Classroom Highlights (Learning in Action!)

Mr Matt  UELS (January, 2022)


At the Circus!


In UELS2, one Guided Reading story we read was “The Circus.” During Guided Reading, we discussed things you can see or do at the circus. The teacher also spent this time helping the students pronounce and understand circus related vocabulary words. Then, we spent a lesson taking notes in our Writing Strategies notebooks about circus related vocabulary words. The slides on the screens also showed pictures describing the words in order to help the students remember the words. After we learned some new words, we played a speaking and listening review game called “Hot Seat.” The class was split into two teams with each team having a member on the Hot Seat. The students on the Hot Seat could not look at the screen, but they were given spoken clues about which vocabulary word was projected onto the screen. The team that won earned prizes. After we learned our vocabulary words, we had an independent writing assignment with a circus picture prompt. The students used their Writing Strategies notebook to help come up with ideas, and they all wrote wonderful stories. After the teacher took a look at them, the students copied their stories onto special circus paper, cut them out, and decorated them. These final products are what are proudly displayed outside the UELS2 classroom!

Mr Ward   Grade 5  (January, 2022)




In our class, we are learning about bullying, how to prevent it, and what to do if you witness it. The students watched a video of kids talking about bullying, why it happens, and what to do about it. (pic 1, 2) The students then had a class discussion on what to do. (pic 3, 4, 5)

As a class, we talked about what actions are bullying and what we can do about it.

As a group, we talked about self-control and controlling our emotions. We talked about how to control our emotions and practiced techniques like deep breathing. (pic 6)

The students, in groups of two, made posters about anti-bullying. We looked at different examples of anti-bullying posters. As a whole, we highlighted language that these posters used (pic 7). The students then worked on making their own posters using the ones we had seen for inspiration. (pic 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)


Finally, the students worked together one more time to make a skit that talked about bullying. The students had to show awareness of different types of bullying and provide an anti-bullying message to the class. The students then presented their skits in front of the class. (pic 14, 15, 16)

Miss Maria  Grade 5  (December, 2021)


Map Making



Students have been learning the parts of maps in math class. They started with learning the parts of the map. They took notes in their journals. First they learned about compass roses. Then the students learned about the other parts of the map such as the map key which is used to tell about what the symbols on the map mean and allow people to read and understand the map. After that students learned about scale and its importance with maps. Finally the class discussed the importance of giving the maps titles so that the reader could more easily identify what kind of map it is and over what area. Students practiced finishing filling out various compass roses. Students have matched a symbol with its meaning, so they have created a small map key. They have used rulers to measure on a map to tell the distance using the scale provided. To show that they understand the parts of a map, student’s project for mapping is to create their own style of map that includes all the necessary parts, such as a title, compass rose, map key, and scale along with the actual map. They have been working on this for several days. They started with a rough draft in pencil and then their final draft in their choice of pen, marker, or pencil.

Mr Ryan  Grade 2  (December, 2021)


Comparatives and Superlatives (Magical Adjectives)


In Grade 2, we begin to learn about comparing nouns (i.e. people, places, things and animals) by using comparative and superlative adjectives. (Comparatives are words such as bigger or smaller, and superlatives are words such as biggest or smallest.)

These are useful words the children can use to describe things in their everyday life!

Firstly, the students watched a song that introduces the topic in an easy way. We paused and practiced reading the different adjectives and their comparative and superlative forms.

Secondly, the teacher introduced the spelling rules for each of the grammar concepts and provided example superlative and comparative adjectives. The students identified adjectives and we discussed how the endings change when they are used as comparatives or superlatives.

The Rules: We discussed and practiced the normal rule, whereby -er or -est is added; i.e. small, smaller, smallest. Then the students learnt about the exception words, which have different endings i.e. happy, happier, happiest.

Main Activity: The students created an animal-themed poster, using examples of comparatives and superlatives. An example could be ‘a dog is smaller than an elephant!’ The students drew pictures of their chosen nouns and wrote the sentences underneath. Encouragement was given to make an illustrated poster which would grab the reader’s attention!


The best student work was rewarded at the end of class! Here are some examples of the students’ great work! 

Mr Mock Grade 2 (December, 2021)


Final Blends (Phonics)


In this week’s phonics lesson, students began learning about final blends. A final blend is two consonants that make one sound.  We see final blends in words such as belt, wasp, gift, gold, hand, lamp, limb, milk, plant and stamp. On the first day, students viewed a PowerPoint with the teacher to learn how to read and pronounce each word. Students then copied the words in their books so they could practice at home.

On the second day, student leaders helped the class review the ending blends using the PowerPoint. Then students practiced blends by playing tic-tac toe.  They wrote the blends down on their whiteboard and every time they made an x or o they read the blends.

On the third day students made a book of notes with final blends.  They had to cut out and glue blends for each final blend then read their blends to a partner.

For the final lesson students played walking dictation.  For this activity, one student walked to various places in the room and read final blends.  That student then walked back to their partner and read the blend to their partner who wrote the blends down on their whiteboard.  While students did this, the teacher listened to students read the blends with their partner. Students received stars when they finished this activity.


Thanks to a lot of fun and different activities, the students enjoyed learning phonics this week.

Mr Tshepo  English Language Support (December, 2021)


 Creating Fun Board & Card Games to Practice English


This year, LELS.1 students are learning about seasons, double consonant blends, and healthy and unhealthy foods. We learnt about these topics through fun and engaging songs, chants, games and videos throughout the year. Students really enjoyed learning about the seasons, double consonant blends and food through fun games, so we decided to create our own games in order to review the content!

First, students were introduced to popular games played around the world. The games were Scrabble, Uno and Spot It. Students played these games to get an idea of how they are played and what the rules are for each game. Once students were familiar with the games, we began designing our own using the content we had learnt in class.

Students chose to review phonics blends through the Spot It game, healthy and unhealthy food vocabulary through the Snakes and Ladders board game, and grammar about seasons through the Uno game.


Once students were done creating their games using the materials provided and their knowledge on the content covered, we started playing the games. Students had a lot of fun playing each other’s games! They learnt that practicing English was not hard when it is done through fun and exciting card and board games. They now play the games they created during our review lessons in class and even at break times!

Ms B Grade 2 (December, 2021)


Clothes and Seasons


This Semester, Grade 2 students are learning about the four seasons. We started by learning their names – winter, spring, summer, and autumn. Then, we learned about the weather in each season. We were then able to discuss the appropriate clothing to wear in each season. First, we sang the song “The Four Seasons” and reviewed the season names, as well as the weather vocabulary students know. Then, we sang the song “Put on Your Shoes” and students guessed the season depicted in the song based on the outdoor clothes mentioned. Using a PPT, we practiced the clothing vocabulary. We then used the dialogue, “What can you wear in (season)?” “In (season) I can wear (clothing).” Every student had a chance to speak. Students were given a worksheet with the image of a person. They chose one season and drew the appropriate clothing on their image. They then wrote five sentences about their picture. They used the same sentence structure as the practiced dialogue. “In (season) I can wear (clothing). The students enjoyed drawing and coloring the clothing and showing their work to their teachers and friends.


Students really like talking about the seasons. We will continue with other aspects about the seasons, including foods, activities, special days and events in each season. 

Mr James   Grade 2  (December, 2021)


Working with Adjectives


Introduction: Most of our students know some adjectives from the past year(s) of learning English.  The aim of the class is to expand their adjective vocabulary and to ensure the students are comfortable using them in sentences.

The Hook: As an engaging opening to the class, we sang an adjectives song and a read a musical chant together.

Lead-in: First, we looked at some pictures together and read sentences describing the pictures. Students then identified the adjectives in the sentences.  The students were asked to give adjectives to describe different images, and we practised using these in sentences.  We then played a “guess the animal” game. Some students described an animal using adjectives, and the others had to guess what that animal is. e.g. “It is tall, yellow, and brown spotted.” = “It’s a giraffe!”

Main Activity: The challenge was to create beautiful adjectives posters for our classroom display, annotated with descriptive sentences. Various adjectives vocabulary cards were placed on the tables for the students to use.  The students drew pictures and then labelled them. For example: a butterfly, labelled with “This is a beautiful butterfly.”

Plenary: To conclude the class, some students were chosen at random to present their posters to the class. We asked the presenters “What’s this?” Presenters then replied with their descriptive sentences.

Revisit: Later in the week, we read the story “Big Bad Wolf is Good,” by Simon Puttock. The students pointed out the numerous adjectives in the story, and re-read the sentences with the identified adjectives.

Reflection: The lesson was a success! Students, who initially struggled with using adjectives in sentences, are now more comfortable using them. The students have also expanded their “adjectives” vocabulary bank, and we will encourage them to use adjectives in their future work.

Ms Kay  Grade 2  (November, 2021)


Writing – Adding Details


In Grade 2, we begin to learn how to do journal writing. Every week, the students get a chance to write about what they did on the weekend. We begin our writing class by reviewing what we have done for the past few weeks. In the first sentence, the students practice writing down the activity they did during the weekend while also answering when, with whom, and where. The next sentences they have learned to use in their journal writing involves the students describing the weather, the clothes they wore, and the things they saw. After reviewing, the students practiced writing down about their weekend, using descriptions when necessary.


Next, they learn three more sentences that they can utilize in their journal writing. They learn how to write about what they bought, ate, and drank on the weekend. They learn what each of these words mean, and how to complete these sentences, using examples. After discussing each of these sentence starters, the students take the time to practice writing these three sentences. The finished writing consists of seven sentences that give details and descriptions to their weekend. This process not only helps build their writing skills, but it helps them to feel more confident about being able to write many sentences! Next semester, they will further develop their writing and write longer and more detailed stories.

Special Events

Craig Smith (Author/Songwriter) Visit - May 19, 2016

On Thursday, Craig Smith, a children’s author and songwriter from New Zealand, came to visit Clifford Elementary Bilingual's Grade 2 and 3 students. Around 600 students went to the auditorium for the performance. Craig sang many of his famous books for us. He sang “Wonky Donkey”, “My Daddy Ate an Apple”, “Willie Bee the Bumble Bee” and others. The two favorites among the students were “Wonkey Donkey” and “My Daddy Ate an Apple”. Craig is famous for his funny stories, puppets and songs, as well as making funny noises, like his “drip, drip, drip” sound. The students sang, danced and had a terrific time. We hope many other famous overseas authors and songwriters can visit us in the future!