A simple speaking activity

  1. Materials: Bean bags or soft balls or beach balls – something kids can throw around in the classroom without hurting anything/anybody.
  2. Set guidelines – model how to throw the objects carefully.
  3. Group students into pairs or whatever works for your classroom
  4. On a board, write down questions aligned to your content: E.g. “What is the main idea of the story? What is the author’s purpose? What character traits does the main character have?
  5. Read and reread the questions with the students. Have them repeat to a partner and throw the bean bag to them, after which they repeat it. Discuss what the words mean?
  6. Write down frames for the answers: “The main idea of the story is…etc etc.” Repeat step 5.
  7. Model how to question and answer with a student.
  8. Have the students stand around the class in safe places, and speak and throw!!!

Get creative and get the students moving and learning at the same time! You can have beginning EL students simply practice social conversations while playing catch or have students review verbs. The list is endless. It’s a win-win situation when they’re having fun and learning at the same time. Let me know how it goes if you try this in your classroom.

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