“One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by.” — Jeannette Walls
With the summer holidays approaching, students may use the following summer topics activities. These activities will give students opportunities to practice English language skills.
Summer Word Search
- Create a list of “summer” words appropriate for the ESL level of the students with blank columns beside each word.
- Ask the students to identify words that are new to them. Discuss the meanings.
- Have the students use the words in a conversation where they share their past summer activities.
- Ask the students to write a short (one page) essay on summer using as many of the vocabulary words as they can, underlining the words.
ESL Summer Archaeology
- Have the students find one artifact of summer that they can bring to discuss.
- Ask them to tell the history of the item, why it is meaningful, where did it come from, and how long they have had it.
- Have the students to create a fictional story about it.
- Ask them to present their stories.
ESL Scavenger Hunts
- Instead of writing out a list of items for students to find, try writing item descriptions instead. You can write simple descriptions (i.e. This piece of metal holds papers together. = paperclip), write your clues more in riddle form (i.e. Inside this box is gold for the taking, but there are no locks or keys to open it. = an egg) or do a combination. The point is that students get some reading comprehension practice when they figure out what you are describing by your clue.
- Print or cut out some pictures and post them on a bulletin or illustration board. Then put some sticky notes nearby for students to use when writing funny captions to go with each photo. You and your family may also write funny captions for each photo.
- Students will love both writing their own captions and reading captions that their family members have written. At the end of the break, compile your photos and captions into a photo book with your favorite desktop publishing program. Then make copies to remember what a great time they had.
- If your kids like arts and crafts, take some time to make puppets. You can use a simple paper finger puppets or one of your own. (http://www.auntannie.com/Puppets/ConeFinger/)
- After the puppets are complete, come up with a puppet show for your family. You can have them write out the script or improvise. Either way, they will get in some language practice while entertaining their audience.
- Prepare pairs of postcards from your home town, if you can or e cards from the Internet . Postcards can be marked A and B.
- Give each student a postcard to read and explain that their friend has sent it to them. Ask comprehension questions about the card: ‘Where is the sender?’ ‘What’s the weather like?’ ‘What is he/she doing?’
- Review the language needed to ask about holiday places and impressions. ‘How was the weather?’ ‘What did you think of the food?’
- Put As and Bs together and ask them to telephone their partner and thank them for their postcard. They can also find out more about the holiday.
- Variation: get students to write postcards from weird or wacky holiday places. Use the postcards to role play (as above)