Known: class is about 45 minutes long; first-grade students are about 7 years old; the topic is breakfast
Unknown: the ethnicity of the students; the community where they live; what is available in the classroom (computers, maps, blackboards, seating arrangement); the size of the class
Divide the students into cooperative-learning groups of 3-4 students in each group. (Later, when you know the students better I used the grouping of: 1 weak student, 1 strong student and 1 or 2 in the middle. This way they will quickly find the leader of the group and knowing that they will get a group score, it's up to the members to be sure the weakest one strengthens his/her learning.) With group activities, the noise level increases but as long as it's TOT (time on task) that's a good thing! Depending upon the seating arrangement, it's usually easy to put student desks in groups of 4. We did lots of activities also in groups of 2 = student A and student B.
With a piece of paper for each group, ask the students to write their names IN PENCIL. If the paper is in the middle of the group, each student is able to write at the same time and corners work well. Each child writes down his/her favorite breakfast foods. They share and one from each group will share the list with the entire class. My students loved discussing similarities and differences.
Decide how you would like to present the vocabulary (hand-out, overhead projector, props) Depending upon the amount of exposure the students have had in English, it's good for them to 1) listen first, 2) repeat next, 3) identify the items (if you have props or pictures) 4) can they read and write? If so, you can incorporate that too.
One way to present the vocabulary with a list is to organize it in columns. If they need to find out what the word is in their own language, they can do that later.
BREAKFAST (main title)
Meat and Poultry (whatever subheading you want)
Fish, Seafood, Shellfish
Dairy Products, Eggs and related foods
Grains and Grain Products
Condiments and Spices
I'm sure you can find lists of these foods; if not, let me know because I have them.
If you have any menus (I collected them from all-over) you can use that, or better yet, groups or individual students can make and decorate a menu. I had enough construction paper, colored crayons, colored pencils for each group. Students who are as bad as I am at art, can use old magazines, etc. to decorate the menu.
HEALTH: This is easy to work in discussing food groups, a healthy diet. (Just another idea for "review" of what you have done earlier. What is a typical breakfast, what is a good breakfast, etc.
STYLES OF LEARNING:
(for Linguistic learners) Students can tell about their ethnic foods. For a "review" lesson, each group could select a country, display cookbooks, recipes, props. Hopefully your classroom has maps and one way to get different groups is to "brainstorm" countries they already are familiar with. Each country can form a group (if it's too large or small, "volunteers" can join) That group is responsible for showing where the country is on the map, telling about the climate, favorite foods, anything they'd like to share. My classes LOVED supplying samples of favorite foods.
(for Visual, Spatial learners) Drawing on paper plates, using magazine cut-out collages to represent foods they have discussed during the lesson.
(for Kinesthetic/Bodily learners) For extra-credit they can share (groups or individuals) additional information in a creative way. You can even choose a country they know nothing about to do an illustrated report.
(for Interpersonal/Intrapersonal learners) Either groups or individuals can visit a restaurant specializing in ethnic foods. They can develop a "Trivia Game" of "Fun Facts" = my students worked in so many games they liked from TV (Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, etc.)
They can draw a table and decorate it with their favorite breakfast. If you can put these drawings somewhere in the room, they could guess what ethnicity each drawing illustrated. = All t his depends upon what they actually produce but my students loved "sharing" anything creative, even with other classes, if there are other classes dooing similar things.
Each group could give itself a score for who contributed the most, learned the most, etc. Not only an individual score (each student gives his/her own) but the consensus on a group score.
You'll want to keep a file of the activities you do so you'll know what works, what doesn't, what you need to add or change, etc. Each class often has a different "personality" that you need to consider.
By now you will have so much information that you might not know where to begin! Keep it simple, keep it fun, keep it moving! Best of luck.
Sra (aka Mme)
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