Wednesday, August 27, 2008

RESOURCE: Pocket Chart on the Cheap

I love playing games with vocabulary cards, and have long been coveting one of these pocket charts. Pocket charts are hanging charts with clear pockets on them in which you can place cards as you work with them. They are fabulous things, great fun, but at almost $40 beyond what I cared to spend. Then I found one of these at a hardware store. It's a hanging jewelry organizer---basically, a big square with lots of clear plastic pockets on them. For about a third the price :) Yes, it's a little smaller than the 'official' pocket chart, but as I am a classroom-less French teacher who must carry everything around with me anyway, I am okay with something I can roll up and stuff in my tote. And it's two-sided, so I can keep cards for two different classes in it at the same time. It will make my card games so much fun! So, now that I have my pocket chart on the cheap, what do I plan to do with them? Here are some games you can play with vocabulary-based word cards.

1) Copy some key vocabulary words onto cards and place in pockets in random order
2) Begin lesson by pointing to cards in order and reading each word with class
3) Then choose one of the activities below. Every time you point to a word, students must...

Find it in their story as quickly as possible
Use it in a sentence
Say the English translation
Say the word's opposite
Say another in the same category (e.g. if a colour, then another colour, etc.)

Some other games you can play with the cards:

Students must sort the words into categories of their own choosing
Make a Bingo card, play game of Bingo placing the words up on the chart as they are called
Place words to make a sentence on the chart. Students must put the words in order
Make picture cards. Students must say the word for the picture
Make sentence cards. Cover up one word at a time and students must fill it in

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