Food, Glorious, Food! A line from the great musical Oliver. Teaching young ESL and EFL learners about Food is a fun topic. We all have our favorite food, for me it is pizza, not to mention favorite fruit, and ice cream flavors. In the new Food Family Finger video, we learn the names of five popular food items, and how to ask for them in English. More below the video:
Top 10 Teaching Food Vocabulary Ideas
- Use flash cards, toy food, or draw pictures to teach children food names in English. MES English has some great flash cards here.
- Personalize the class! Ask the students, “What is your favorite food?” Beginners can answer with just the name of the food, and more advanced students can answer in a sentence like, “ I like pizza.”
- Use flash cards, or food props, and have a “restaurant”. Lay out the food on a table, and have the students take turns asking for food by using phrases like, “I want a salad.” Make sure they say “Thank you” after the teacher gives the student the pretend food. Watch the video above to practice this vocabulary.
- Craft Time: Have students draw pictures of their favorite meal! Including dessert and drink. If the students do not know the name in English, be sure to teach them. Have the students share in English about their meal to the class.
- Watch a Dream English Kids Video about Food, here are a few popular ones: Food Song Learn 15 Food Items Fruit Song Learn 12 Fruit
- Play a Shopping game. Similar to the Restaurant game (see # 3), but this time students gather, or ask for items, and use pretend money to buy the items. A teacher can be the cashier and say things like, “That will be three dollars.” Or have the students take turns. You can easily make pretend money and food for the game out of paper. Put the food items around the room like a real supermarket.
- Read books about food. Some of my favorites are: The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, and I Like Apples from my other site KidsEnglishBooks.com
- Ask students what they ate for lunch. Again, if they do not know the vocabulary in English be sure to teach them. Use the phrase, “What did you eat for lunch today?” You could also ask about breakfast if your class is in the morning.
- Sing a song about Food! Check out I Like Apples, it is a free download here.
- If you are a teacher that eats lunch or snacks with your students, be sure to talk about and ask questions about the food they are eating. For example, “What are you eating? Is it yummy? What color is your apple?”
I hope these ideas help you get off to a great start teaching about Food to young learners of English. I am sure you have many ideas of your own that are great as well. Happy teaching!