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ESL Beginner Nonfiction -- A Ghost School. Using Vocabulary from The OPD.

Grade Levels
5th - 12th, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Activity
12 pages
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Includes Easel Activity
This resource includes a ready-to-use interactive activity students can complete on any device. Easel by TpT is free to use! Learn more.

Also included in

  1. Two perfect Halloween stories and a nonfiction article for ENL Beginners bundled with a Pumpkin Scary Story Paragraph Pie to help your ELLs analyze any scary literature! This special Halloween Bundle includes:The Monkey's Paw (Complete - ESL Beginner story, activities and graphic organizers)A Strang
    Save $3.00
  2. Make your year a little easier, and give your ELL students high quality, high interest, fun materials! If you covered everything in this pack it would probably take around 70 school days. That's a lot of material for your school year -- nearly 4 months!Many of these 30+ resources work with multiple
    Save $49.81
  3. Have a ton of fun in the weeks leading up to Halloween (if not all of October)! Teach vocab, grammar and ELA skills with this great bundle of stories and a non-fiction article for your classroom, all specifically designed for newcomer / beginner English Language Learners.All can be assigned to ELLs
    Save $9.96


Beginner English language learners are crying out for stimulating texts to develop their reading and language skills. These texts are hard to find. 

This story is part of a collection of high interest material specifically designed for ENL, ELL and ESL students. It is short (140 words), yet contains meaningful content and exciting activities that are sure to provoke discussion.

Each story and nonfiction article in the series uses vocabulary from at least one section of the Oxford Picture Dictionary. If you have access to the dictionary, the text pairs with it, enabling you to easily create a short unit of vocabulary work and reading. If you do not have access to the dictionary the text and activities can stand alone. 

The series of texts introduces literary elements, reading skills, grammar and vocabulary.

This Article

It starts with a mystery -- a description of an empty classroom using vocabulary from A School and the Classroom section of The Oxford Picture Dictionary. Then it asks: "why is the classroom empty?" The answer is it was abandoned during the Chernobyl disaster.

The four-sided handout can be copied for your class. The image can be displayed on a screen, if you have one.

You get:

  • A four page handout for students.
  • Activities based on the reading.
  • Ideas for teachers — what to do before reading, during reading and after reading, including suggested aims.
  • Two grids for retelling the story as a comic.
  • A portrait frame (to teach character) with text detail boxes.
  • A t-chart to compare the classroom in the story with your classroom.
  • A setting film strip to teach setting.
  • An answer key.

More great materials for your ELLs:

Be sure to check out my Halloween products for nonfiction, an original short story, plus the classic "The Monkey's Paw". They are all for beginner ESL students, and there is a great value bundle containing the whole lot of them. If you're looking for fun activities, nonfiction, a short story for Christmas ("The Little Match Girl") and the New Year, take a look at my Christmas and New Year materials. I also have a series of short stories that will engage your students at any time, while teaching grammar and vocab. Enjoy and have fun teaching!

Further details:

Oxford Picture Dictionary correspondence = The Classroom, School.

Grammar = To be, past tense.

ELA = Nonfiction, questioning

Grades = 4+

ENL Level = Beginner

Estimated length = 40 minutes to multiple hours (depending on how many of the extra handouts are used, such as the comic grid.)

Answer key included.

Please note: this product can be used alongside The Oxford Picture Dictionary, but is in no way associated with or endorsed by Oxford University Press.

Total Pages
12 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.


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