The EFL Playhouse: A Resource for ESL/EFL Teachers of Young Learners


Arts and Crafts
Although art and craft projects take some time, few activities offer greater opportunity for natural language use and development in the ELL classroom. Students may develop listening, reading, and comprehension skills as they attempt to understand oral and written directions. They may build their vocabularies through meaninful interaction with realia. They may develop speaking skills as they ask questions about the task, discuss the project with their teacher or classmates, or describe their creation after the fact. They may improve their writing skills as they add original content to a project or document the process after the fact. Furthermore, craft projects encourage the development of fine and gross motor skills, creative thinking, and cooperation. Students develop the self-discipline as they see a project through multiple stages and receive the very natural reward of their handiwork for their efforts. Finally, students gain confidence in their language skills as they successfully receive, process, and apply information.


Edible Shapes Edible Shapes
Language Skill Emphasized:
shapes; "Make a ________."
Other Language Reviewed:
units of measure; mixing directions; ingredients
Family Tree Family Tree
Language Skill Emphasized:
family relationships
Other Language Reviewed:
"Paste"
"Show me"
"Who is he/she?"
"He/She's my ________."
"What's his/her name?"
"His/Her name is _______."
My Favorite Mobile My Favorite Mobile
Language Skill Emphasized:
What is your favorite _______? / My favorite ________ is ________.
Other Language Reviewed:
colors, sports, toys, foods
Nature Hunt Nature Hunt
Language Skill Emphasized:
colors; objects in nature (tree, leaf, grass, flower, sky, water, bird, bug, etc.)
Other Language Reviewed:
"Draw"
"Show me"
What is it?"
"It's a ________."
"Did you see _____?"
"Yes, I did." / "No, I didn't."
Rainbow Names Rainbow Names
Language Skill Emphasized:
colors; letters; writing names in English
Peanut Butter Sandwich Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Language Skill Emphasized:
Following directions; verbal recall; sequencing
Other Language Reviewed:
names of cooking utensils, common food items, ordinal numbers


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