Are you a creature of habit? What about your students? As a teacher you don’t always have to surprise learners in fact many of them, especially the little ones, enjoy following certain routine.
You have probably realised that teaching is particularly difficult at the beginning of the school year. We all have to get to know each other, understand the way we communicate and establish our expectations. Students also need to learn about us, how we react to certain things, how we deal with new situations and, of course, what our classroom routine is.
There are so many ways in which you can start and end your class that it deserves it’s own post. I would like to focus on having certain routine that leads to culmination point at the end of the year.
I like to start my YL classes by asking about the date and the weather. It’s a great way to revise ordinal numbers, months, weather and season vocabulary. At first you should be the one asking all the questions, allow students to listen and get used to vocabulary. You may also want to write these questions down and keep them in sight. Collect the answers and write them down in the weather report worksheet (scroll down to download the file). Once everyone understands the task, you can nominate different students to ask, collect and write the answers for you! Make sure that everyone has equal opportunities to participate in this activity.
It is easy to have a routine without any end goal. The purpose of this lesson is to change it into something useful, make your students feel that everything you do in class is well-thought, organised and memorable. This lesson is fairly easy and is mostly student-centred. You can download the lesson plan and the weather report worksheet at the end of the post!
Start by drawing a circle and writing the first letters of the months. Allow your students to guess the topic of the class and figure out the meaning of the words. Once you have the answers, divide the circle into four parts – these are the seasons. Before you move on to the project part of the lesson, you can elicit students’ predictions about the average temperature in different seasons, as well as the number of sunny, rainy, cloudy… days.
It is always a good idea to give instructions by showing an example, so do the first part of the project as a group. This will eliminate a lot of questions later on. Choose one season, tally all the weather type days, e.g. 5 sunny days, 3 rainy days, etc. and calculate the average temperature. Write the results down and allow the students to work in small groups on the rest of the seasons. By the end of the class put all the results together and display them in the classroom.
It’s an easy concept lesson that requires quite a lot of commitment, but your YL will love it. The class doesn’t feel like a typical ESL lesson and it gives the feeling of achievement and closure as students used and analysed their own data. At the end of the day, you want to create memorable lessons that will inspire and shape your learners into creative and intelligent people.
Feel free to download the lesson plan and the weather report worksheet below!