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September 22, 2006

Lesson Plans- Toilet Paper Roll Puppets

Hello Readers!

Last summer, I taught a group of young learners ESL from 8:30 am to 3:15 pm every day, Monday through Friday, for a full month. This was the first time in years that I'd had the same group of students for such a long period of time, day in and day out. While I loved every minute of it, there were moments (usually at my lunch break) where I didn't think I'd ever find enough material and activities to keep the students interested in the class. Somehow, I found a creative activity for the students to do each afternoon- and actually that need to be creative was one of the aspects of teaching the summer camp that I really enjoyed.

Do you need another activity for young learners? If so, continue reading to find...

... an activity that will not only be fun for the students, but something that can be used again and again in the classroom to encourage students to open their mouths and speak to one another.

The first activity requires toilet roll, construction paper, yarn, glue, scissors, and markers.

Prior to working on this project, you probably want to do a unit on body parts.

To begin, you can introduce your own toilet paper roll puppet to the classroom. Remember to be silly, as you want the students to have fun with their own puppet. The more imaginative, the better!

1. Give each student a tube of glue, a pencil, and a pair of scissors.
2. Have each student choose a piece of colored paper. This will be used to wrap around the toilet paper roll. You can either have the paper already cut to the correct size for easy rolling and gluing, or you can have the students sort it out on their own.
3. Distribute another piece of paper to the students. Depending on their age and ability to draw to scale, you have the body parts drawn out for them, you can have the students trace shapes from a ruler (eg. two small circles for eyes, a half-circle for a mouth, etc.), or you can just have the students draw the body parts on their own. You can go through this step by step with the students, eg. "Now, draw a mouth. Next, draw two ears..."
4. Have the students cut the body parts out. Again, you can do this step by step with the students so that they are working on their listening skills. Or, you can let the students do this on their own.
5. Have the students glue their body parts on to the roll, so that the roll can stand on the table.
6. Have the students give their puppet a name, age, and another detail, eg. Her favorite food is chocolate.
7. Ask the students to introduce their puppets to the others. This can either be done in first or third person: "Hi, my name is Charlie" or "This is my puppet. His name is Charlie."

These puppets can then be kept in the classroom in a special place. In the mornings, you can ask the students to say good morning to their puppets and in the evenings, they can say goodnight to them. They can also be used for role plays and to practice new language that has been learned.

Next month, we'll look at making homes for the puppets and how we can use them in the ESL classroom.

Have fun!

Carol Rueckert
Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
E-mail: crueckert@eslemployment.com
Blog: www.esl-lesson-plan.com

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb

Looking for more articles about lesson planning for the ESL classroom? Click HERE!

About the author of this entry:
Carol, a native English-speaker who hails from the small town of St. Joseph in Minnesota, USA, and lived and worked in China for more than 7 years. During that time, she worked with students that range in age from three to more than sixty years old. She worked in universities, private language schools, grade schools, international schools, as well as private tutoring. Besides teaching, she also worked as a head teacher, an education manager, and a material development manager. In addition to working on this newsletter, she currently writes a monthly column for Time Out Beijing. Carol is also currently working on her MA in TESOL at the Oxford Brookes University in England. Look for her posts on the ESL-Jobs-Forum discussion boards!

Posted by crueckert at September 22, 2006 06:12 PM

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