27.7.08

Free grammar worksheets in pdf

This site offers a lot of free grammar (pdf) exercises, with answer key. Enjoy!
Vocabulary
Holidays
Phrasal Verbs
Tenses
Prepositions
Nouns and prenouns
Articles
Adjectives and Adverbs

How to Write a Five-Paragraph Essay

As you've probably noticed, essay writing assignments can pop up in any class.

An essay is a literary composition that expresses a certain idea, claim, or concept and backs it up with supporting statements. It will follow a logical pattern, to include an introductory paragraph (make the claim), a body (support), and a conclusion (summary of statements and support).

English and Literature teachers use them on a regular basis, but essays are also a test tool used commonly in the social sciences, and even in math and science class.
Of course, essays play a big role in the college application process, as well. In short, there's just no avoiding essays, as long as you're in school!

Luckily, you can learn to craft a great essay if you can follow the standard pattern and write in a clear and organized manner.


Introduction
The introduction is the first paragraph in your essay, and it should accomplish a few specific goals.

1. Capture the reader's interest
It's a good idea to start your essay with a really interesting statement, in order to pique the reader's interest.

Avoid starting out with a boring line like

"In this essay I will explain why Rosa Parks was an important figure."

Instead, try something like

"A Michigan museum recently paid $492,000 for an old, dilapidated bus from Montgomery, Alabama."

The second sentence sounds much more interesting, doesn't it? It would encourage most people to keep on reading.

2. Introduce the topic

The next few sentences should explain your first statement, and prepare the reader for your thesis statement.

"The old yellow bus was reported to be the very one that sparked the civil rights movement, when a young woman named Rosa Parks..."

3. Make a claim or express your opinion in a thesis sentence.

Your thesis sentence should provide your specific assertion and convey clearly your point of view.

"In refusing to surrender her seat to a white man, Rosa Parks inspired a courageous freedom movement that lives on, even today."


Body
The body of the essay will include three paragraphs, each limited to one main idea that supports your thesis. You should state your idea, then back it up with two or three sentences of evidence or examples.

Example of a main idea:

"It took incredible courage for an African American woman to make such a bold stance in 1955 Alabama."

Offer evidence to support this statement:

"This act took place in an era when African Americans could be arrested and face severe retribution for comitting the most trivial acts of defiance."

Include a few more supporting statements with further evidence, then use transition words to lead to the following paragraph.


Sample transition words:
moreover
in fact
on the whole
furthermore
as a result
simply put
for this reason
similarly
likewise
it follows that
naturally
by comparison
surely
yet


The fifth paragraph will be your conclusion.

Conclusion
The final paragraph will summarize your main points and re-assert your main claim. It should point out your main points, but should not repeat specific examples.

Once you complete the first draft of your essay, it's a good idea to re-visit the thesis statement in your first paragraph. Read your essay to see if it flows well.

You might find that the supporting paragraphs are strong, but they don't address the exact focus of your thesis. Simply re-write your thesis sentence to fit your body and summary more exactly.

By doing this, you will ensure that every sentence in your essay supports, proves, or reflects your thesis.


Thanks to Grace Fleming for sending her article

15.7.08

Lanternfish ESL Worksheets and Lesson Plans

This is a great site containing lesson plans, worksheets, croswords, flashcards and articles about Grammar and Science for ESL children. Very resourceful !

Lanternfish ESL Worksheets and Lesson Plans

12.7.08

Reading Skills: teaching tips and resources

The following site is great, including teaching tips, children aproaches to reading and good resources to make reading a fun activity either at school or at home. Don't miss it!

Reading is Fundamental - Educators

UNESCO Guide to teaching reading

Reading development involves the participation of children, parents, educators and the community as a whole. This manual was developed to assist teachers in teaching reading at the primary school level. It is intended to help teachers create an educational vision for ensuring reading abilities and develop an educational philosophy based on this vision. This philosophy should ultimately assist in the development of the scope and sequence of reading strategies used in the classroom.

Read the manual here (pdf):

UNESCO - Reading Manual for Primary teachers

9.7.08

Downloadable MP3 - ESL Listening

The following site includes a good database of many listening resources available on mp3 format, and ready to download. Enjoy !

Downloadable MP3 files