The beginning of the school year has come and gone. By now, teachers and students alike are mired in the day to day work of learning. The newness of the school year with its sparkling school supplies and fresh haircuts has worn off. But that doesn’t mean the fun and enjoyment in school have to end! In fact, as we trudge through October and November on our way to the December break, it is more important than ever to keep the spark of learning alive in our classrooms.
For us in the United States, this time of year lends itself especially well to the study of traditions and holidays. For newcomers in your classroom it is the perfect time to teach the traditions, culture and history of American holidays, but also to combine that with your students’ own traditions and holidays. Use this as a time for the whole school to learn about the similarities and differences between our culture and our students’. For example, maybe your students from Mexico could create a display in the hallway that shows some of the symbols, artifacts and images that go along with The Day of the Dead. Along with this display could be copies of a brochure that they made together to explain the holiday. This display could even be placed in the school entrance so that community members and parents could enjoy and learn from it.
How do you keep ESL students engaged and excited to learn in this fall season? Share your great ideas with us here, and enjoy the season ahead!