What are better ways to practice new vocabulary items than using them creatively?
As Benjamin Franklin wisely said
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
This time, I will shortly describe a writing project with 8-year olds. Using cut-outs from our course book Oxford Explorers 2, OUP they prepared their short descriptions of people’s clothes.
However, you can find other printable clothes on my pinterest or somewhere else in the Internet.
I always start with an example.
I quickly took some cut-outs and stick them to the board. I coloured clothes and add some spots and stripes.
Later, I wrote a speech bubble and described all clothes.
This writing activity is quite simple yet entertaining. Moreover, children have an outstanding opportunity to practice motor skills even during an English lesson.
So do not
wait any longer and prepare handouts for your kids.
As a follow-up activity you may create a look-book (or any other magazine-like outcome). Children will come back to their classroom after few days and they can easily revise vocabulary and enjoy their creations.
More advanced students need some expansion.
I bet your 3rd grade pupils wish for challenges and opportunities to show off their knowledge. For them you can use the same project with some slight changes.
Instead of using ready-made cut-outs ask them to draw the character that they want to describe. I always encourage them to go big! An alien with dog’s head? Fine for me! The sillier the better 😊
They are not fans of drawing? Let them cut different body parts and clothes from magazines and match them as a one character.
When the first brainstorm is done, let them create.
A nice idea is to bring colourful magazines from which students can cut out some clothing pieces to make their creature look faaaaabulous! 🤩
Another worth trying advice is to bring picture dictionaries to your classroom. I am not familiar with every single item that can be worn – at least I am honest with my students! So, a neat solution would be to give pupils real chance to explore the unknown vocab themselves. The more they feel the need to deepen their knowledge, the better they will become at the subject.
Again, you may create your own example (a quick sketch on the board or well-prepared magazine cut outs) and keep it displayed on the board to make sure your students know what they are expected to create.
Older children’s English vocab is richer, so do encourage them to use these words when they can.
They don’t have to stick to just clothing phrases and words. They may introduce their creature, name it, describe its physical appearance (probably focusing on numbers of limbs and other body parts) and much more. Revise all possible lexis.
My students came up with some wonderful ideas and creations. Some of them you can see below. More will be uploaded soon 😊
Have you ever tried similar ideas with clothes vocabulary? Do share your comments below! I am very curious about your experience with this theme.