A few days ago, a new student arrived in my EAL class in Peru ( EAL- English as an additional language.). The new student speaks Korean and Japanese, and has studied a bit of English; all of the classes, though, are taught in English, except the Spanish class. So, picture yourself in that situation: You are new to an English speaking school in a Spanish speaking country; you are about 12 years old; you speak two languages that have little to do with where you are now. Difficult, to say the least.
To begin the class, I asked students to introduce themselves to the new student. My students are very welcoming so this was easy for them. They clearly tried to make connections with him as they mentioned music, games, and other cultural ideas that he might be interested in. Then, one of the newer students introduced himself saying something like, “I am also new here, not quite as new as you, and I found it easy to make friends here. I hope you also are able to make friends. I will be your friend.”
I will be your friend.
Imagine the world if this is how everyone received new people, immigrants, refugees, the stranger, the unknown. It could happen.
I will be your friend. This gives me hope.
Here is a list of resources that I have been compiling over the years. Most of them are links to texts and curriculum from all over Latin America. Enjoy!
After breakfast a
tall, clear glass
of snow-white milk
The hot summer sun
sizzles my skin and
cooks the milk.
Thirsty, I …
Blech! Yuck! Plephtshw!
a four-legged horse
with a very flat back
carried cereal and milk
which Jack will attack
with his sword and a slurp
he’ll devour his prey
this banquet for kings
will return him to play
I hate it on the playground
when someone’s on the swing.
I wait and wait and wait my turn
but hear the lunch-bell ring.
I love it, though, in springtime
and my teacher I adore
when recess isn’t over
and she gives ten minutes more.
I hate it in the classroom
when we’re sitting down to write
and Rob blames me for punching Pete.
Teach’ knows I never fight.
I love ‘em, though, the stories
of future, present, past.
I wish those times of wonder
Could last and last and last
My school is like kitchen and
my teacher’s like a mother-
serving up the Lima beans
with cookies like no other.
My school is like a woodshop and
my teacher’s like a dad-
sanding imperfections of
rough edges that I had.
If you spend at least 30 minutes a day reading, writing, speaking and listening in English, your English will improve.
- Write for 15 minutes (But don’t sit and say, “I don’t know what to write about.” That doesn’t count as time writing.)
- Read and listen for 15 minutes.
I already shared some resources for reading/ listening online.
Here is a curated list of resources to use over the summer:
Websites for Reading
Starfall Begins with sounds; continues through short stories
Robert Munsch– Wonderful stories to read and listen
Websites for Listening
A Story Before Bed– Read and listen to authors read their stories
Keep a journal– What did you do today? What will you do tomorrow? What did you like? What didn’t you like? 46 more questions to write about, 50 more writing prompts,
http://www.readworks.org/summer-reading-passages (requires a free account)
If you know of other great resources (there are lots of them!) please add them to the comments section.
Now it is time for the first graders- How do you end an opinion paragraph? Here I offer three possibilities.
- Just Say It
Dogs are the best pet.
Vanilla is the tastiest flavor ever!
Minnesota will be the best state you ever visited!
- Simple Summary Statement
That’s why dogs are the best pet.
Clearly vanilla is the tastiest flavor ever.
For these reasons, Minnesota is finest of all the 50 states.
- Act! Do! Go! Try!
Go get a dog! You will see how great a pet they are!
So try vanilla ice cream and you will see that it is the best flavor you have ever tried!
Are you going to go to Minnesota? Yes! You will love the lakes and trees and snow.
One of my 4th graders asked me for ideas on how to start a story. We had a great conversation and looked at some wonderful examples. Here is what we ended up with:
Ways to Start a Story
Once upon a time there was…
- Dialogue (people talking)
“Mom! Help me! I can’t…” I shouted to my mom as I fell out of the tree.
“But you promised to take me to the movies today! You promised! You promised! You promised!” I started crying.
- Action (something is happening)
My brother slammed the door just as the rain started. This time he did not get caught in the rain. This time he did not get struck by the lightning.
I watched from behind the bookshelf as the thief snuck into the living room and opened the top drawer of the desk. He did not know I was there.
4a. Description (what does the setting look like? sound like?)
The spring flowers bloomed and the honeybees buzzed along the banks of the river. The sleepy town woke up to the sounds of the roaring river flowing down from the dark mountains. Something floated in the water, trapped by an old tree branch.
4b. Description (what does the character(s) look like?)
Jaime was only 4 feet, 2 inches tall but he was the best goalie the team had ever had. He could jump higher than kids who were 5 feet tall. But he never bragged about it. He did not have to.
The house I moved into in Lima, Peru
Is not rather old nor is hardly that new.
The floors are of concrete, the walls made of brick,
New wall-to-wall windows that close with a click.
Yet still I hear sounds like an old wooden floor
When I rise from my bed and I head toward the door
of the bathroom to assure me that nothing is leaking.
I realize then ’tis my knees that are creaking.