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 games.com  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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