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October 27, 2006

Tips and Tricks- Picture Resources

Hello Readers,

Have you ever sat in a classroom and thought about how much easier it would be to teach your students a word if you just had a picture to show them?

No doubt you have. If you work for a private school, you may have access to a picture file. But if you work freelance or for a state school in a third world country, chances are...

... the only person responsible for supplying you with teaching resources will be you.

Before you start collecting pictures for your resource file, you might want to think about what you're looking for. Some useful categories I've used in the past have been:

* people
* occupations
* locations
* classroom objects
* common objects
* food
* actions
* maps
* colors
* numbers
* shapes

Next, you'll want to think about how you'll be storing these. I've found that plastic zip folders are quite useful. But you could also use shoeboxes, paper folders, or even ziploc bags.

Once you have these, all you need is a pair of scissors, a pile of magazines/newspapers/brochures and a workspace large enough that you can spread your work out.

While you're looking for pictures to cut out, remember to:
* look for variety
* look for duplicates of the same picture (this can be used for memory games)
* look for things relevant to your students (eg. if you find a brochure full of gourmet food that you can't describe yourself, what will you do with it in the classroom?)

After you've cut your objects out, you might want to glue them onto a heavier piece of construction paper so they're less flimsy. Ideally, you can then laminate them, as you can probably imagine what will happen if you don't. Young Learners and Adults are no different- an automatic response to looking at a picture is to touch it, bend it, fold it in half, pick at the edges, etc.

If your school doesn't already have a laminator, it wouldn't hurt to encourage your school to invest in one. Laminating resources turns a one-use picture into a reusable picture that can make classes more lively and can aid in learning.

Now that you have your picture file, what can you do with them? Use them for charades, pictionary, memory, or a variety of other games. Use them for review when you have a few minutes left at the end of class. Use them to introduce topics. Use them for mingling activities. The options are endless...

If you have any ideas yourself, feel free to comment on the blog!

Good luck!

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

*For more ESL Tips & Tricks from ESL-Lesson-Plan, please click HERE!

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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 October 27, 2006 06:09 PM

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