Lesson Plans | St. Patrick’s Day and…Games on River Pollution?
I have one month of work left! And I’m actually wishing I had more time. I’m so lucky to like my students and co-workers enough that it makes me sad to need to leave.
Yesterday, I had what’s probably one of the worse moments I’ve had with a student in class; he called me something bad, which I didn’t hear, but all the students around him told him off and also let the teacher know before I even had a chance to see her (gotta love the kids’ need for justice at all times!). It was out of the blue, but it was so kind of everyone else to care so much on my behalf.
This week, we talked about St. Patrick’s Day and then played “Hot and Cold” with sources of pollution in rivers, which gave the students a chance to get up and walk around while learning new vocab.
I first tried to find out what they already knew about St. Patrick’s Day. We would review:
- the date
- where it’s from
- leprechauns, shamrocks, or other vocabulary that they brought up
- the color that everyone wears (green!)
I’d then show them a photo of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States:
- Photo 1: People dressed up in green with shamrocks on their faces and hats with the Irish flag on it
- I’d ask what’s on their faces (shamrocks) and what country the flag’s from (Ireland)
I’d then ask them if they knew what “Chicago” was, and usually they’d understand after I said it a couple of times. Then I’d show them another photo:
- Photo 2: Chicago River dyed green (thanks to a fellow assistant for telling me about this!)
- The students would then sometimes say “Oh, colorant!” and I’d get them to equate that with “dye.”
Depending on the time or class, we’d then touch on solutions to environmental problems by discussing what type of dye was used “Before” and “After”:
- Before: toxic chemicals
- After: vegetable dye
Games on Sources of River Pollution
Game 1: “Hot and Cold”
I’d then set up the first game:
- Photos: I’d already have post-its around the room with photos of different sources of river pollution
- Words: I’d have a set of post-its with just the names of the sources of river pollution
- Photos + words: I’d have cards with the photos and names of the sources of river pollution
I’d ask them if they knew the difference between hot and cold and write them on the board, with “hot” on top and “cold” on the bottom, with “warm” in the middle:
- Hot: I’d wave my hands as if it was hot in the room.
- Cold: Usually the students would get the point at the point and would cross their arms and mime shivering.
- Warm: The students would sometimes say “Au moyen” (in the middle) and we’d make “so-so” hand motions.
I’d then have one student come up and pick a word post-it, and I would ask them to walk around the room while I’d say «hot» if they were getting closer to the appropriate photo post-it or «cold» if they were getting further away from it.
They’d usually all be raising their hands and wanting to try at this point, which was awesome! Next, I’d have two students try it out:
- I’d give one student a word post-it and the other a photo + word card.
- The student with the word would close his/her eyes and I’d point out where the photo was to the other student
- I’d have the student with the word open his/her eyes and start walking. I’d make sure the student with the photo + word card was saying «hot» or «cold»; some of them would also embellish with “very very hot!”
- I’d then take a moment to talk about what the word was (I’d usually do this after they were done matching all fiver of the words to the photos, but I worried they’d be zoning out after trying to keep track of so many words, so instead I’d prefer talking about the word immediately after it was matched).
- I’d usually ask «is it a vehicle?» and they would say no, that it’s a «batiment».
- I would then write «building» and they’d usually understand, so I’d try to reinforce that with examples of other types of buildings (hospital, school, house).
- Some students would say «pollution» or «toxic». Others would try to say «fabricate», so I’d write «fabricate = make» on the board and we’d discuss what can be made in a factory (clothes, plastic objects, etc.).
- Oil spill:
- Some would say «petrol», so I’d help them connect that with “oil.”
- I’d then ask where the picture is (in the water, ocean, sea, or river).
- I’d ask what color the water is (black).
- I’d ask what the object is (a boat).
- They’d often start saying «moo», so I’d ask them what the animals’ name is; they often didn’t know so I’d tell them it’s a cow.
- I would ask for other examples of what that can be found on a farm (chickens, pigs, vegetables).
- I would sometimes write «agriculture» so they’d make the connection.
- This was probably the easiest for them since it’s the same word in French.
- Depending on how responsive they were, I might ask if they can drink it, and they’d say no.
- They might say that it’s «poison» or «toxic».
- They would sometimes say «insect» or «spider» and at least one knew «spray».
- I’d ask them to describe the photo (plastic bottles) and sometimes ask them what else that’s plastic could be litter (plastic bags).
Game 2: Guess the word
- I’d ask a student to take a photo + word card and describe the picture, while the rest of the class would guess the word. I’d do it myself first as an example.
- Depending on the class, I’d sometimes have the words written on the board, but generally they were able to do it even without that.
- I’d stand by to help out by giving them hints based off of what we talked about, and I’d sometimes let them partner up as well to describe the picture.
Conclusion: I would then recap about Saint Patrick’s Day and then try to review what can be done to avoid litter (recycle or reuse bottles).