Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What can you do with clothes?

Today I like to share with you all some activities I use when I am introducing and practicing the topic “Clothes” to my elementary ESL students.

They come from a wonderful article found in, written by the experienced ESL teacher Claudia Pesce: What can you do with clothes? 8 great ESL activities
A pile of clothes for children to play!

I have put them into practice and... They have been a complete success! (I just have added 3 more that I’m currently working!)

Let me illustrate  some of them!

“When you have to teach clothes vocabulary, do you always use flashcards and illustrations? Why not give your students the real deal? Clothing items supply plenty of opportunities for kinesthetic activities with young learners. Real items and props allow students to use several of their senses at once.

Try to have a bag with an assortment of clothes ready for lessons in which you’ll talk about clothes. For little ones, a trunk full of clothes in the corner of the classroom guarantees instant fun.

Fashion Show
This is the perfect way to practice, “I’m wearing…. He/she is wearing...”. Students choose three items to wear from your trunk or bag and take turns modeling them.

Clearance Sale!
Why practice clothes shopping role plays with imaginary clothes, when it’s so much better to use real ones? First, prepare the items by giving each a price tag – you can have this ready beforehand, or ask your students to help you. Students take turns buying and selling items. For extended practice, expand the role play to include the fitting room conversation: The jacket fits/doesn’t fit. It’s too long/short. Could I have a smaller/bigger size?

Seasonal Items
Place a suitcase full of clothes in front of your students. You can do two things. You can either have them sort them into what is more appropriate for each season, or you may also describe some weather conditions and have students choose what they should wear: “It’s cloudy and windy. It’s about 9 degrees.” Students should choose items that are appropriate for rainy weather.

Fashion Sense
Lay several items of clothing and accessories on a table. Give your students commands like, “Put on the red scarf”. Make it more challenging and test their listening skills by having similar items of different colors: “Put on the scarf with green and blue stripes”. Ask one student to put on several items at the same time for a fun, ridiculous look that will make your students laugh.

There’s Been a Robbery
Practice prepositions of place. Arrange several clothing items around the classroom which will be your “shop”. Drape a sweater over a chair. Put a scarf under a desk, and so on. Ask your students, your “shop clerks” to take a long hard look at the classroom and try to remember where everything is. Ask a student to step out of the classroom. Take two or three items and hide them. Ask the student to come back and say there has been a robbery. They must report what was stolen from the “shop”: There was a green sweater on the chair and a red scarf under the desk.

Whose Shirt Is This?
This is a fun way to practice possessive pronouns. Ask each student to bring an item of clothing to the class. It can be anything they want to bring. Before class they must give you their items without showing them to any of their classmates. Place all items in a bag or box and have each student take one. Each student has to guess whose it is. The student has three chances to say whose it is, and if they can’t guess correctly they get to ask, “Whose belt is this?”

Story Time
Young learners can be very dramatic, and they love to dress up! Have your own little class play and provide them with the clothes to wear. You can put on a play or show for another class or your students’ parents.

I pack my bag (or suitcase) for Mallorca and I put in  ...
One person says "I packed my bag for Mallorca and I put in...", followed by any clothe they like. The next person then says "I packed my bag for Mallorca and I put in...", followed by the original suggestion, and adding their own. A player is disqualified if they forget one of the previously occurring items or can not think of a new item to add to the bag. The game continues until all but the winner has been disqualified.

Paper Dolls
Paper dolls are figures cut out of paper or thin card, with separate clothes, also made of paper, that are usually held onto the dolls by folding tabs. Paper dolls are inexpensive children's toys and you can find them even in “One Euro” shops.

Fashion Catalogues
Feel free to imagine how many different activities you can do with them!

Have you got new ideas? Please share! They will be welcomed!

1 comment:

  1. I have post on clothes....
    Your blog posts are so interesting !!! Please be my Guest Blogger at
    and join me at my Facebook Group: ESL/EFL Preschool Teachers.
    Rosa Amelia