place for us

  • Discuss places people dream about

  • Get pictures of dream places off the web or bring in travel magazines and ask students to select a place that they would like to visit

  • Ask students to work in small groups and select a place and talk about it (Our Dream Place)

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A PLACE WE LOVEA PLACE WE DON’T LIKE

  • Ask students to think about places they personally love or don’t like.

  • Ask them to write a few sentences about each and share with the group.

  • Type up stories and share with the group through “choral reading.”

  • Create short stories to use as dictations for students (use students’ names).

  • Explain that sometimes we create places in our minds to escape to. Play “There’s a Place for Us” from West Side Story.

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CLASS SUMMARY: OUR FAVORITE PLACES

  • Let students know that we will have a conference in the late spring and will be showcasing student work.

  • We want to have a gallery of places that are important to students – one set of places within the El Paso/Socorro community and another of dream places to go to

  • Ask students to create a big poster or a collage of places that mean something to them. Provide pictures; pens; and other materials

  • We will take pictures of their posters and put them on a web page so that people in other places can see them also.

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