Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Animoto and Thanksgiving

I'm a huge fan of holidays and thus the reoccurring theme of Thanksgiving. It seems to be the only holiday that I can teach students about (no religion attached) that is coming up. During these holidays, it may be tricky for ESOL students to know what to expect or even what to do on these days. It's important that we teach them what these holidays are about and what Americans might do to celebrate. Along with teaching students about the holiday itself, you can also add in a language factor. That's exactly what I did with my Animoto video, Happy Thanksgiving. Animoto is a free (or paid if you want to upgrade) website in which you can create short videos with various background settings. I used Animoto to create a video about what I do on Thanksgiving. I used very basic language and the slides are just long enough so students will pay attention and be able to read the text. It's also nice because ESOL students need visual aids and this is a perfect way to accompany text. If students can't read fast enough, they can assume what the text is saying by the picture. To test their learning from this assignment I will have them watch this video multiple times in class and then have students write me a few sentences about what they watched in the video. If they are low proficiency learners I could scaffold a sentence for them such as "On Thanksgiving, Americans will..." Then, I will have them write about a holiday of their own and describe a couple sentences like they did for Thanksgiving, again, scaffolding if needed. I would read their sentences to check for comprehension. This activity would focus a lot on Standard 5, Language for Cross-Cultural Knowledge and Understanding as well as Standard 2 Language for Literary Response and Expression. Thanks for listening!

1 comment:

  1. Your lesson and assessment sound fine. Regarding teaching about holidays, I think you can easily teach about a "secular Christmas" by putting emphasis on Santa, stockings and gifts. I think that is what the ELLS will see the most of on TV and in stores.