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Spelling With Fruit

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Redwood Elementary School, Fontana USD
Bilingual 3rd Grade
1 student - Pre-production
5 students - Early Production
14 students - Speech emergence

Objective: Students will be able to correctly spell the English words for the following food words with 80% accuracy when: 1) making a “shopping list” for a fruit salad they made in class; 2) On a spelling test they will take at the end of the unit.

Cooperative groups of 5 students will further make a dictionary of the vocabulary words and illustrate each entry with drawings and cut-outs from newspapers, ads, etc..

Vocabulary: Salad/ensalada, fruits/frutas, grapes/uvas, oranges/naranjas, bananas/bananas, plátanos machos, apple/manzana. Pictures and real fruit will be used to support the written words on the chalkboard.
Day One/Introduction and “set”: Introduction and set to be conducted in
English (Spanish as needed) “Can anyone tell me what a fruit is?” “Can anyone name a fruit”? “How does your family use fruit?” “Tell them about how much I like fruit salads.” Ask different children how they would make a fruit salad. After discussing fruit and fruit salads introduce written vocabulary, giving the pronunciation and spelling. Write all words on the board and clip each picture up. Pass real fruit around the class after introducing all the vocabulary.

In English ask each of the students a question appropriate to their language proficiency level: Pre-production: “Is this an apple?” Point to picture of an apple. Expect a Yes/No answer? Early Production: Using the same picture at the same time ask other students that are at Early production questions that require two word phrases in English. “What color is this?” (pointing to an apple). “ Is this an apple or an
orange?”(pointing to an apple). “What is this?” (Insist on longer utterances: this apple, this is apple, it apple, etc.). “What do we do with apples?” Speech Emergence: “Which do you like better apples or oranges?” “Where do apples come from?” Even reach with questions like: “What is your favorite fruit?” HOMEWORK: Bring clippings from home
of fruits that illustrate the vocabulary. Show examples clipped from free sources such as “junk mail”, supermarket ads found at the market, etc.

Day Two and Three/Through: Students will make a “dictionary” of the
vocabulary words. In cooperative groups each group will find the words in the Spanish and English dictionaries we use in class, list what page they found the word, list the word that came before and after it, draw an illustration and/or paste clippings they brought from home and write the English and Spanish words under and above the illustration. They my
use my pictures as models or develop their own format. All my students have prior experience doing this dictionary exercise with other vocabulary, so they know the procedure. I make sure each group of five includes more competent peers in English along with those still in the pre- and early production stages. The illustrating and “finding” of this exercise works well with these students. The “dictionary” will be titled Fruits/frutas and includes a cover illustration and the names of each student in the group that compiled it. These “dictionaries” are kept in the classroom library for future reference. This project takes two to three days depending on the vocabulary.

Day Four/Beyond: Using the real fruits from the dictionaries, each group makes a fruit salad. Each group is given an assortment of chopped fruit and given a “ “recipe” requiring them to measure each quantity into Cups, 1/2 cups, 1/4 cups. The students have had several fraction lessons before this activity and are familiar with measurements. They
also add honey and consume! After making and eating the salad, give a practice spelling word quiz. Use the same format as the test (see below). HOMEWORK: Students will ask their families what their favorite fruit salad recipe is and orally share it in class in either
English or Spanish. Students will emphasize the vocabulary words.
Day Five/Sharing and Assessment: Give at least five or six students a chance to share recipes. Make sure you reinforce vocabulary words that come up in these recipes.

Give the students a traditional spelling test pronouncing each word in both English. Use each word in a sentence. Expect at least 80% accuracy. Review test immediately after giving it. Have more students share recipes. Give awards for the best student made dictionaries. The student made dictionaries will serve as an authentic form of assessment
to compare with their more traditional test performance.

Extending this lesson: Extend by adding new food words for the next several weeks. The students can add these words to their existing dictionaries and/or make new ones as we explore meats, vegetables, etc.. This will later set the foundation for a science
unit on Food Groups. Some reflections: The students did very well on their spelling test of this particular vocabulary. My students had been having difficulty on previous spelling tests. My method in previous lessons had been to introduce the new English words by giving a
translation in Spanish and then discussing them in Spanish. The introduction of the visuals and the hands-on work of making the salad engaged them and put the new English words in context. It also addressed other channels of learning such as the visual and tactile. This contextual reinforcement seems to have made a very concrete difference. I still think that the Spanish is important but what I have learned is that it may not be enough. The concreteness of the pictures and the real fruit my have helped them put this into a context
that they could remember. In the future, I will use this sort of approach to introduce new English vocabulary and to reinforce English usage.

In retrospect my linking of English vocabulary with Spanish may have been tooabstract for this age group and/or language development level. That is, while my students may know the Spanish word for the concept or object I am introducing, it is not necessarily the case that they will remember it when I link it to an English word. I have to say that I just assumed that since I know the word in both English and Spanish for a particular object or concept that my students would be able to remember new vocabulary word by just being shown its translation.

Name: Kenneth L. Decroo
Email: Kenneth.Decroo@gte.net
Location: Running Springs, CA USA

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