World Cup fervor came on strong last spring. In my own house, there were lots of hoots and hollers and teenage boys with their t-shirts over their heads flying around the living room (I'll never understand this fútbol tradition. My cousin from Panama who plays soccer for a US university tried to explain it to me. "That's just what you do," he said. Anyway, I knew I had to leverage this excitement in my own ESL classroom, where "football" meant something very different from the way most understood "football" in Texas.
Here's what we did:
1. Pick an engaging photo (from Google Images, ahead of time). It had to have Messi or Ronaldo in it (of course).
2. As a class, I asked students to list the nouns (or things) they saw in the photo. Some of these words they knew: "leg." Some of the words they didn't know:
"That thing he wears here (points to leg), up high to protect"
Student: "No, not exactly..."
Me: "Shin guard?"
Student: "Yes! That's it."
Students provided the words (with help, sometimes). I wrote them on the board because this group of newcomers did not know how to spell the majority of the words.
3. Then we did the same thing with verbs and adjectives. This is called the "Picture Word Inductive" Model, and Valentina Gonzalez gives a beautiful description of it here.
Here's what came out of it:
I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from amazing heroes in education - in Texas, Honduras, California, and all over the United States!