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Saturday, October 03, 2009

ESL Teacher Blog: Fall Foliage Lexical Activities

With leaves turning beautiful shades of yellows, oranges and reds, invite your students to take a nature walk without leaving the comfort of the classroom. All you need is a bunch of colorful leaves be brought to class that were collected on your way to school.

Following are some of the vocabulary activities you can do with your ESL students:

1. Go over common word combinations associated with fall foliage:

deciduous trees

leaf peepers

at peak/near-peak colors/past peak

leaves turn/change colors

palette of colors

foliage reports/conditions/progression

Did you students imagine there is a fall leaf hotline?

2. Name a tree. Attach the leaves one at a time to the board and trace them, enlarging slightly. Add the midrib, veins and stalk. Let students name the tree: oak, birch, chestnut, ash, beech and maple may be the most popular choices.

3. Talk about the meaning of suffix -ish: redish, yellowish, etc. (to imply ‘slightly’ or 'somewhat')

4. Discuss the difference between colors and hues (describing intensity: light, dark, pastel; and brightness: radiant, dull, faded) and shades (crimson, scarlet, amber). For a more vivid description add expressions such as a splash/touch/burst of color.

5. Put students in small groups and distribute 3-5 fall leaves per group. Students choose their favorite leaf and describe it in detail. The group leader then reads the description to class while holding all of the 3-5 leaves given by the teacher. Students (listeners) should be able to recognize the leaf based on its description.
As a follow-up, refer students to websites that report leaf color changes in your area.
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 3:23 PM
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