This 1991 Smithsonian lesson plan (See link below) activated ideas on how a unit on kites could be used with my early ESL learners. The articles provide some valuable background information on kites that I found useful.

1. Get students to make a kite of course! (Many students already had prior knowledge on this and were keen to show others how to do it too!)

Language focus
– Get students to identify the items that they will need to get to create the
kite. List these as nouns on the whiteboard.
– While the demonstration is taking place, list the verbs used on the
whiteboard. Link them to the nouns where possible.

2. Link this up to a lesson on writing procedures out. Teach the language of procedures. Write the steps on the whiteboard while a student explains or demonstrates the making of a kite. While students make up the kites, take pictures of the various steps and use them later for a sequencing exercise.

3. Write an informative text on kites. With the early learners, I use the following three phrases to get them thinking about the item in discussion:

It is —-
It has —-
It can —-

An initial discussion could centre on descriptions based on pictures of different kites.

Move on later to introducing some facts about kites such as the background, uses etc (the Smithsonian lesson plan may come in useful for this)

4. Students can use one of the comic creators such as Strip Designer or Comic Life to sequence the pictures and add instructions. This would be a motivating creative exercise for the students. Some students may prefer drawing and illustrating their procedures using a drawing app.

5. Link this to a Language reading exercise. “Playing with Paper” and “Anna’s Kite” are two grade 2 reading passages you can use. They are found in the Superteacher Website.

6. Create poems using kites as a theme. The Smithsonian lesson plan has some samples on this.



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