The English as a Second Language classroom is filled with student representatives from around the globe, and each student learns from his peers. Design activities to represent the students' countries and provide each participant with a chance to show pride in sharing information about his country of origin. ESL lessons about countries of the world develop a cohesiveness in class as each student learns more about the many nationalities that make up America.
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Where in the World?
The game "Where in the World" emphasises adjectives and description skills. Place a large world map in front of the class. One student goes to the map and chooses a country, but does not tell his classmates about his choice. He gives clues like the hemisphere, continent or languages of the country. Students take turns guessing the country until someone guesses correctly. If the students have trouble, the teacher should assist with the clues until the correct country is guessed.
Pass the Ball
Pall the Ball is a fast-paced game where the player has to think quickly. Students stand in a circle and randomly pass or throw a ball to anyone in the group. The student with the ball has to name a country, then pass it to another student. Make the game more challenging by having students name countries that begin with specific letters or naming only capitals. If the student hesitates or cannot state an answer, he sits down. The game continues until there is only one student left standing.
Traditional Dress Paper Dolls
Give a sheet of card stock paper or a piece of poster board to each student. Have students draw the figure of a paper doll, then cuts the figure out. Younger children may need a template. Ask each child to dress the doll in a way that represents his or her home culture. Use construction paper, cloth scraps, and trimmings like ribbon or yarn and buttons to add to the clothing. Have each student present his or her doll to the class, and complete the exercise by hanging all of the dolls together in a row on your classroom wall.
Playing "capital bee" is a variation of a spelling bee. Use the capital bee as a review activity after studying countries and capitals. Have students form a line in the front of the room, then announce a country and ask the child at the head of the line to name its capital. If he is correct, he continues. If he misses, he must sit and watch, or move to the back of the line. Students who are not participating continue to learn the information as they listen to the repetition.
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