Speaking First Curriculum: Unit 4

Running Content and Additional Supporting Materials


I'm .../ I'm not ...

It - as a subject pronoun

previous units' target language and running content

phonics: consonant blends

Unit 4: Target Language (by phase)

phase 1


What's he/she doing? He's ~ing./She's ~ing.

What are you doing? I'm ~ing.

A ... is big and fast. A ... is not tall.

It's a ...

Do you have ... in your bedroom?

What color is your ...?

TPR: open, close, turn over, pick up, put, in, in front of, behind, under, on, take out, put away, bigger, faster, slower, smaller, quickly, slowly, get in, get out

Phase 2

Present continuous explanation and work with all subject pronouns

Using plural for general descriptions and singular for specific

There is .../ There are ... describing your bedroom - following with it and they: There is a bed. It is blue ...

Phase 3

using verbs in past present and future contexts

Descriptions for review if necessary

There was/were ... in my room when I was in 2nd grade.

Comparative and superlative practice + more and most

Mark's Notes:

There is an open content slot here. That is for increasing students' vocabulary by adding new nouns, and provides the teacher time to review previous target language. If you don't need this section, you can skip it. However, some ideas for vocabulary here are toys, holiday vocabulary, kitchen vocabulary of even numbers, but anything you feel is appropriate for you age group will do.

Phase 1: Phase 1 is always vocabulary focused. Again, it's important to solidify the vocabulary before you move on to anything else. If you teach it well the first time, you won't need to teach it again. Stealing an old 1980s highway billboard slogan ... 'Speed kills!'

I teach all verbs in the 'ing' form first. That's how we use it to describe pictures and that's what we are showing children. Also, grammar and tenses are not something young children know about. However, they do understand 'now'.

Children generally have a strong concept of what's happening now. They have a pretty good understanding of what happened before, but present tense and future tense are a little vague for children in my experience. Something like that would take explanation that, even if done in a student's L1, might not be understood. Thus, I handle tenses in this order: present continuous, past, future, present, present perfect. This is our first introduction to action or 'do' verbs so I teach them in the present continuous.

For descriptions using adjectives, I use animals and have students describe them. I do this in the singular for phase 1. You could add the determiner 'this' to make it more natural. "This rabbit is small."

For bedroom, I introduce the concept of 'do you have ...' for something that's not in your personal possession at the time. I find it easier to work from broad to narrow. So I start with 'have' as possession and then later work down to 'holding' or 'have on person'.

I also add the question of 'what color is ...' I don't really have the students ask the question but work on the answer using 'be'.

The running content section: I continue with work on feelings. I make sure by this stage students can use the negative marker 'not' with feelings, ex. "I'm not mad. I'm happy."

We worked with 'be' with feelings in Unit 3 and we add 'it' as a subject pronoun to move us to command of all singular subject pronouns (I, you, he, she, and it.) I actually do this via running content and work with animals. I ask 'What's this?' and the students answer 'A bear.' Then I say, 'He's a bear? She's a bear?' and the students all know both are wrong. That's when I explain that we use 'it' when it's not I, you, he or she. You could also use transportation for this.

Phonics: I'll start the Fun Fonix Intro Book and continue work with consonant blends.

Phase 2: I'll come back to phase 2 and phase 3 once I get all of phase 1 posted.

Phase 3: I'll come back to phase 2 and phase 3 once I get all of phase 1 posted.

If you'd like to listen to the the curriculum explained, I discussed the curriculum and how it runs on ESL Teacher Talk.com:

The MES curriculum part 1, The MES curriculum part 2, Phonics part 1, Phonics part 2

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