While working in my first job as a shared learning support/resource teacher I created a language box using a variety of different resources. I spent hours cutting, laminating, organising and labelling the resources. The following year, I got a job as a mainstream teacher and didn’t use the language box at all so when I decided to move to the UK I gave the language box away to a delighted learning support teacher in my school. A year later I returned from Brighton and had to make a new language box. Sourcing the resources was difficult and time consuming but I used it daily in the resource room and use it very regularly in the classroom too.
There are resources to suit all abilities and different age groups. Most of the resources were sourced free online and some are from speech and language therapists.
Here are some of my favourite resources;
Family Fortunes (Name 3 things)
These are from Seomra Ranga.
- Divide the class into 4/5 teams
- Pick 2 children (from different teams)
- Read the statement; Coal is black. Name 3 other things that are black. The first child who puts their hand up says the 3 things and their team gets a point. The 2nd child is then given a chance to say 3 different things and earn a point for their team.
- The children absolutely love the game and its great to develop their recall skills.
These are also from Seomra Ranga. I just printed them in colour and laminated. There are lots of ways to use these.
- Children work in small groups and discuss the statements. (Write down arguments for and against)
- Whole class discussions of the statement.
- Brainstorm arguments for or against the statement.
- Walking debate – children walk to one side if they are for the statement or to the other side if they are against.
- Divide the children who agree and those who disagree into different groups. Give them 10 minutes to write down and discuss their arguments with their groups. Debate the topics.
Loop cards (Synonyms and Antonyms)
Would you rather?
Odd Ones Out
Unfortunately, I can’t find the original source of the ‘Would you Rather’ Cards. However, these are great from The Measured Mom.
Black Sheep Press
There are some fantastic resources available from Black Sheep Press.
I love these Idiom cards.
These are great practice for phonics/reading/spelling etc.
Children need to find the digraphs to help them read the word. (The ones without pictures of aliens are real words). These are available from Twinkl for the Year 1 Phonics Test in the UK.
What would you do if…. cards are available from Twinkl. These are great conversation starters and encourage the children to use their imagination/ previous knowledge to solve ‘problems/issues’.
Storage and organisation
I find that if I keep my language resources in the same box then I use each of them more regularly as I don’t have to go searching for individual resources. I laminate everything for the language box because I want the resources to last. I often print things on coloured paper too – this makes them more appealing and sometimes easier to find. I store the items in 2 different ways.
For larger resources/flashcards I use a ‘Bulldog’ Clip. (as seen above – these can then by closed down – they are brilliant for keeping things together)
For smaller resources I use plastic CD sleeves – it keeps them together and then just label the front so you can find them easily.
Speech and Language Therapists
If a child in your class is attending a speech and language therapist – contact them and ask for resources that you can use/ the resource teacher can use to support the child. They will often send you different photocopiable resources which you can use to support the child or use for the whole class.
Other useful websites
Overall, I use the language box for oral language lessons, in small group work and for early finishers. The resource teacher also borrows it regularly when working with children with additional needs.