Using Notebooks with Young Learners pt1
Oct 8, 2018 Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) 2723 Views
Using Notebooks with Young Learners pt1
Notebooks are an almost universal part of young learner courses. They are a great resource for helping with reading and writing. With notebooks learners have a permanent record of what they have achieved in class, and can also be used, week on week, in project work and extended activities. They also provide a chance for parents to see what their children have bene doing in lessons.
Below are some ideas for activities using the notebook. This will be part one of the series.
Draw a simple picture on a piece of paper. This could be just a series of shapes; e.g. a square with a triangle on each side, or else a simple picture; e.g . for a house you could have a square with a triangle on top of it and then a small rectangle inside for the door etc…
Keeping the picture hidden, read out a description of the picture; e.g. draw a square, draw a triangle on the square. The children should then draw the picture following your instructions.
Once completed, have the children compare their pictures to your original, to see how similar they are.
Have the children then produce their own original pictures and then they can take the role of the teacher. To make sure the pictures are simple to describe, give the learners a series of cut out shapes and then have them arrange them into a picture.
Draw a simple scene on the board, e.g. a table, a chair and a box. Have the children copy the same scene into their notebooks
Then say a sentence using the target prepositions; e.g . ‘there is an apple on the table. ‘
The learners should then draw what you have described, putting the object in the correct place on their picture.
There are a number of ways of using the classic children’s games Battleships in the classroom. For classes unfamiliar with the game demonstrate the game on the board first. (Draw two identical grids on the board, mark ships on one board, players then take it in turns to attack each others fleets.
For low level classes you can play the basic version, children call out grid references, e.g. B-2, e-4. This gives them a chance to practice the alphabet and numbers.
Instead of letters children could call out the phonic value instead e.g. a (as in apple) – 1.
You could have a series of words along the top and side instead of letters and numbers. These should be lexical sets, e.g. the top row is animals, the side row is food. The children then read the words to call out the grid reference, e.g. dog-banana.
Instead of battleships on the grids the children could mark in 2, 3 or four letter words. When one of the ships is hit they should call out the letter that is hit. Once the ‘ship’ is destroyed, the child reads out the word. Alternatively you could allow children to guess the word after each hit, if correct they then sink the ship immediately.
As the children learn a new vocabulary set have them draw a picture of the item and then write the word below it. This helps personalize and cement the new vocab for the children as well as helping with reading and writing practice.
Children enjoy drawing and creating however many children can have problems with free drawing activities. This is usually because they feel they cannot draw and so cannot even attempt to do the activity. This tends to occur much more with younger kids than older kids, however older kids can be reluctant to do drawing activities if they think they might embarrass themselves. The solution to this is to provide the children with scaffolding, give them help and outlines, so they don’t have to free draw everything.
Ways of scaffolding
- Demonstrate how to draw the item by demonstrating on the board, break the picture down to the minimum number of elements and show clearly the order.
- Provide a template with numbers showing the sequence to draw the item
- Allow the children to trace the item either of a flashcard or from one of you own drawings.
- Draw the item yourself using a dotted line so children only have to follow your outline. A variation of this would bet to do it as a dot-to-dot.