As I mentioned in our Gross Motor Math Games post
, I have recently started teaching English as a Second Language at my son’s school. I’m really enjoying working with so many students and such a variety of ages, although it has definitely been a challenge to come up with new and engaging activities for older children. After all, I am quite used to making activities for Y who is 4 years old, not an 11 year old that needs a challenge.
One of the activities that I used with children ages 8-11 years old was using these simple sentence cards! Be sure to go on below to see how we used them!
(ESL) Getting to know you sentence strips
Age: I used these cards with students learning English as their second/third language ranging in age from 8-11 years old.
How we used them: When I teach English, I work with children in small groups of 5-6 children. I get 2 grade levels together so the children may be 8 and 9 in one group and then 10 and 11 in another. I really love the opportunity to work with smaller groups and really focus on what we are covering.
When we use the cards, I split the kids up in groups of 2-3. I have two copies of the cards, and give each group a copy. I simply ask them to create 3 grammatically correct and logical sentences.
I always find it so fascinating how the children react to this activity. Initially, they seem worried that 3 sentences is quite a lot. Once they start working however, I always see at least 5!
These cards are really inspired by a Montessori grammar farm idea, but I didn’t want to introduce too much to my ESL students and hence, kept the idea rather simple.
I’m still amazed at how effective and fun this Montessori inspired, and hands on way to construct sentences is! Something I really noticed in working with so many kids lately is how differently kids learn.
When I get my groups, there is often at least one child that has some difficulty sitting calmly, wants to chat, move around and is generally a bit ‘active’. It is often those students that really want that movement that simply excel at this work! Once given the opportunity to use their hands (instead of writing sentences and doing copy work) and move around in combination with learning grammar and vocabulary, these children seem to have little to no difficulty concentrating.
After working with the kids, I always ask them for feedback on the works we do. I like the inspiration and ideas for new work of course, and our style of Montessori inspired and hands on works is a little different for them. I’ve only heard positive feedback from the kids themselves about these cards (and trust me, they’re unbelievably honest!)!
The last group I worked with actually was disappointed that the school day was over and we had to stop working! I have to admit, I was incredibly happy to hear that! The other thing is though, I can really see that the kids are learning, and are eager to do so. The school is located in a village, and I hear from their parents how excited they are when getting home; from the teachers, I hear how well the students are responding to our lessons and time together!
Because of the success we have had with these cards, I am sharing them for free with all of you! You can download your own copy below!