Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Morning Class

  I meet my morning class every day at 8:10am.  The class consists of 16 first and second grade students of mixed abilities.  This class is unique, for me, because I am focused solely on English instruction, as opposed to teaching history or science as I do in classes with older students.
  We meet quite early and many of us aren't really up to speed yet, so the warm-up for this class is essential.  We have been learning about animals and how to describe them, so my objective was to get them thinking about animals' parts in preparation for today's lesson, which was mainly a reading about clown fish.  It was also important to have them use full sentences since most of them probably hadn't used English since being in school the previous day - this is an objective of every  morning class.
  I started our class by drawing a mystery animal on the board with black, blue, and red markers.  I combined the features of a dragon, a fish, and a snail and asked the students to tell me about the animal using full sentences.  They did this enthusiastically, describing it's colors and various features.  In doing this, they had to use a lot of the vocabulary we have been learning this week, like "flippers," "trunk," "shell," and "scales".  I then chose a student to be my 'artist' as we created a new animal on the board. To do this, I had the students raise their hands for the opportunity to describe one of its features.  The animal we came up with had 20 short legs, a tiny mouth, a curly snake body, 3 long noses, 2 curly tails coming out of its back, 2 bat wings coming from its butt, and 12 eyes (one big eye, one small eye, and 10 little eyes inside the big eye).  They named it "Beauty Show".
  I think the warm-up achieved my objectives pretty well.  They recalled some of the targeted information when they identified my animal.  When they created their own animal, each student really wanted to contribute something and, as body parts were described and thus became unavailable for new contributions, they were forced to really dig through their lexicon to think of animal parts which had not been previously described.  So, we all had a good time and the warm-up succeeded in activating the target schema in preparation for the new material of the day.  Victory: Morning Class


  1. I love your idea! What a fun way to review vocab and practice speaking in full sentences!
    I might try that with my younger class as well!.
    Great job, Nate.