August is almost here!

What can you do during August? I made this list with ideas to make every day count!

A is for August and for…

Put August words in abc order

Use August words to write a story. Draw and colour a picture to go with it.

Use the word August to make new words.

Can you say a word that rhymes with August?

What do you like doing in August?

How many vowels are there in the word August? And consonants?

Clap the word August. How many claps can you hear?

Make a list of things you want to do this August.


Thematic Units

Thematic Units engage children in the learning process by offering a variety of lessons and activities surrounding a common theme that is integrated into all content areas.
Question is..

What are the best themes to work with your kids?

As teachers (and moms) we already know that our kids learn best when they are interested in what they are learning. So.. invite them to make a list of possible themes to work with during this year.

I did it, and this is the result of the top 10
  1. The Ocean
  2. Plants
  3. Healthy food
  4. Pets
  5. Royalty
  6. Home and Family
  7. Nocturnal Animals
  8. Farm 
  9. Circus
  10. Dragons

So I planned around these themes trying to include literacy, grammar, math, science, music, poems, stories, social skills, cooking, pretend play, and art activities around the main theme as much as I could.

I have gathered a lot of wonderful ideas for my thematic unit ideas on my Pinterest! Pop on over and see if you find something useful for you..


The Thematic Approach

First things first

Let me tell you I am a BIG FAN of Thematic Approach.

I found that it works really well with  young children in my ESL class; it not only allows us to incorporate a variety of concepts and ideas into a theme but also integrate Language skills, Social Studies, Math, Literature, Music and Science. Moreover organizing teaching around a theme allows for curriculum content and learning processes to be addressed within a meaningful context.

This year I organized my syllabus around one theme a week with ideas for teaching five days a week. But you can adjust the schedule to fit your needs.

It has a strong language and literature focus and it offers activities and ideas to develop the essential skills and concepts to acquire a second language in a natural way.

Remember that even when it aims children aged 3 to 8 you can recreate the activities to meet your group needs.

Learning Principles

The learning principles that guide my syllabus are:

1. Children learn as total persons (emotionally, socially, physically, and intellectually).

2. Children go through similar stages of development, but at individual rates.

3. Children learn through their senses (hearing, seeing, touching, tasting, and smelling).

4. Children learn through active involvement (exploring, playing, manipulating, and problem-solving).

5. Children learn through attitudes as well as through content; therefore, attention should be given to methods, emotional climate, environment, and teacher-child interaction.

6. Children learn through experiences; therefore, sensitivity to the value of play is required, for it is through play that children create their own meaning and learning schemes. Play is the work of the child.

Learning objectives

I want my children:

1. Develop a positive self-concept.

2. Enlarge his/her world of people, experiences, ideas, and things.

3. Increase the skills involved in physical coordination.

4. Achieve intellectual growth.

5. Increase competence and skills in reading, writing, listening, thinking, and speaking.

6. Develop his/her natural curiosity and his/her creative potential.

7. Develop cooperative trusting relationships.

8. Increase competence in dealing with emotional feelings and social situations.


Activities aim to the five developmental learning strands:

1- Social /Emotional development

2- Creative development

3- Cognitive development

4- Physical development

5- Language development

It has also a multisensory approach. It includes engaging activities using the kinaesthetic, visual and auditory learning styles to make learning meaningful and fun. It not only allows children to learn through taste, touch, sound, smell and movement but also provides hands-on experiences that promote the active involvement

The goal for this year is to provide kids with activities so they can advance their language skills and conceptual knowledge, while facilitating the development of their communication and literacy skills and promoting positive attitudes towards themselves and learning.

Are you with me?

Vocabulary Mats

There are many ways to be creative when introducing new words to the children. I love finding new ways to introduce, practise and review vocabulary with my little ones. I began using vocabulary mats last year and I found them really useful.

What can you do with vocabulary mats?
These are some suggestions for the little ones
Point to the new words
Listen and point
Point and say
Use bottle caps to show me the words you remember
Show me your favourite word
Use the  new words in sentences
Clap your favourite word
Use playdough to cover the words you remember

If you are working with older kids they can
See patterns and relationship in words.
Find an animal that can fly.
Find 2 items of clothing.
Find 3 veggies.
Find a compound word.
Find a word that has…letters.
Find a word that sounds like ...(specify a word).
Find rhyming words.
Find similar and different pictures.
Find the plural of …(specify a word).
Find these words in a book or text.
Find words that begin/end with (specify a letter).
Find words that end with (specify a letter).
Find a descriptive word.
Find a past tense word.
Sort the words by number of consonants/ vowels.
Sort words by number of syllables.
Sort words by category.
Sort words by stress.
Write the words and check them together with the teacher.
Write the words in alphabetical order by the first letter, second letter, etc.
Use the words to make riddles.
Use the words to write a story or a poem.
Use the words to write sentences.


Introducing New Words

Introducing vocabulary

There are many ways to be creative when introducing new words to the children. These are some tips
  • Start simple - introduce a few at a time.
  • Use realia (real objects) toy props, posters, cards, photographs.
  • Have children open a packaging – add props or word cards.
  • Receive a letter, a present, something as a surprise.
  • Display pictures of the new words in the flannel or magnet board.
  • Introduce through a story or music or a poem.
  • Let a puppet introduce the words.
  • Have a hunt for the new words in the classroom.
  • As you present new words to children, let them show understanding by pointing, naming, answering comprehensive questions, giving body language responses.
  • Prepare some activities for children to apply the new words, such as cloze sentences in pocket charts, prompt questions, talking to a puppet.

Steps to introduce new words

  • Objects

Place the props, or the cards where children can see them.

Pick up one and introduce its name using the structures children know, for instance “This is a ….”

Then hold up each one and ask “What is this?”

Model the answer “This is a ….”

Ask questions such as “Is this a ….?”

Model answer “Yes it is” “No it isn’t”

  • Actions
Introduce actions by asking children to do the action.

Model first

Then give directions

Let children follow you

Remember it is necessary to re-teach and recycle new words during the week.

How do you introduce new words to little kids?


St. Valentine's Brochure

St. Valentine’s Brochure or trifold is great to learn about St. Valentine’s life. 
Invite your children to look for information about St. Valentine’s life and complete the brochure.

You will find task to complete such as:

What I know
What I want to know
What I learn

You will also find questions such as:
When was he born?
Where did he live?
When did he die?
Why did he die?
Why is St. Valentine’s well known?

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