Hey everyone! I wanted to write a quick post on something that I did today while doing some lesson planning for school. I figured that since there’s a plethora of cool ESL resources out there I would write about any cool ideas I use or come up with to add to that in the hopes that someone else finds this useful someday.
Anyways, this week my 2nd grade classes are starting unit 2, which is over weather, so I’m been thinking of a couple ideas on how to teach that effectively. I ended up taking this idea from one of the symposiums that we have been required to attend alongside our university classes: combining teaching culture with weather by showing the weather from where you’re from.
I ended up making a Prezi today on the weather of Ohio (for those unfamiliar, Prezi is a flashy zooming presentation software online that’s used as an alternative to PowerPoint and is extremely popular with Millennials). It’s not completely finished yet, because I’m still not sure exactly how I’m going to use this in the end, so I’m waiting for tomorrow when I present it for the first time and I’ll edit it again from there. I’ve embedded it below and the direct link is here.
In it’s current state I first show where Ohio is in the world (many of my students are still too young to grasp the concept that the US is far away; one student asked me once if I commute daily to work from Ohio!) and then I go through the four seasons and provide a few basic facts (average temperature, for example) and then show 3-4 pictures from Ohio that depict a different day of weather. For example, when covering Spring I start with a generic picture of flowers and trees blooming to represent the month as a whole, and then show pictures of a sunny day, a rainy day, and a foggy morning. Repeat with the other seasons.
Two things I focused heavily on was severe weather (storms, tornadoes, hail) and winter weather (snow, blizzards, ice storms, etc.) because neither of this exist here in Madrid. I tried to emphasize the sheer power of severe weather and it’s negative impact on a community.
As I mentioned, I’ll probably make some changes to it after trying this out. My kids are at a level where many still don’t know English that well, so while I tried to stay away from blocks of text I have a few on there that still might be too hard for the students. I also don’t know how I’m going to use it; when writing the Prezi today I knew all the words and phrases I would say to describe each photo but then I realized it was too complex. I also wanted to make it more detailed, including stuff about how to prepare for different weather or what clothes you would wear in each season, but I think that’s too difficult, so I might make a separate presentation on that.
Eventually I might add some more pictures of stuff I forgot, I might add titles or captions for some photos, and I might try to incorporate more personal photos; the only photos of me are one with my friends ice skating in winter and one of my family to start the presentation off. I’m hoping that students will be interested in seeing “teacher Mark” in his life back home, so if that gets their attention I’ll throw some more of those photos on there.
I’ll give an update down the line on how successful it was, and if you have any ideas or noticed something I forgot don’t forget to comment below! And if you’re a fellow ESL teacher out there, feel free to make a presentation of your own state/country and send me it to see!
Have a great day!