Friday, October 21, 2011

Working with ''can''

So, here we are. Time flies! It's been almost two months since we started and I must say I'm very happy with my groups! The first graders are still a bit ''wild'' but on the right track to get more civilised, while the second graders couldn't be sweeter and more eager to work. Naturally, there are always exceptions, but I can't complain, the kids are, in overall, great!

Today I had a really wonderful day with my kids, which inspired me to share some ideas on how to incorporate and practice ''can'' and ''can't''. You must have a good verb base, though. In my case, we devoted the entire first unit to ''action verbs'' and, so, the kids are already well equipped with some solid vocabulary in this respect.

The second unit of my coursebook (Sprint) focuses on farm and wild animals and what they can and can't do.

IDEA one: Frogs can jump in the jungle :-D

Today, with one of my groups I was planning to do a short and wrap-up activity which was preceeded by the following steps:

On the left side of the board I put pics of four animals: snake-duck-monkey-frog
In the centre I wrote: ''can'' and ''can't''
On the right side of the board I blue tagged four action verbs (already familiar to the kids): fly - climb-crawl-jump

Students were coming to the board and matching the animals with what they could and couldn't do. In order to avoid messy lines, we used red chalk for ''can'' sentences and blue chalk for ''can't sentences''. So, we came up with sentences like: ''Monkeys can climb'' or ''Monkeys can't fly''.

And so we got to the final wrap-up activity: students had to create at least two sentences of their own. One with ''can'' and one with ''can't'' following the model we provided on the board earlier on.

I said that I would hang on the wall the most interesting sentences and this is when the activity started to get more and more interesting. The kids really loved it! Some of them came up with ten and more sentences and they had real fun while reading them aloud. The winners of this small contest were the following two sentences:

Frogs can jump in the jungle.

Chicks can sleep on the farm.

But then I thought that it would be a great idea to create a big poster with sentences that came from all the children. What is more, they would be signed with a name of each child resposible for their creation. The children were very enthusiatic about the idea, so, I'm hoping to hang the poster on the classroom's walls next week.


This idea is originally based on one activity taken from Sprint 2.

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