Classroom Community Builders is an indispensable book, for novice and experienced teachers, for teachers of young learners or adults, or in the ESL or EFL context.
Scott Thornbury, author of The New A-Z of ELT
With solid pedagogical explanations for the exercises rendered in these pages, Burns offers a worthy professional tool for fellow teachers and supplies insights based on experience…demonstrating the theoretical and practical concepts addressed in the text.
Students thrive in classrooms where they feel safe, welcome, and supported. Building a sense of community and teamwork is an effective means of facilitating student success.
Burns skillfully blends community-building activities with real classroom content, providing students with opportunities to practice language skills while acclimatizing to the classroom. While intended primarily for language arts and English as a second language classrooms, Burns’s activities readily adapt to a range of disciplines and age groups.
Beginning with a section on setting classroom and instructor expectations, Burns moves on to team-building exercises focused on lesson content. His section on getting-to-know-you activities is designed to foster a sense of belonging, while the five get-to-know-your-teacher exercises introduce you to your students in a fun, relaxed manner.
Supported by information on material requirements, time limits, and resources, Classroom Community Builders provides handouts and worksheets, available both within the book and online, offering new ideas to experienced and novice instructors alike.
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What teachers and educators are saying about Classroom Community Builders
Alphabet Publishing has once again provided teachers with a useful and practical toolkit. Classroom Community Builders is a collection of cooperative learning activities that simultaneously teach teamwork skills and language content while offering different angles of community building. – ELTA Newsletter
My favourite activity in this chapter is Good Teacher / Good Student, where the teacher elicits possible good qualities of a good teacher and then of those of a good student. It is a lovely activity which develops self-reflection, observations and creating good study skills….The publication offers readers some great ideas which could be incorporated in class quickly with minimal preparation. Within the book itself, there are some photocopiable resources which could then be used in class. – Martin Sketchley, ELT Experiences
One of my favorite aspects of this book is that Burns is building a virtual classroom of aides through the use of social media and his website, where teachers can collaborate and discuss building a community classroom. Teachers are also able to print and download resources straight from the publisher’s website that related to the activities in the book. – MIDTESOL
It is straightforward and easy to use which my TEFL Certificate students found particularly helpful. Many of my students reported finding different activities that they were looking forward to trying out in the classroom.– Deborah Gordon, Professor, Santa Barabara City College
My favourite activity [is the] ‘Different Thoughts’ activity at the start of Working Together. It’s great for helping students to appreciate the different ways of approaching a task.– Peter Clements, British Council, ELT Planning
This book contains a wide variety of activities and worksheets that will be useful for those who are new to the ESL classroom. The exercises are creative and will keep students interested, on track, and help them beyond the classroom. Kudos to Burns for bringing together all these materials into one solid book!– Dr. Pamela Vittorio, The New School
I especially liked the Book Scan, Syllabus Scavenger Hunt, Classroom Rules Negotiation activities because these activities tend to “kill two birds with one stone” by addressing typical first day of class information while keeping the focus on building a community.– Michael Griffin, teacher and teacher educator, editor New School TESOL blog, ELT Rants, Reviews, and Reflections
The book delivers plenty of advice for teachers aiming to implement these tactics in the classroom and includes many sample handouts. With solid pedagogical explanations for the exercises rendered in these pages, Burns offers a worthy professional tool for fellow teachers and supplies insights based on experience.– Kirkus Review
Walton Burns’ new book takes as axiomatic the idea that a (language) classroom is a small community, and that communities are made, not born. The many and varied activities in this book are all designed to facilitate this ‘community-building’ process, whether cementing ties between the learners themselves, or between the learners and their teacher. And not only do the activities support and strengthen the classroom dynamic – they do this through the medium of the target language, hence they provide authentic opportunities for language practice. Because all language learning is contingent on there being a social context to support it, this is an indispensable book, both for novice and experienced teachers, for teachers of young learners or adults, or for teachers teaching in an ESL or an EFL context.– Scott Thornbury, author of The New A-Z of ELT
Since the vast majority of the activities are highly communicative or involve productive skills, they do double duty, ensuring that community building can be carried out along with meaningful language practice in a way that maximizes every minute of class time.– Delpha Thomas, Professor, Portland Community College
What a wonderful resource for ESL teachers! This book offers activities which foster classroom community and establish class rules and procedures through innovative communicative activities. Each activity has clear language objectives, which teachers may want to preview for beginning students. Collaborative activities are essential in today’s ESL class and this book offers teachers a wealth of ideas for ESL instruction. – Dr. Daryl Gordon, Associate Dean , Adelphi University School of Education
I wish I’d had access to a book like this when I was starting out as a teacher. Besides the practical lesson plans that I’m sure I’d have used again and again, it’s full of common sense and sincerity, just what a teacher needs. – Katherine Bilsborough, Author at Oxford University Press, blogger at British Councils, teacher, trainer.
Activities presented in the book will enliven your classroom and help you develop students’ problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, teamwork and creativity. It is definitely one of the books any teacher who wants to achieve authentic communication in the language classroom should have. – Barbara Anna Zielonka, English teacher at Nannestad High School, Norway; co-author of Skills
Resources and Downloads
Free Classroom Community Builders Activities.
These are free downloadable and printable worksheets and other resources you can use with the activities in our book, Classroom Community Builders by Walton Burns. These activities build rapport among students while also doing meaningful and fun tasks. Good classroom community builder activities bring a class together and create a classroom atmosphere of hard work and mutual respect.
Here you’ll find some old favorites as well as newer activities to bond the class, as well as icebreakers and activities to help students learn the rules and expectations of the classroom. The book, Classroom Community Builders, contains complete directions on how to use the resources below, and ideas for many more activities!
Activities to Set the Tone
Classroom Community Builders Resources and Worksheets
- Cloze Exercise
- Student Dictations
- Culture Shock
- Jigsaw Reading
- Classroom Scavenger Hunt
- Build It Sample Task
- Mystery Gap
- Difficult Situation
- Plane Crash Survival
- Mission to Mars
- New Land Map
- Create a new country
- Beauty Inc Role Play
- Cultural Role Play
Getting to Know You Activities
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