Monday, December 10, 2012

Foldables and Notebooking

I’ve been using foldables almost for everything in my English language classes. I work with them vocabulary, grammar, sentences, the four skills, fine motor skills... But the most important thing is that it brings lots of interaction to the class, that it is probably the core of the language skills in Primary ESL education.

“Foldables” are basically 3 D graphic organizers or 3 D mind maps. They are great tools to help English Language Learners (and all students) categorize content in a way to make it more visible and accessible to them.  ”One-dimensional” graphic organizers are equally useful, but foldables generally provide space for more content and are better mind organizers.

There is one very easy foldable that I use in Year 4 classes to work the topic “House” and the instructional language. Once students know how to fold and cut the paper, they work in pairs and explain how to do a paper house. They can take photos or make drawings to illustrate the clear instructions they have written. At the end some make a little booklet, some others make a display or a poster and, the “techy” ones make a PowerPoint.

There are lots of resources pages in the net about foldables and you can find the one that exactly fits to your needs. I would like to suggest you some.

These are my favourites:

  • ELL Classroom has several blog posts describing their use of foldables with English Language Learners.
  • Making by Susan Kapusinsky. It has some great foldable instructions  

Suggestions and feedback, as always, are welcome.

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