Ideas for Fall Lessons

There is a new post on the English blog, “All about Fall“, that compiles various blog posts on the fall season, events and holidays.  Many of the posts contain videos, vocabulary, and activities that can easily be part of a lesson for fall. The resources in these posts can save you time from searching the Internet on your own.

Please take advantage of them. 


Community – Government Buildings

permission creativecommons SA3.0

permission creativecommons SA3.0 BZrca8

In the next few weeks we are going to have some coordinated posts with the Civics and Culture blog! You will get two posts; one will be for students, and the other for the teachers. When teaching your lessons about places around town, prepositions of place, or just strictly “community places” vocabulary, make sure to also check out the Civics and Culture blog. You’ll find practice materials for your students on that site!

Today’s post is about government buildings in Raleigh. Use the links on this site to help plan your lessons. You can also direct students to the Civics and Culture page for additional practice. There are follow-up questions on the site that your students can do as homework if desired.  Here’s the link to the Civics and Culture page:

Government Buildings in Raleigh:

  • City/town hall-offices for government officials
  • Municipal Building-similar to city/town hall, with many offices and different gov. departments
  • Courthouse-where legal issues are managed, such as criminal and civil trials, marriage, divorce
  • Capitol Building-the governor’s office is located here.
  • Legislative Building-where NC laws are discussed and processed
  • Downtown Raleigh map

List of places to see in Raleigh:

What are some ways to use this information in your class?

What other ways can you use this information? What do you teach your students about government? Do your students know the government places downtown?

What Do YOU Have Planned for Halloween?

Halloween Lessons and Resources

by Sage_Solar attribution 2.0 generic ccby2.0

by Sage_Solar
attribution 2.0 generic ccby2.0

Halloween is next Saturday, and many ESL teachers will include some type of lesson or celebration about the holiday. Here are some links to some of the most popular sites that offer lessons on Halloween. This post just might save you a search or two!

If you are new to teaching ESL, or unfamiliar with Larry Ferlazzo, this might be the first place you want to look. It is filled with links and ideas, from lower level lessons to lessons on metaphors and figurative writing!

This site includes a powerpoint lesson, crossword puzzle, and other writing practice.

TONS of info and activities!

Above and beyond the usual vocabulary lessons about Halloween, this blog site has some good suggestions for classroom activities. This information is free, but they also have a paid site with complete lessons.

Comprehensive reading and associated comprehension activities about Halloween.

This site includes games for a Halloween party, but you could adapt some of them for the classroom.

That should be enough information to get you started on a fantastic Halloween lesson. What are your favorite activities or websites for Halloween?

Interested in Culture? Want to Learn More about Your Students?

ESL teachers often seem to be intersted in cultures of the world and learning about others, don’t they?  The website I am going to highlight today is a smorgasboard or information! There are so very many ways you can use this information both in the classroom and for personal enrichment/understanding.  As you look at the site, think about how YOU could use this site in YOUR class.

What is the site?

What do they do?  “The Hofstede Centre’s main goal is to offer high quality education in the field of culture and management based on academic research and practical experience. The centre services all those who want to become certified and who have been certified by us in the fields of Intercultural Management (ICM) and Organisational Culture and Change Management (OC).”

How can you use this information? There are lots of different ways you can use the information here. One way would be to use it to make comparisons between two countries. Let’s say you are teachig comparatives in your class. In the computer lab the students could go to the website and select two countries to compare.  After entering the information a chart appears comparing the two countries.The students could use the information to practice using compartivies, expressing opinions, and asking questions for better understanding.

For example, when comparing Honduras and El Salvador, we can see how they are similar and where their differences are in areas such as, power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, long term orientation, and indulgence. These terms are defined on the website and will help you undertand the comparison chart.  Here’s the link to compare Honduras and El Salvador:  (To compare two countries, go to the main page. Next, click on Cultural Tools. A dropdown box will appear, and click on “Country Comparison” and follow the directions. It’s easy to use!)

Possible ways to use the site:

  • gain insight and understanding about another culture
  • practice comparatives, in both speaking and writing
  • discuss culture and values
  • express opinions
  • learn new vocabulary
  • ask questions
  • read and interpret data.

To supplement this information, you can also visit the CIA Factbook website which provides information about each country’s literacy, health, economy, government, and other demographic information.