Making Lessons Spooky for Newcomers
It's spooky season, teachers! And one of the fun things about teaching Newcomers is that Halloween may be brand new for them. Let's help them get into the spooky spirit through our lesson plans!
In addition so some of the language development strategies below, one of the interesting things that can be brought into Halloween lessons is that many ghost stories came to the United States as immigrants arrived. This is a great way to keep your lesson relevant to your Newcomers and integrate some of your student's own spooky stories from their cultures. I'm thinking of La Llorona, La pisadeira, and El Chupacabra.
Here are some easy ways to insert some spookiness into your plans below. Keep reading, if you dare.
Pair Grammar with a Spooky Video
Find a super spooky video clip or gif online and insert it into your slides! Or, you can project the video and have students practice the grammar focus with you on their own sheet of paper. If students are more advanced, they can describe on their own what is happening in the video with the grammar focus or use sentence stems with a word bank.
In this Newcomer Halloween lesson plan, I used the simple past tense since that is what was mostly used in the two texts in the lesson (one fiction and one nonfiction). For Newcomers, they just need to copy the past tense word. If you had Emerging to Expanding students, they could have other verb options besides "looked" and you could have them complete the sentence with a word bank. If you had more advanced students, they could form more complex sentence structures and integrate academic language.
Use Picture Word Inductive Model with a Creepy Picture
Maybe you have a lesson already related to Halloween, or maybe you are introducing the concept of a jack-o-lantern. Either way, you can project this image or put it on chart paper to do a fun Picture Word Inductive Model- creepy style!
There are different ways that you can do PWIM. The basic idea is to label the picture, focusing on the nouns, then verbs, then adding in more details. You can also focus on spelling and phonics here too. As the picture is labeled, students can choral read or echo read the words with you. After the image has been labeled, sentences can be constructed together and then students can try on their own with sentence frames as needed. It's a great way to get students SWiRLing (speak, write, interact, read, and listen)! Read more about PWIM here.
High school teachers, here are some images from some texts you may be reading (yes, most of these are by the spookiest himself- Edgar Allen Poe:
Use a Spooky Image to Fold and Guess
No matter what you are reading in your class, I bet you could find a spooky image related to the reading and have students do a fun warm-up with Fold and Guess! You can use some of the images from the PWIM examples, or do a quick Google image search to find your own.
Here is how to Fold and Guess:
You can check out more bell ringers for ESL students and Newcomers such as Fold and Guess here.
What fun ways do you spookify your lessons? Comment below!
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I teach high school ESL and peer coach high school ESL teachers in my district. I enjoy sharing my strategies and materials online and love learning new things from other teachers of Multilingual Learners/English Learners! Let's learn together in my high school teacher membership just for Multilingual Learners!