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Thanksgiving Day Language Games for ELL and SLA

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Thanksgiving is coming up and I searched online for my favorite digital learning tool:  Online cooking games. Arm yourself with a good vocabulary list and you got yourself the best interactive learning experience ever. Add a smartboard, a smartphone, or a touchscreen such as an iPod or iPad and you will make the learning entirely yours.

Here is an example from Cooking  Go to “Thanksgiving Cooking Games” or Thanksgiving Cooking Egames” and select a game. I selected “Thanksgiving Feast”

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 5.45.01 PMNext, look for all the optional changes you can make to the original scene. I counted more than 10 words. Using Wordle, I created a vocabulary list to introduce prior to asking the student to change things.

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As you show each item, also add the words “change to” (for ELL) or “cambia por” (for SLA). As the items are switched you may ask again about each thing, and have the student attempt to formulate a complete sentence using “I changed the bread to….” or “I changed the tablecloth to….”.  Same goes for foreign language teaching.

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The sites provide a comprehensive list of real-life ingredients that can make an easy cooking mini-lesson.

The directions are non-verbal but the teacher can take the lead and use the opportunity to give the command “put the _____ inside the ____” in any taught language. The commands should be visible in written form to connect sound and symbol.

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There is a huge selection of other games to look for. One game a day with the same vocabulary is a solid way to build new words and commit them to long term memory.

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Food for Thought: 10 Symbolic Dishes from Classic Novels

Originally posted on Official Blog:

Food makes everything better. Using it as a motif, or repetitive symbol, in literature makes reading all the more delicious. Who would not wish to take a bite out of  Madame Bovary’s ultra-chav wedding’s Savoy cake, or know for themselves exactly how bad that gruel was in Oliver Twist. Check these ten famous literature munchies and see why they make great food…for thought!

by Michelle Ossa

10. Cucumber Sandwiches- The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde’s 1895 play The Importance of Being Earnest opens in a glamorous West London bachelor’s pad belonging to the dandy Algernon Moncrieff.  “Algy” asks his butler to prepare cucumber sandwiches for his aristocratic aunt, Lady Bracknell. Algy’s best friend Ernest asks, “Why cucumber sandwiches? Why such reckless extravagance in one so young?” The issue concludes with Algy’s mindless eating of all of his aunt’s sandwiches prior to her arrival, only to claim…

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Spanish Thanksgiving Day Activities

Here are some slides to introduce TGD in class for Spanish students of emerging and early levels. I noticed it works for the advanced students too, so why not give it to everyone? This also works for ESL students as they can write the definition of the Spanish term in English.

Slide1And here are also food lessons for when the visitors spend the night…impress them with your Spanish.






More Spanish Lesson Ideas

Piggbacking on how to ask interview and personal questions in Spanish, my students continued to come up with creative ideas as to how to divide them into “pieces of me”. I must say they impressed me.

Maquina de Jugetes “The Claw”


*** I did a “VEO VEO” or “I SPY” game with this one where they circled or checked out the found object on the Smartboard.


Eggstra special Eggs




And extra special “galletitas”.