About Raven Tukes

Hello! My name is Raven Tukes and I am currently a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Kinmen, Taiwan. Starting Fall 2016, I will be a graduate student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education pursuing my Masters in International Education Policy.

I teach English in Kinmen, Taiwan, a rural island home to beautiful natural beaches, large evergreen pastures of land, tropical birds and lots of cows—lots and lots of cows. Kinmen’s nature is very well preserved, and when I want to get away from the stresses of the classroom, I am just a five-minute bike ride away from one of its many national parks.

I hope you can understand why every day is like “Earth Day” for me, and not a tokenized day to teach lessons on why we should take care of the Earth. Click To Tweet

Now, I have to admit that I had totally forgotten about Earth Day, but living in a community where outdoor life is coveted on the regular and also one that religiously recycles all of its garbage, I hope you can understand why everyday is like “Earth Day” for me, and not a tokenized day to teach lessons on why we should take care of the Earth. Nevertheless, it was actually a complete coincidence that the day I chose to teach outdoor vocabulary outside, also happened to be Earth Day!

My school’s EarthDay8campus is gorgeous, so on the bright sunshine-y day (that came after one whole month of constant rain), I taught class outside. Keep in mind, I teach English language learners where English is a “foreign” language not “second” language, so my lesson was very simple. I taught the sentence pattern, “What do you see?” and “I see a _________” to help students verbalize the many beautiful things we see everyday around our school campus. The vocabulary words I chose were tree, flower, bird, bush, grass, and rock.

 

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My students and I calmly walked around campus, through our many nature trails, where I let the conversation flow genuinely. As we walked, I would ask, “What do you see?”, and my more advanced students would describe the things that they saw using simple adjectives. Lastly, I gave my students a worksheet with about five or six squares where they had to draw what they saw. For every box in which they drew a picture, they had to write the vocabulary word for it. So for instance, if they drew a flower, they needed to write “flower”. To further encourage language usage, before the end of class, the students had to read each vocabulary word within a sentence, before they could leave.

 

This activity was super easy and simple and one that I think my students really enjoyed. This is also a great lesson plan that can cater to multiple intelligences in the classroom, as students can learn through either drawing, speaking, seeing or writing.EarthDay7EarthDay8

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