Popplet ESL Activities: An Introduction to Pronunciation

Popplet is a favorite tool of literacy teachers, especially those who work with younger learners. Reading, writing, spelling, and the other key elements that children need to solve the language puzzle are particularly significant in the early years since this early progress has a universal impact on their development. The methods they use closely resemble some of those employed by language teachers.

Phonics, or one of its variants, is the method most used by school teachers to teach children how to read. In English language instruction, we combine phonics and phonetics, along with other linguistic concepts and label this key area of English language tuition, Pronunciation.

First steps with Popplet and Pronunciation – a lesson

  1. A brief presentation about English pronunciation, with constabnt student feedback.
  2. Students carry out research related to the lesson and create popplets to show their results.
  3. Class discussion.

I like to introduce Popplet and pronunciation at the same time in my classes. There is no increase in difficulty, since, like any good tool, Popplet adds value to the student’s experience. More significantly, visualizing their experiences by creating a Popplet board about what they learn, enhances their learning and leaves them a visual record for revision.

All of your students will know about pronunciation. Some will have seen IPA symbols before, a few might understand them. Others will groan at the prospect a subject that has not been highly regarded these last years and may even resist. The majority, however, will be curious the moment you write Pronunciation on the board, and that is always the best place to begin a class.

Lesson

Explain to the students that they are going to learn about pronunciation, and explain to them why it is important for them to study it, answering any questions that arise.

  • Begin by talking about the different types of English that exist, explain how they vary and why the often used term Standard English may forever be an elusive concept. Be sure to mention which dialect you belong to, or favor.
  • Then, Illustrate with some popular examples:

British vs American English’s legendary “tomahto” /təˈmɑːtəʊ/, “tomayto” /təˈmeɪtoʊ/, or

How the Canadian pronunciation of “about” /əˈbaʊt/, “aboot” tickles their US neighbors

  • Focus on UK Received Pronunciation (RP), the language of the Queen of England, her family, and a few other people in the world. Highlight some of the ways it differs from Scottish English or American English, for example.
  • Amaze your students by explaining that words like car /ka:/. chair /’tʃeə/, and where /’weə/ are maybe not pronounced as they might imagine. If they don’t believe you, provide more examples.
  • Introduce the class to the schwa /ə/, and reveal why this particular sound is so popular with English speakers by modeling the words chocolate /’tʃɒkələt/ and vegetable /’vedʒtəbl/. Introduce sentence stress.
  • Finally, at the risk of overwhelming your students with what they will have come to believe is the entirely illogical nature of the English language, bring up words that contain silent letters such as know /nəʊ/, walk /wɔ:k/ and talk /tɔ:k/.

Popplet Activities & Discussion

  • Research the countries where English is spoken worldwide. How many people speak English as a first language or second language? Contrast the results with other widely spoken languages like Mandarin or Spanish, Create a Popplet containing your results and add appropriate images such as charts or geographical identifiers -flags! Different groups or students could do the different languages.

  • Research the countries/places in the world where Engish is the first language or widely spoken. Which countries have the most English speakers? Create a Popplet with your results and add appropriate images.
  • Collate results, displaying the best popplets for the whole class to see, using the results to initiate a class discussion on what English pronunciation might sound like fifty years from now.

If your students can access the internet on their devices in class, they can do this activity there and then. If not, set this as a homework exercise. If set as a group exercise, students can collaborate on their work.

Students will very quickly get the hang of Popplet.if they appear hesitant or have any questions direct them to the slideshow demo, which can be accessed by clicking on try it out on the Popplet home page.  In no time at all ,students will be eagerly creating impressive visuals. Avoid lecturing on the use of Popplet, let the students discover what it can do.

By the end of the lesson, the class will be well versed in the basics of Pronunciation and Popplet creation. They will want to know more.

Popplet is available on the web, and new users receive five popplet boards for when they sign up for a free account.  If you find you need more than five popplet boards, you can simply delete existing ones, or you can sign up for the full version of Popplet at the iTunes store. There is a free version of the iPad app: Popplet Lite, also available from the iTunes Store. School and Class group subscriptions are also available.

If you find this idea useful, or if you are already using Popplet in your ESL classes then please let us know by sharing your ideas with the Popplet community on Twitter, and our Facebook page. To sign up for a free account, visit the Popplet home page.

 

 

Popplet Ideas for ESL Teaching

Popplet is a user-friendly tech tool that is popular with teachers and students of all ages and disciplines.  It is a mind-mapping application for the iPad and the web that lets you capture and organize your ideas. Popplet is versatile, with an easy to use interface and a comfortable level of functionality, but with robust features that are especially suited to learning environments.


With Popplet you can instantly add editable text, links, images, colors and drawings to connectable bubbles called popples, and connect these popples to create visually informative landscapes of information. Teachers and students can collaborate in real time, and finished work can be presented using one of Popplet’s Presentation modes.

Popplet has steadily been gaining traction with ESL educators and language teachers. It’s hands-on, visual nature lets students form connections between facts and ideas in various ways. Dynamic and fun, it has the ability to make even the dryest of grammar points much more palatable – students become a lot more interested in the finer points of the Reported Speech  if they get to make a Popplet about it on their iPads or laptops!

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Popplet Halloween Ideas

Halloween can be about so much more than Trick or Treating. This traditional annual celebration of all things spooky is an opportunity for children to learn. The importance of traditions, history, the differences between fact and fiction and storytelling. They can also study how people from other cultures celebrate their Halloween.

At Popplet we love Halloween. At times like this, we get a good look at how incredibly creative our most avid users are. Check out some of their ideas.

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Popplet: The APPliance of Science

Popplet is a popular app with professors and students in the science classroom and in the laboratory. It has all the versatile, intuitive features favored by inquisitive minds. This ensures Popplet a position at the hub of all the best school and college science projects. Popplet has a role to play at every stage of the discovery process, from the initial ideas (brainstorming) stage through to the presentation of results. 

Why is Popplet so popular with scientists? Because there are so many ways to use it in scientific work. With Popplet you can:

  • Brainstorm thoughts and ideas – What do we know? What do we want to know? How are we going to find out?
  • Plan practical work and experiments
  • Record observations during practicals using text, photos, and video
  • Collate and present results
  • Collaborate on project work in real time…or anytime
  • Classify and make visuals of pretty much anything: animals, insects, plants, planets…
  • Create cool visuals that demonstrate learning
  • Produce great presentations of results

Let’s put Popplet under the microscope and observe its behavior in the areas of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

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Innovate With iPad: Lessons to Transform Learning in the Classroom

Have you ever wanted a book about teaching with the iPad that is light on jargon, gentle on the brain, with tried and tested lesson plans, valuable didactic information, and clear advice all included?  Did you even know that such a book existed? Well, it does, and it’s called Innovate With iPad: Lessons to Transform Digital Learning – if only all technology books for teachers were like this one. Innovate with iPad is an immensely practical, but at the same time considered work that is immediately accessible to all Primary School (K-3) teachers, whether they are beginners or experts in the world of iPads and digital classroom technology.

“Innovate with iPad: Lessons to Transform Learning in the Classroom is the book you and every educator with access to iPad needs to make a fast transition to using iPad for learning.”

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Don’t skip the Foreword and Introduction because like the main body of the book, they are worth the time. The Foreword is only a few paragraphs and sets the tone nicely. In the Introduction, the creators of Innovate With iPad, experienced primary school teachers Karen Lirenman and Kristen Wideen, share their thoughts and explain the layout of the remainder of the book. So far, so good, that didn’t take long at all, and we really wanted to read more.

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Pop Art: 9 Ways To Use The Popplet Drawing Tool

Like all things Popplet, the Popplet Drawing Tool – we wanted to call it the Popplet Colored Pen, but it isn’t really a pen! – is a simple intuitive feature, which does exactly what it says on the box: it draws inside popples!  However, in the hands of the Popplet community, the Popplet drawing tool has evolved into a hugely popular and useful feature, which when wielded effectively can add a whole other dimension to Popplet work: a superior visual learning tool, which is a lot of fun to use.

The drawing tool can be accessed by clicking on the circular features button that contains an image that looks suspiciously like a pen…or is it a pencil?

Popplet_Drwing_Tool

On selecting the tool, you have three options:

  • colors – a choice of, click to select one
  • expand – increases the size of the popple, providing a flexible canvas
  • clear drawing – for when you need to start again

At this point, we suggest that you jump right in and give it a go if you haven’t done so already. Sketch whatever you like and see how much fun it is. Or, if you’re not quite ready to surrender to your creative self  quite yet, or if you’re seeking inspiration, take a look at what can be done.

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Ten Great Ways to Use Popplet in the Kindergarten Classroom

Popplet is just perfect for the curious young hands and minds of Kindergarten students. With its highly intuitive and simple interface, thoughts and ideas are easily transferred, visualised and mapped using colors, images, text and drawings: A humble canvas for the limitless potential of our youngest users, who never fail to amaze us.

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One reason Poppet is such a success with the early school years, is that it is a versatile enough tool to be employed effectively across the whole spectrum of Kindergarten subjects, we often see Popplet work from every area of the Kindergarten curriculum:

  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Social Studies
  • Science

Another reason for Popplet’s popularity might be that behind every great Kindergartener, there is a great Kindergarten teacher proudly publishing the best of their student’s Popplet work, and we’re very glad that they do, because we are able to share it here.

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Popplet People: Paul Baez, Educator

From the back of the classroom to the frontline of education management, passionate educator and school principal Paul Baez talks about his work journey, Education Technology and Popplet.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

I have been in education since 1995 and I have learned so much from every experience I have had, being a fourth grade classroom teacher, Assistant Principal, and now Principal. I feel fortunate to have worked in three different Houston area school districts and five different schools. Each experience has pushed me to the next level of leadership and has reinforced my belief that I chose the right career path.

What do you love about your work?

Paul Baez HeadshotI love my role of leading a school of educators at Rees Elementary School, ensuring that we provide a great learning experience for every student. It is a responsibility that I fully embrace. As much as I enjoyed being a fourth grade classroom teacher, I knew twenty years ago that I wanted to have an even greater impact on students and here I am now. Growing up I was that kid in the back of the room that kept quiet and never said anything. Now I can’t stop talking about technology in education. Makes me chuckle to think how much I’ve changed over the years.

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Popplet People: Claire Brown, Kindergarten Teacher

When I tell you that our featured Popplet Person is a Kindergarten teacher, you might be forgiven for rightly jumping to some easy conclusions: a dedicated, devoted, hardworking and supremely motivated individual…and of course busy, so very busy! So busy and hardworking are kindergarten teachers like Claire Brown, that when they choose apps like Popplet for their students to use in the classroom, then those apps have to work as hard as they do!

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Claire came to our attention through sharing her student’s Popplet work on Twitter and her very cool blog, where she regularly posts her student’s classroom activities. Both are fine examples of what can be achieved by embracing technology in the classroom.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am in my tenth year of teaching an I’m originally from Lafayette, IN., where I went to Mayflower Mill as an elementary student, and that is where I started my teaching career and where I work now, graduating along the way from Purdue University with a degree in Elementary Education with a Reading Specialist focus. I love going on vacations anywhere there is a beach and the ocean. Continue reading

A Spooky Popplet Halloween

Halloween is rich in tradition and steeped in superstition; a genuinely sacred night for some, and a traditional night of warm family fun for many others. This is the one night a year when Scary Ghosts, Wicked Witches, Evil Spirits and all manner of Creepy Crawlies roam the Earth with impunity  – so watch out, stay home, be safe! Should anyone (or anything!) knock on your door, be nice! Because we all know what happens to people who aren’t nice on Halloween, don’t we?

Dressing up, trick or treating, going to parties and having fun are just some of the things us mere mortals do to entertain themselves when evil is loose.  For a great many others,  Halloween also means making stuff: costumes, masks, lanterns and decoration, and yes, Popplets! We took a look at how Popplet people were busying themselves by getting into the spirit of Halloween, but be warned, what we found is not for the faint hearted. Continue reading