Fun. Fabulous. FREE. Here’s my top lucky 7 besties of all as of February 2014.
ELL, Foreign Language (FL) and ALL SUBJECTS – CLASSTOOLS
Classtools is a free, interactive site where teachers can prepare games and resources with minimal or no experience. Included as part of the free resources there is the Fruit Machine (which helps in selecting students to do tasks without them raising their hands), even arcade games! A VIP pro-level is available at 12 dollars/month
Active History UK is a World History site that is divides History resources by grade levels, starting at the equivalent of 5th grade all the way to the senior year. Full of graphics, Activehistory is the mothersite of Classtools.
By the way, that Hitler head you see there??? It MOVES AND TALKS TO YOU!
EL L, L2 The O WORLDS – This awesome flash site is meant to send cards, but it works WONDERS for sustained stimulus in L2 learning, either English, or any other language.
PIXTON – L1, L2, FL, Language Arts, All subjects. This cool site allows students to make really well-made comics to practice their language and writing (and spelling) skills.
TAGXEDO: L2, L1, FL, Language Arts- Great site to make tag clouds and build vocabulary, practice spelling, and be creative. A similar site is
This awesome game is none other than an interactive experience inside the clue mansion. Perfect for vocabulary about the parts of the house, objects, interactions, and plenty more!
Prior to introducing food vocabulary I use http://www.ecookinggames.com. I also use Supermarket Sweep. For the latter, I print screened the four different food menus of the game and will make them my vocabulary.
I also made the slides into vocabulary slides. The difference is that this time they are divided by food groups. Since there are so many foods to choose from, I focused on the most popularly found on ecooking games. I also included commonly purchased foods that I can find anywhere and bring as living samples to the classroom.
We then use this vocabulary and apply it to realia, making shopping lists for each individual student or group that they can identify and add to a shopping bag. After that, they do extended activities with Math such as adding and subtracting the “price” of each item. The list of prices should be made ahead of time and with whole numbers, depending on the skill of the student.
For this project the skills were quite simple:
- Using ALT shortcuts to learn accentuation.
- Searching for Spanish clipart (Google search in Spanish)
- Applying vocabulary
- Creating a worksheet for their own practice.
- Create an order using specific Spanish commands (English for ESL/ELL)
- Describe the packaging of each product using a web
- Compare and contrast similar items (liquids and solids)
- Search for real-life packaging of products in Spanish and have students search specific ingredients that they can recognize without using the dictionary.
One of my favorite working software programs, Pixie is not only versatile but quite creative. I vouch that all my students, younger and older, love to use it.
For this project, I saved a template where the students will describe in detail what their restaurant will be like. As they opened the template they were able to pre-read and answer.
After this, they were linked to http://www.mydressupgames.com. Look under “decoration games”, and select the SECOND page. There will be the restaurant game there. Go to::http://www.mydressupgame.com/decoration-games/restaurant-decorating-game.html
Allow students to fill out the information prior to moving to http://www.mmydressupgames. This way they will already know what to look for.
Afterwards, they created a menu based on what they said about their restaurant. My older students looked for pictures on Google using filters. This one I had made before and I am re-posting as an example.
- Using Spanish terms, they all received a budget of an average of $10 each.
- Within that limit, they were asked to make orders.
- Then they paid with fake money and practiced making change.
Dollgames are are word-less, silent, often print-free flashgames that focus on one skill. It could be creating a virtual dish such as Ecookinggames.com. These games actually follow true recipes. Hence, they can be used by adults as well.
Learning parts of the house
The fun does not end there. There are also games dedicated entirely to decoration. They often come with background music, which lowers the affective filter and allows for new vocabulary to be learned more effectively while it is being applied to the activity (the sustained stimulus).
Using this site I was able to create this project:
For animal softies:
Language is more effectively applied through relevant tasks that inspire and engage the student. These flashgames also include science/social studies traits such as ethically treating animals.
After we got the vocabulary down, we were able to produce this slide to show and to work as a template:
Students who gear toward medical intelligence, kinesiology, or other similar fields will find Hospital Games as a great way to infuse ESP (English for Specific Purposes), and even English for the Job. It also involves the science component to the lesson and provides a good way to explore new areas of interest.
These are the very traits that a good language infusion game should have. The teacher, peers, flashcards, and vocab cards take the place of the language in the game, making it fully-interactive.
I used Pixie 3 to focus on the main skills:
- ID the main components of pizza (our food unit)
- Divide them into vegetales, frutas, carnes, pan
- Put together a creative piece
- Elicit student sentences by providing a template.
PStep 1, refresh the names of possible meats, veggies, cheese, etc. Divide them. PS: Tomatoes and Mushrooms are swapped on this one.
Always show the completed project ahead of time so that they can get a grasp of what is expected. I did this piece in front of them and asked them to give me other options to make it look real.
After the project they filled out a rubric where they had to determine their level of comfort and confidence using this vocabulary outside the classroom. We will return to this lesson using a Math (making change, counting) component and then revisit the vocab again.
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”
Next, 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.
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.
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.
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.