Maximizing Learning from a Snack
It was our turn to make the snack for Summer camp. We had to make American sandwiches. It offered us a great opportunity to learn lots of language. We read the book «Sandwich and Soup,» a story about a boy who wished for a grown-up sandwich. The students loved the boy’s imaginary sandwich. I taught them the book’s vocabulary adding the new words to our word bank. Students guessed at the meanings of the words and we drew pictures and created sentences with the words. The students added the new words to their notebook. We did a story sequence together. Next the students made their own story sequence independently and drew their favorite part of the story.
After our break we read a leveled book called «How to make a sandwich» that was a bit above their reading level. I read it to them first. They then read it chorally and then we took turns reading a page. I then partnered students and gave them a black and white copy of the book. I tried to put a higher student with a lower student, so that they could help each other. They read it together a few times until they felt ready to come read it to me. Once they were ready I gave each their own black and white copy to color. While they were coloring I called each student individually to read with me. Even the lowest English speaker had made improvements in their ability to read the book. At the end we celebrated by sharing our coloring and reading all together from our own books.
When we finally got to make our snacks the students were calling all the sandwich items by their English names.
The following day first thing in class students read the book to their partner one more time. The next day they went around the room and read it to three different students. Next day they read it to three more. At the end of the week they again read it to me. Their pronunciation and confidence had vastly improved. They took their books home to read it to their parents.
By making the theme of our snack part of our lessons the students were able to practice the language with different modalities and improved their reading, pronunciation and comprehension.