Thursday, March 14, 2013

Interior Design: ESL-Style

A designer knows when he has reached perfection not when there is nothing left to add but when there is nothing left to take away.
~ Antoine de Sainte-Exupery

Our theme this week, in my ESL class, was "Around the Home" and I am pretty happy with how my activity idea worked out.  I used this Melissa and Doug Play House! Reusable Sticker Pad and divided my students into pairs.  

One student in each pair got a blank page from the sticker book, like this kitchen:  

And the page of related stickers:  

The other student in the pair received a printout of a scene that I had previously created in this room, such as this one:  

The second student had to tell the first student which stickers to put where in the room in order to recreate the scene.  In English, obviously.    

And without any pointing or gesturing!  ;)

Then, of course, the students switched roles and I produced a new picture to recreate.  

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and they finished their scenes pretty quickly!  

It's funny - I do a similar activity earlier in the year with geometric shapes and colors, and my students have a lot of trouble with it.  One possibility is that, because it's earlier in the year, their English is weaker.  

But I actually think that it has to do with the context - arranging furniture (and people) in a room makes sense.  But people have no frame of reference for an arrangement of red squares, blue circles and purple triangles...  

I need to think more about this and maybe revise my earlier activity...  


  1. Gwen,your classes sound like so much fun !

    1. Thanks, Claire! We DO have fun! :)
      It makes me happy that everyone is so comfortable and willing to try their best to speak in English without too much painful self-consciousness or embarrassment...