ESL Lesson Plan Ideas for Winter Break

I’m sure that there are some teachers out there who are looking for ESL lesson plan ides, particularly for winter camp. Therefore, I am posting my plans for my nine days of winter camp. I taught Korean Elementary school students in the third thru six grades.

ESL Lesson Plans With Little to No Preparation

I actually got ill during this time and had to use some lesson plans that are easy to create with little to no preparation. I decided on four or five concepts to teach the students, so each day I taught vocabulary related to the concept and we played games to practice what they had learned. I view winter camp as a time to learn while having as much fun as possible, because these children are opting to go to school during their usual winter break.

I relied heavily on Barry Fun English. I paid a fee of about $2 for a month access, but the site can be used for free if you submit a certain number of materials.

For my lessons I used:

  1. Feelings
  2. Transportation
  3. Musical Instruments
  4. School Supplies

There are many more topics to choose from!

Easy Review of Vocabulary Words

I used the Vocabulary Viewer (pictures of the words already set up) and had the students repeat each vocabulary word. Next, we used the sites to play interactive computer games using the vocabulary words. My classroom was equipped with a built-in projector and screen, so we played the games on the screen. In some cases, I taught short sentences using the words, and I also included instruction on articles, since students have trouble with them. So, instead of saying pen, we said a pen or the pen,  etc.

Easy ESL Interactive Review Games

My winter camp sessions were two hours long per class, and I had only two classes per day. I found that the younger children, third and fourth graders, enjoyed playing Krazy Cups. In that game, a ball is placed under a cup. There are three cups, and the cups move around and stops. A picture of the vocabulary word is found over each of the cups, so the children have to say whether the ball is under, for example, the cup with the eraser, pencil, or marker. It’s a team game, so I divided the class into two teams, usually boys against girls, because the kids sit with their friends during winter camp. I have to warn you that there is a grammatical error in the Krazy Cups game. The site uses your instead of you’re.

The older students, fifth and sixth grade liked hangman, but we played that interactive game as a special treat. I liked playing English Monopoly with them, until they realized that just like the regular Monopoly game, it goes on forever. The Smiley Review game on the site is awesome, because the students have to use the vocabulary words to make sentences or they have to distinguish the words from pictures. They also may have to do something, like sing a song or give ten kids a high five. Teachers can edit the “do something” cards on the site.

Barry Fun English has a version of the Wheel of Fortune with is also awesome! The kids have to guess sentences based on the vocabulary words, and they can spin a wheel that is similar to the real game. The teacher actually spins it, with a click of a mouse. The kids choose if they want you to to spin it soft, hard, or medium. They love that! The spinning wheel appears in most of the games.

When I was feeling well enough to come into school early or stay after, I printed Bingo cards from the site. There were also some board games that could be printed, of course, based on the themes available. So, some days, I printed the board games and divided the class into small groups of three or four and the children played the board games. I gave a treat to the child in each group who made it to the end of the game first. Usually, they had to say a word or a sentence in order to progress in the game. Some of the games had game cards that could be printed as well. The board games saved paper, and the children enjoyed them. It usually took them only about 15 minutes to play the board games.

Fun Scavenger Hunt for Winter Camp

On two of the days the students in the sixth grade stated that they wanted move around more! So, I planned a Scavenger Hunt on the fly. I wrote a list of school supplies with specific colors, like a red pen. I added words like car, bus, airplane, and I added some feeling words and directives. An example of a directive includes Write a sentence about how you feel today. I asked them to write about four sentences, but I wish that I asked them to write more! So, for the scavenger hunt, they could show me examples of the things, or find pictures or draw them of the item. They received double points for writing the sentences. The hunt took two 40-minute sessions, and the class was divided into three teams. The winning team that had the most items or sentences (three students on the team) earned a little prize. I gave them chocolate the following day.


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