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Classroom Activities Middle School

Daryl Said:

Has anyone use the movie, Ice Age (Disney) in a social studies classroom?

We Answered:

Loved the movie -- very entertaining.

ZERO educational content. It leads one to believe the animals could survive the ice age. Just like most Disney movies, it gives a surreal view of life & death and mis-educates kids on the idea of animals communicating & working together.

Other than being set on a backdrop of ice, I don't see the educational value. There are lots of interesting movies put out about prehistory/precivilization, and the kids would be learning something while they enjoyed the film.

Plus you have to consider it's an older movie, so most kids who like that kind of film have already seen it a few times.

Gerald Said:

I have an interview for an Office Manager position with a Public School Principal...help!!!!?

We Answered:

Holy Moly!
I have never heard of a school with an office manager!! What a job description!
You should focus on what you know about how to keep a school office running smoothly. Budget issues are always huge in a school setting. Talk up your experience!

Angela Said:

What would be a good ESL intermediate lesson plan for a 1 or 2 student ESL classroom?

We Answered:

Yeah, I can give you lots: you can do several things with parts of speech, you just have to modify it for the students' levels. Sorting activities are a good ESL activity, especially if you can pair a picture with the words that are used. For example, teach them the concept that nouns are persons, places, and things. Then have them sort word/picture cards into those three categories. You're teaching the concept of what a noun is but also teaching them basic vocabulary (persons: man, woman, baby, child, boy, girl; places: school, restaurant, store, beach; things: book, pencil, desk, television, clock, milk, bread, etc.). Then you can have them look through magazines to find pictures of persons, places, and things and make a nouns book - something they can refer back to when reviewing basic vocabulary words. I also like to do something similar to this with adjectives - teach them that adjectives tell what color, how many, what kind, and which one. Colors and numbers are very basic, so these kids should have learned those by now. What kind can be done easily with basic words - fat, thin, flat, round, tall, short, etc. And which one, well those are just the demonstrative adjectives - this, that, these, and those. Have them sort easy familiar words into those categories. I like to do a stand-up activity with the demonstrative adjectives - one student stand close to me (this student) and another one far away (that student), then several students close to me (these students) and several far away (those students). How about pronouns - match subject to object pronouns (I and me, they and them, we and us, etc.). Just remember that card stock and a good printer are your friends.

Then there's some reading topics - I like to do sequence with animal life cycles - it's easy to draw pictures of the egg, the caterpillar, the cacoon, and the butterfly. This incorporates a little science, too. But also, add ordinal numbers (first, second, third) and other ordering words (next, then, finally). Point out that these are "clue words" when looking for sequence in passages. You can also teach them that timelines and recipes are in sequence.

Or how about fact and opinion. Teach them the concept including pointing out the idea that opinions sometimes have the words "I think," "I believe," and "I feel" as part of the statement (or they can be assumed). Have several statements written or printed on sentence strips and have them sort the statements into the two categories.

Need more ideas? Or do you have a specific concept you want to cover but don't have a good idea, just email me - I'm sure I have something up my sleeve.

Oh, that brings up another one. Teach them about idioms. There are lots of websights that have idioms. Have some literal drawings of several idioms. Talk to the students about what they literally mean and what they figuratively mean. Discuss how all langauges have these and that they may find reading passages with lots of idioms difficult so they need to become familiar with some of them. Then have another set of literal drawings and have them match the drawings to the saying. You might want to have them discuss some idioms from their home langauge (you may have to look some of these up prior to class - I have a long list of Spanish idioms). Then you may want to have them select an idiom (from their home language or from English) and have them illustrate it.

Seriously, email me if you need more help.

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