reduce reuse recycle: looking after our planet with wall-e

thinking of interesting topics for an after school program can often be a tedious chore for any esl teacher. instead of just trudging through the same old topics, such as colours, numbers and animals, why not introduce young learners to something new and relevant to the world that they live in.

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grow a word tree in your classroom

word trees can be a great addition to any classroom, at home or abroad. a good way to display key vocabulary, word trees help to create a routine within the classroom. keep the word tree simple by just displaying current vocabulary, or let the tree grow as students increase their word banks; either way, word trees really help to create a fun learning environment.


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word trees are a great way to display vocabulary


allow your word tree to become an interactive addition to the classroom; attach the words using velcro and use them to build sentences on the board. for younger learners, create a blending tree instead of a word tree. the word tree is an easily adaptable resource that can be tailored to suit any classroom.

be sure to modify the display for each season to create another discussion point within the classroom.

what do you think about word trees? do you have one in your classroom? leave your comments below.

using youtube with young learners

when i proposed incorporating a youtube song into a lesson plan for 3rd grade, the homeroom teacher seemed slightly dubious. it seemed like she suspected me of wanting to waste time within the class. stick on youtube and shut the kids up for 10 minutes, without any real purpose or benefit to their learning.

in korean classrooms, youtube can often have a bit of a bad reputation; teachers just wasting time by showing ‘let it go’ for the 25th time or students demanding to watch viral videos. however, youtube is full of really fantastic resources that can really aid students’ learning and help to take your class to the next level.

mapleleafhashima is a canadian channel and, i would argue, one of the best for young esl learners. their bright colourful videos and catchy songs are fantastic and students absolutely love them. with mapleleafhashima, there is no worry of grammatical errors or overly complicated language, which can often be an issue with other channels that claim to be aimed at younger learners.

focused repetition within the song really helped to ingrain key vocabulary and phrases in the students’ minds. mapleleafhashima really excel in this area with all of their songs; creating fun and interactive clips without being boring or draining on the students.

adding motions and hand gestures is also a great way to secure meaning and is fun for the students too. challenge the students to think of good ways to express the content of the song. continue the use of gestures as a regular part of english class to encourage longer lasting learning. my 3rd graders also really enjoyed the question and answer aspect of this particular song.

there are also many other great youtube channels that can really benefit younger esl learners: