There are millions of teaching materials available on the Internet. I spend a good amount of time pinning worksheets and activities to my TEFL Pinterest board. The problem is, I don’t have an easy way to get things from my computer to the copier at my school. I either end up copying/drawing worksheets by hand, or going to the Peace Corps office in Pristina, printing a copy of something from the Internet, and taking it back to my school to make more copies for my students. (I recently learned I can use my school director’s computer to print directly from the Internet, but I don’t want to make a habit of it.)
A while back, my mom sent me some workbooks from the United States (thanks, mama!). I’ve been cutting them up and taping them to computer paper to create my own worksheets. This eliminates the cumbersome need to find a printer. Also, it’s kind of fun to make my own stuff. 🙂
Here are some examples of worksheets I’ve “created” recently:
Here are some more links to materials and activities I’ve used in the classroom:
I recently created this lesson plan to teach adjectives to my English Club (about 15 students, ranging from grades 6-9). It required very little in the way of materials, and my students enjoyed it, so I thought I would share it.
Begin with a reminder/explanation of what adjectives are. Write an example on the board.
Adjective Race: Give students a minute or two, and have them write all the adjectives they can think of on a piece of paper. Ask students to read from their lists, and write their words on the board.
Expanding Sentences: Write simple sentences on the board. Have students copy the sentences into their notebooks, and “expand” them by adding adjectives.
Example: The lamp is on the table. –> The metal lamp is on the small table.
Have students read their sentences aloud.
Explain Adjective Order: When using more than one adjective, list adjectives in the following order:
Activity: Create a list of adjectives and write each word on a set of index cards. (I made two sets of cards in anticipation of dividing my students into two groups. Make as many sets of cards as you think you’ll need.) Divide students into groups. Each group will receive an identical packet of cards and will race to put them in the correct adjective order. (You can do this several times, with several different sets of adjectives. Here is one of the sets I used):
Final Activity: Have students draw a card from a stack of cards with an adjective written on each one. Instruct them to find something in the classroom or school that the adjective could be used to describe.
The only materials I used for this entire lesson plan were index cards, a pen, a blackboard, and chalk.
Here are some other activities, materials, and lesson plans I have used in my classroom:
The following is a simple exercise I created for my classes. I have named it “15 Objects” because it uses … 15 objects.
My teaching counterpart really liked this exercise. (I’m always proud when I come up with an idea she especially likes.) What I like about it is that it incorporates kinesthetic learning into the classroom, something I struggle to do. As a primarily visual learner myself, I tend to favor visual exercises.
I also like this exercise because it was easy to create, and free! I just used 15 things I found around the house and yard.
You could use anything for this exercise. I used:
A piece of yarn
A bottle cap
A post-it note
A candy wrapper
A Popsicle stick
A paper clip
A plastic toothpick
A cotton ball
A craft googly eye
I asked students to come up to the room 5 at a time and take one object from the bag I was holding. Then I asked the student to describe the object. Students answered questions like, What color is it? What shape is it? Is it big or small? Hard or soft? Thick or thin?
I created the following easy matching game for my students.
Using an old textbook, I cut out two illustrations, one of Los Angeles and the other of San Francisco. Then, using markers, I made three matching cards for each city. I chose descriptive words and wrote them in a fun, illustrative way to help students memorize them.
I used a color printer to make copies of everything, and then cut into cards with a paper cutter. Then, I divided all the cards into individual packets, each containing the two city pictures and six matching words.
Students each received a packet and had to sort the words into the appropriate city. We talked about the new vocabulary words. When doing this activity with older students, I asked them to write sentences to describe each city, using the new words.
What I liked about this was that it was a simple, short activity that didn’t require much in terms of resources. I liked that it is adaptable depending on ability/grade level. I also like that it paired a little kinesthetic learning (sorting) with visual learning.